Craving for a Starbucks coffee? Soon you could order and pay for it using your mobile phone.
“You could soon just pick up your phone and pay for your order through your rewards card. We already have over 160,000 active My Starbucks Rewards programme users in the country,” Sumi Ghosh the new CEO of Tata Starbucks told HT.
US-based Starbucks, which entered India in 2012, through a joint venture with the Tata group, currently operates 83 outlets. “This is considered among its fastest roll-outs in international markets,” Ghosh said.
In the US, 25% of the transactions happen over the Starbucks app, through which one can locate nearby outlets, order and pay it using the Starbucks card. The coffee can then be collected by the customer.
This service is the first of its kind in India and Starbucks is confident of a strong response once the app is launched sometime this year.
Ghosh, who took over as CEO from Avani Davda in January, believes there are a lot of opportunities to expand Starbucks stores in India.”We see no slowdown and are on track with our expectations for India,” Ghosh told HT.
While the company will continue to deepen its footprint in the six cities it currently services, it is also evaluating newer markets.
With local rival Café Coffee Day already having over 1,500 outlets, one could also see more Starbucks cafes coming up in residential neighbourhoods.
“As we grow, we will have to be creative in our approach. We are looking at that format today…how do we go into residential neighbourhood and get people attracted to our brand,” said Ghosh, who was previously based in Chicago, overseeing Starbucks’ midwestern US region.
India is expected to be the world’s youngest country by 2020 with 64% population in working age group, and is therefore demographically a very a critical market for consumer-facing companies such as Starbucks.
As a part of its India strategy, Starbucks recently rolled out a campaign that elicited how the consumer felt in a Starbucks store and which product suited that mood best. The campaign ran in April and attracted 110,000 people, who received two free customisations, Ghosh said.
As a part of its employee engagement programme, it is also rolling out a five-day work schedule from May 15 across the country.