US-based global coffee chain Starbucks, which is fast expanding its coffee stores in India in partnership with Tata Global Beverages, has said it expects India to be among its top five markets in the “long term”.
The company has been a late entrant in India, opening its first store in October 2012. Its stores are being operated by the joint venture firm Tata Starbucks.
Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee chain, refused to divulge specific details, it has chalked out aggressive expansion plans.
“We see India as one of our key markets and expect the country to be one of our top five markets in the long term,” said John Culver, president Starbucks Coffee China and Asia Pacific.
Culver, did not spell out “long term” and only mentioned that there was “tremendous opportunity” for the company to grow in India.
Avani Saglani Davda, chief executive officer of Tata Starbucks, said the company would initially target the top 53 cities of the country for its stores.
“We will also forge tie-ups with corporations for a possible coffee store or a kiosk in IT parks or corporate hubs,” he told HT.
India’s organised coffee market, estimated at around R1,500 crore with an annual growth rate of 25%, has hitherto been dominated by Café Coffee Day, Barista Lavazza and Costa Coffee.
The company opened its seventh flagship store within four months, at Delhi’s Connaught Place. More are on the way.
Coffee consumption in India has grown by over 80% over the last decade. An estimated 115,000 tonnes of coffee was consumed in 2011.