Savour your first Starbucks brew in Mumbai next month

Written by fe Bureau | Mumbai | Updated: Sep 29 2012, 10:04am hrs
US coffee chain Starbucks Coffee and Indias Tata Global Beverages said they will open their first coffee shop in India in South Mumbai next month. Delhi will get its first Starbucks early next year.

However, this is a small beginning, given that the initial plan was to open up to 50 outlets by the end of the year, and have the first one up and running by September. In January, the Seattle-based company which had revenues of $11.7 billion in FY11 announced the $80-million 50:50 joint venture, Tata Starbucks.

I dont see this as a delay. As we work very closely in the partnership that we enter the market in a right way. We have been aggressively finding the right location. There are other stores that we have planned for, besides the first one at south Mumbais Horniman Circle area, Starbucks China and Asia-Pacific president John Culver said.

The two companies also named Avani Saglani Davda as the chief executive of Tata Starbucks. Davda most recently worked in the vice-chairmans office for Tata Global Beverages.

The Mumbai store will be located in the Elphinstone building, a heritage property owned by Tata Sons. The store in the Horniman Circle area will be the first Starbucks location to feature coffee sourced locally, through an arrangement with Tata Coffee.

This is the first step Starbucks and Tata Coffee are taking toward developing and improving the profile of Indian-grown arabica coffees around the world by elevating the stature of Indian coffee, as well as improving the quality of coffee through sustainable practices, Culver said.

Starbucks entry comes at a time when coffee consumption in India is expected to have doubled over the past decade, and over a thousand coffee retail outlets, led by Cafe Coffee Day, are estimated to have sprung up across the country in the last five years. Indias coffee drinking market is growing at 5% every year, estimates consulting firm Technopak.

Starbucks is an iconic brand. It will appeal to the affluent and the young professional, says Raghav Gupta, a principal at Booz & Co. Starbucks may not see much competition from a Cafe Coffee Day as they have different target markets. Cafe Coffee Day appeals more to students unlike those like Barista, Gloria Jeans and Costa Coffee.

The Tata Global Beverages share closed 8.3% higher at R142.80 on the BSE on Friday.