Every Dusshera, across India we celebrate the triumph of good over evil. Whether it is Lord Ram’s conquest over King Ravana or Goddess Durga slaying the evil King Mahisasura, Dusshera is one day that reminds us the importance of being ‘good.’ ‘Good’ that is bold enough to stand up for all that is right, every day, in every way. ‘Good’ that always chooses righteousness and selflessness, and never any other way.

Therefore, it is not surprising, that The Coca-Cola Company, chose Dusshera as the auspicious day to re-enter India in 1993. Coca-Cola, as a product, brand and company, embodies goodness – in deeds, actions and most importantly- intentions. It exists to refresh the human body, mind and spirit and to renew every person on an ever-progressing journey of optimism across the world. The simplicity of the product is matched by the strength of its purpose and is probably one of the primary reasons why Coca-Cola has endured in peoples’ hearts over 130 years.

As portrayed in the epic Ramayana, it is not easy to be good. To be good, not only does one have to make the tough choices, never compromise, fight the hard battles (often alone), but one is also doubted and sometimes even vilified. Being good also does not mean that one does not make mistakes, but it means that one accepts their mistakes, changes and is willing to pay the price for one’s shortcomings. Coca-Cola’s journey in India has been a journey of goodness. It has been marked with many challenges- pesticide crisis, pollution accusations, ground water depletion charges, unfair taxation and many more.

But Coca-Cola has never stopped being good or believing in goodness – conducting business with highest levels of integrity, developing rain water harvesting structures and water sheds, providing relief in times of crises, building classroom facilities at remote schools and many more acts of goodness.

To the Coca-Cola India family, my heartiest congratulations on this momentous journey. May you be blessed with the courage to be good always – even when you have to bravely stand alone, are wrongly perceived and misunderstood – knowing that because you stood for goodness, ‘Dusshera will always be a bit more special forever’ across India. Wishing you the very best on your 25th anniversary and may you always be humble, young and good!

- Lifelong fan and admirer

Sumanta Datta is former Vice President - South West Asia Operations at Coca-Cola India