John Culver in Mumbai on Friday. (PTI)
Mumbai, Sept. 28: Indians will soon get their first taste of Starbucks coffee. Nearly nine months after the venture was first announced, Starbucks Coffee Company and its Indian partner Tata Global Beverages will open their first store in Mumbai by the end of next month.
An announcement to this effect was made by Tata Starbucks Ltd, the 50:50 joint venture between the two. The first store will come up in the Horniman Circle area of Mumbai.
According to a press statement from the joint venture, the store will be the first Starbucks outlet to feature espresso sourced and roasted locally from India through the coffee sourcing and roasting agreement with Tata Coffee Ltd. The espresso sourced from India will be a major feature of all Starbucks stores in the market, the statement added.
When the joint venture was formally announced, both the partners had announced plans to launch 30-50 outlets this year. While it remains to be seen if this can be achieved, it is felt that next year there will be a sharp rise in the number of stores.
It is learnt that more stores are being planned in the country’s commercial capital by the end of this year. After Mumbai, Starbucks will go to the National Capital Region and subsequently to some of the other major cities.
The joint venture will own and operate the cafes, which will be branded as Starbucks Coffee — A Tata Alliance.
The organised coffee market in India is estimated at Rs 1,000 crore.
“This is the first step Starbucks and Tata Coffee Ltd are taking toward developing and improving the profile of Indian-grown arabica coffees around the world by elevating the stature of Indian coffee as well as improving the quality of coffee through sustainable practices,” John Culver, president of Starbucks China and Asia Pacific, said.
The announcement received a thumbs-up from the stock markets. On the BSE, the Tata Global Beverages stock hit a 52-week high of Rs 144.30 before closing at Rs 142.80, up by 8.30 per cent.
Tata Starbucks Limited today also announced the appointment of Avani Saglani Davda as CEO. Avani who has worked with the Tata group for more than a decade, joined the conglomerate as a TAS (Tata Administrative Service) probationer in 2002. Most recently, she worked in the Vice Chairman’s office for Tata Global Beverages, where she was responsible for driving and facilitating key strategies and initiatives for the company as well as marketing and business development assignments.