American coffee giant Starbucks, which is entering India through an equal partnership with Tata Global Beverage, will open its first store by the end of October in the Horniman Circle area of Mumbai.
"We are incredibly pleased with the progress of our joint venture and look forward to the opening of our first Starbucks café in October of this year," said RK Krishnakumar, vice-chairman, Tata Global Beverages.
Avani Saglani Davda has been appointed the chief executive of Tata Starbucks. Davda, who joined Tata administrative service in 2002, was involved with driving strategies and marketing and business for Tata Global Beverages.
The $83.3-billion Tata group and $11.7 billion Starbucks announced their $80-million (Rs 400 crore) joint venture this January. The initial plan was to open 50 stores across the country, starting September.
Starbucks, which has 17,000 stores across the world, will use espresso sourced and roasted locally for the first time ever in the upcoming Mumbai store.
The opening of the store has been delayed by a month. Starbucks has been driving a hard bargain with retail space owners, in some cases seeking rent-free premises, citing its brand value and ability to increase footfalls in malls by its presence.
The company refused to disclose other locations of proposed Starbucks outlets on the grounds that would jeopardise their ability to negotiate rentals. However, Delhi is the immediate destination. In 2007, when Starbucks initially planned India entry, it had identified Select City Walk in south Delhi for the first outlet.