Behind The Scenes: VBL- PespiCo India Supply Chain

In Conversation With Atul Holkar

Varun Beverages Ltd (VBL) is the second-largest franchisee in the world of carbonated and non-carbonated beverages sold under trademarks owned by PepsiCo and one of the leading players in the beverages industry. Army veteran, Atul Holkar, Head – Supply Chain Management, VBL – PepsiCo India steers the supply chain of VBL and forms astute strategies for distributing the company’s products. In an interview to Logistics Insider, Mr. Holkar gives valuable insights on the supply chain of VBL and sheds light on its optimisation strategies. Excerpts:

India’s soft drink market is moving on a growth trajectory. According to the reports, the country’s per capita bottle consumption is set to double within a period of two years. As the Head of Supply Chain for Varun Beverages Limited (VBL) – PepsiCo, how do you manage the pressure related to logistics of beverages in the peak season?

Indian soft drink market has been riding on a growth wave, as annual per-capita bottle consumption is expected to reach around 84 by 2021. Key growth drivers such as under-penetration of the segment, growing middle class, rising affordability, urbanisation and rural electrification will help the industry grow even faster.

Managing logistics in peak season in a company as large as Varun Beverages Limited (VBL) remains a big challenge. Ensuring product availability, distribution and reverse logistics are some of the key supply chain challenges which we face in our logistics processes.

We have adequate capacities in manufacturing and logistics. Still the period between March-July remains quite challenging for us.

To support the distribution, we have a fleet of 150 trucks and further to it we also hire a large number of trucks every day. A robust demand planning process along with an agile supply chain ensures the availability of the material as per the regional and seasonal preferences of the consumers.

Which path-breaking measures have you taken to strengthen the logistics network of VBL in India? How do you ensure that the products of the company reach every nook and corner of India?

In order to strengthen the logistics network of VBL, we leverage technology with better planning to provide cost-effective integrated logistics support.

Use of multiple planning and tracking tools helps us in better forecasting, production planning, order tracking and order fulfilment processes.

Supply Network Planning (SNP) supports us for optimised planning in sourcing, manufacturing, transportation and distribution. It also helps in planning the flow of products through the supply chain using advanced optimisation techniques, which includes constraints and penalties.

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