eKOCool: Coca-Cola’s Solar-Powered Cooler for Rural India



Case Code : CLMISC032
Publication date : 2016
Subject : Miscellaneous
Industry : Beverage Industry
Organization : The Coca Cola Company
Length : 06 Pages
Teaching Note: Not Available
Country India


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Abstract: ICMR India ICMR India ICMR India ICMR India RSS Feed

The case ‘eKOcool’ is about a solar-powered cooler launched by Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Private in 2011 to provide chilled beverages to consumers in the rural areas of India. It explains the rationale, design, and structure of the product. Initially, the prototype was developed and a pilot survey was done to understand the market response. With the successful outcome, the company distributed solar coolers to the other rural areas across India. Soon, eKOCool became a part of Coca-Cola’s eKOcool program under its 5by20 initiative. The case also discusses the company’s future plans to distribute solar coolers pan India and the challenges the company is likely to face in the distribution of eKOCool.


Appreciate the issues, challenges, and opportunities in new product development.
Understand how companies innovate based on local insights.
Understand reverse innovation.


In 2013, Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company (Coca-Cola), announced that the company had started testing its solar-powered mobile cooler eKOCool in several countries across the world. eKOCool was developed by Coca-Cola for the rural Indian market, especially the villages in the hinterlands of the country that lacked electricity. “The eKOCool looks a little like an ordinary pushcart, but it’s actually a sophisticated marriage of technology and local market savvy,” he said. eKOCool was launched in 2011 by Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Private Limited , the Indian arm of Coca-Cola, as a replacement for the conventional ice-chests used in rural India to keep beverages chilled. These ice-chests were not sufficient to meet the demand for chilled beverages, and due to the absence of or irregular supply of electricity, the conventional refrigerators and cooling equipments were of no use in these areas. The solar coolers not only created a new market for Coca-Cola but also provided ports to charge mobile phones or lanterns...

Key words:
eKOcool, 5by 20 program,Coca Cola, Reverse innovation, Women empowerment, Solar cooler, Sustainability, Rural markets

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