Laxman Narasimhan became Latin America CEO for PepsiCo in September 2014, an interesting time for his industry in the region for multiple factors: the impact of the economic slowdown on the consumption of foods and beverages, the growing debate about taxes on sugar-sweetened drink, the changes in consumer habits as interest on healthy dieting grows, and the emerging importance of the digital age in marketing.
Latin Trade interviewed the India-born executive in the aftermath of his participation as keynote panelist in the Council of the Americas Symposium and Bravo Business Awards, held in Miami. Our conversation with Narasimhan included his views on industry trends, taxes on soft-drinks, marketing and talent.
A long-term perspective
“If you think about the next year or two, or even longer, the one thing you should know is that we are managing this business for the long term,” said the PepsiCo CEO for Latin America when asked for his industry outlook for the next 12-24 months. What Narasimhan seems to imply is that they are not deterred by the current economic slowdown in the region, nor the rising criticism on soft-drinks and beverages, which has even meant taxes of the industry’s sales in key markets, such as Chile and Mexico.
Narasimhan has a positive perspective of his company’s performance in the region: “You clearly have pockets of great strength across Latin America, other pockets of challenges, but overall we continue to think of the region as a source of growth …
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