Starbucks expects India to be among its top 5 markets globally

10:06 AM Oct 25, 2017 | Team Udayavani |

Mumbai:  Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee chain, which opened its 100th store here, expects India to be among its top five markets in the future.


“Starbucks operates in 28,000 stores across 75 markets in the world and India is one of the most important markets that we operate in. One day, India will be among the top five markets that Starbucks operates around the world,” John Culver, group president, Starbucks International and Channel Development told reporters here.

“The reason we believe this is because of the success and the way in which Indian customers have embraced Starbucks. We are going to continue to invest in innovation. Our success in India could not be possible without the strong partnership that we have been able to build with Tata Global Beverages. It is a unique joint venture for Starbucks and one that sits at the top of all our partnerships we operate in around the world,” he added.

US is the largest market for the Seattle-based company followed by Canada, China, Japan and UK. Starbucks operates here under a 50:50 joint venture with Tata Global Beverages and operates across six cities under the label of Tata-Starbucks since October 2012. The global coffeehouse chain will enter Kolkata early next and plans to open three stores there.

“We are excited about the opportunity India presents for the future of Starbucks. Early next year, we will enter our seventh city in Kolkata, where we will have three new stores in early 2018 and will continue to grow our store base and look at new cities that we can add,” he said.


Asked when the joint venture is expected to turn profitable, Culver said, “We are investing in India for the long-term. I would not put a time frame around the financial metrics other than to say that what we are seeing in terms of financial performance of our stores based on the investments that we are making is that we are building a very strong foundation for growth here in this market. Through our partnership with Tata, we are taking a long-term view on the opportunity in India. We are very optimistic about the market.” 

Starbucks introduced Teavana brand in India in January and Culver said they will continue to make investments in tea. At present Coffee constitutes 60 per cent of the beverages sold in the store and tea is around 10 per cent. The company expects to double the number of employees to 3,000 over the next five years and aims to boost the proportion of women in its workforce to 40 per cent by 2022, from 25 per cent today.

Starbucks has several joint initiatives in the country along with its joint venture partner, including expanding the market of Himalayan Mineral Water and providing job skills training. “We partnered our JV partner Tata in their Strive programme, which provides opportunities and skills to youth here in India. Starbucks here in India has a commitment that we will hire 3000 of those youth in the coming years in our business,” he said.

Starbucks has launched Himalayan Mineral Water in Singapore a year ago and has launched Tata Group’s single-origin coffee in the US. “We will continue to bring unique blends of coffee to India and will look at ways to expand coffee (sourced from India) outside India,” Culver said adding that last year the company launched India Estates blend in some Asian markets.


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