Spreading the Magic: Monica Datta is Coca-Cola’s point person in Asia-Pacific

Cinemas Features

Monica Datta fills the role of customer development director, Asia-Pacific, for The Coca-Cola Company. Ms. Datta has spent 17 years in coordination for the company and its bottlers, committing countless hours assisting customers to develop the brands cinema patrons prefer. Her experience has taken her to three different continents, as she gained experience in India, the United Kingdom and Singapore. Her key functions are to exercise the commercial and franchise relationships between buyers and sellers within the Coca-Cola realm in Asia. She currently manages major key accounts both directly and indirectly.

Datta is part of the Asia-Pacific Customer and Commercial team and is based in Singapore. She is responsible for customer leadership, channel strategy, and enhancing people’s capabilities. In Asia, the Immediate Consumption Channel, those properties considered Quick Serve Restaurants, On-Premise Locations, Leisure and Workplace Environments, would correlate in the U.S. as Entertainment and Foodservice Channels.

Monica was born in Chandigarh, India, a small town just north of Delhi. She spent her elementary years studying at Carmel Convent School in Chandigarh. She received her undergraduate degree in Economics Honors from Delhi University (Lady ShriRam College) and earned her MBA from Indian Institute of Management before landing her position at The Coca-Cola Company. She notes that her love of education comes from parents who value educational properties and who are both educators themselves. “I was very fortunate to grow up in an environment where my parents encouraged me to be the best person possible, including providing me with all the intellectual assets of the educational system,” she attests.

In college, Monica enjoyed the stage and drama. When asked if she was an actress, she smiles and says, “I don’t know.” She also spent productive time on the debate team and appreciated the quizzing specialties. It was in her nature to lend her time to the leadership of the school and practice the skills of governance with her peers.

Asked why she accepted her first position with Coca-Cola, she responds, “It is a fun brand! I started as a trainee, as Coca-Cola was similar to a startup company just entering the market full-time. I found the opportunity to be better than other well-known brands.”

After her engagement with Coke in India, Monica relocated to the United Kingdom and assisted the company for six years before transferring to the Asia-Pacific assignment. Her growth and versatility are commendable for such a short period of time. Ms. Datta states that her success probably comes from her ability to embrace change and maintain that positive attitude: “I work to be the best I can be every day.” In her early years, she was one of only nine employees to be selected in a customer-development program for grooming customer talent in Asia-Pacific. She notes that her successes come from cross-cultural access and being able to work in multiple environments. She credits this as one of the biggest moments in her career, as it was an amazing learning experience for the 12 months she practiced.

In terms of creative marketing, Monica sees the biggest challenges in restaurant implementations while continuing the true sense of partnership between Coca-Cola and its clients. The best opportunities for the cinema channel in the future and in her region will come from a variety of sizes and portions, innovations in products, and creative packaging designs. These three features are specific to Asia and have spurred the sponsorship of such events as CineAsia University, where innovation, customer service, and creative products such as blow-mold cups, holographic designs on vessels and premium toys are included in the packaging. As the representative for The Coca-Cola Company, Monica fully supports the efforts of Golden Link Inc. to present these options for her partners. She also reminds us that we have a common ground: “Coke and cinemas are all about refreshments, happiness and entertainment!”

Monica Datta might be viewed as a sculptor, since she is so creative in her marketing applications. Others may deem her an engineer for building and constructing programs that support the mission of the cinema channel. Perhaps she is a little of both, since she combines the art of design and the science of customer relations. Her motto: “Create the Magic!” She underscores the blending of the “magic of Coke and taking that magic to the consumer.” It is easy to see why Ms. Datta has been so triumphant in her career, as she puts her trust in the “magic” of the world’s favorite bubbles.

Since her roots are in India, no one would be surprised to know that Monica Datta loves Bollywood. Her favorite movie is Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (You Only Live Once). Her favorite actor is Indian star Aamir Khan. She also appreciates the work of Hugh Grant and Richard Gere. She loves to read, listen to music and spend time with her husband Sameer and her two boys Suchir, 12, and Ishaan, four. Inasmuch as she loves to travel and does so quite a bit in her work, she says she wants to travel to Africa at least once and take a safari.

Monica Datta is a truly international star shining brightly over the Asia-Pacific and spreading magic to all of us!