Starbucks all set to make India debut

Come September, Starbucks, which gained cult status in Seattle and instant fame worldwide, is set to open its first outlet in India. The world’s largest coffee chain will set up cafes through an equal joint venture with Tata Global Beverages, the second largest tea player in world. The $11-billion Starbucks plans to roll out at least 50 stores in the next one year, starting with New Delhi and Mumbai. The iconic brand is making a late entry into the key emerging market — the land of tea — at a time when Indians are increasingly opting for cappuccinos and lattes. “We will offer premium cafĂ© experience but haven’t decided on the pricing yet,” said John Culver, president of Starbucks, Asia Pacific. A Starbucks coffee, on an average, costs upwards of $3.50 globally. Unusually, the outlets will be co-branded as ‘Starbucks Coffee: A Tata Alliance’ on an initial investment of Rs 400 crore .Starbucks has been exploring the Indian market for nearly eight years, and halted its entry four years back following the global economic crisis. In January 2011, it signed an initial agreement with Tata Global Beverages’ coffee unit to source premium arabica coffee that will be produced using Starbucks technology for the India operations as well as for the chain’s overseas outlets.

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