global companies. But I have never had the kind of recognition I have received from this relationship with Starbucks. People I have never met stop me on the street just to congratulate me.
"And what I have learned from this relationship is that Starbucks is far more than just a company that sells coffee," Ratan Tata had said.
Schultz said his company has developed an "incredible relationship" with the Ratan Tata organisation and he cannot imagine bringing Starbucks to India without the assistance it has received from Tata.
Schultz also said India is the only major market in the world where Starbucks has been able to source and roast coffee beans locally.
The company worked with Tata officials on an India-only espresso roast designed specifically for the Indian market.
Schultz said people in Starbucks' coffee department were not "exactly thrilled" when he told them he was looking at a different approach to sourcing coffee and roasting process under the partnership with Ratan Tata for India.
"They were more skeptical when I said we want to create a different blend of coffee for India," he said, adding that his team was incredulous when he said the India blend was not going to be roasted by the Starbucks team, a first in Starbucks' 42 year history.
Schultz said to get the blend he wanted for India, "we'd have to share with Ratan Tata some of the family jewels – roasting secrets we've perfected over four decades and guarded very closely.
"It was a real test of our trust in our new partner," he said, adding that teaming with Tata to come up with an Indian roast was a huge step for Starbucks.
Starbucks eyes huge growth in India, China markets
Bullish on the Indian market for growth, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has said his company plans to open "thousands of stores" in India in the "not-too-distant" future, making the country one of its two largest markets outside North America along with China.
"I believe China and India offer Starbucks one of the greatest opportunities for growth.
"Our plan over time is that the number of our stores in India will rival the size and