October 20, 2020
1970 s - Coke , Campa Cola , and a Lost Business Empire
Coke was forced to leave India in the year 1977 by George Fernandes .
Pepsi was active in India in 1950 s but left India voluntarily it seems around 1962 . It returned in 1980 s , initially , as Lehar Pepsi .
Around 1970 , if I remember correctly , Coke bottle cost around 25 paise . In those days Coke in India was available only in glass bottles ( returnable ) and had 200 ml ( present glass bottles have 250 ml ) of the soft drink .
These Cokes had more gas than compared with their current avtaars and there was a tingling sensation of CO 2 gas in the drinkers' nostrils.
In 1970 s ,Coke's companion soft drink Fanta introduced , in India ,another flavour - grape . But this flavour was rejected by fans of Fanta who continued to go in for its orange flavour
Fellow Nabhaite ( alumnus of Punjab Public School , Nabha) and fellow Stephanian ( R/o Allnutt South ) Rajiv Bakshi went on to head Pepsi India .
Previous Indian bottlers of Coca Cola, owners of Pure Drinks Ltd with their Registered office at Patiala ( a Sikh family headed by S Charanjit Singh ) were close to our College . I remember , in 1975 , a truck full of Coke was gifted to the College and there was a total , as they used to say the " Gaddar " while distributing these to students at Andrew's Court . After they lost their Coca Cola franchise Singhs introduced Campa Cola etc and set up a grand five star hotel , La Meridien . opposite Chelmsford Club , Raisina Marg . New Delhi
These chaotic scenes at Andrew's Court left our Principal fuming . He later called for , in the Assembly Hall , a more orderly behaviour in future . He said he had to cut a sorry figure before Mr. BM Bhatia , Principal, Hindu College , who had keenly watched the goings on from his side and being suitably astounded , asked Mr. Rajpal what the ruckus was all about .