I just read an article in the paper that said that Starbucks plans on opening 50 coffee outlets in India by the end of 2012. I knew that coffee houses were becoming popular there largely due to the rising level of disposable income of India’s young professional set and the broad reach of the internet but this is huge! Can you imagine the people of the Indian subcontinent becoming Starbucks addicts?
This will be a joint venture between Starbucks and Tata Global Beverages. Both companies bring many strengths to this partnership. Starbucks with its marketing wizardry; Tata with its market and local knowledge as well as the roasted local coffee beans to be provided by Tata Coffee Ltd. I think I should buy stock in both companies now as I expect the profits will go through the roof. The name of the stores will be called Tata Starbucks Coffee: A Tata Alliance.
The interesting thing about this move is that most north Indians drink tea, not coffee. In south India, people have been drinking rich filter coffee in addition to tea for years. Even though Starbucks will bring its Tazo tea line to the partnership in the shops with its Awake tea (unidentified tea blend from Sri Lanka, Kenya as well as India), I don’t think they will be successful in attracting the Indian tea drinkers who are very sophisticated in their tastes for English Breakfast and Darjeeling tea which are actually grown in India. See my post, A Voyage with Indian Tea, that focuses on tea grown in India.
With the first store targeted to open in September, I will keep my eyes peeled to see how successful this venture turns out to be. Stay tuned…
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