BBC World Service

Starbucks to open India location soon

Nidhi Dutt Jan 31, 2012

Adriene Hill: It seems like Starbucks is everywhere — everywhere except India. But that’s about to change.

From Mumbai, BBC correspondent Nidhi Dutt reports.

Nidhi Dutt: Starbucks says its first store will open in Delhi or Mumbai by September this year. Starbucks lags years behind other major American firms like McDonald’s and Domino’s Pizza that have already established a strong presence in India.

John Culver is the regional president of Starbucks. He says they may be late to India, but for his company, this is the right time.

John Culver: India is a country that we are not currently in that has one of the largest economies that the world has to offer and that is growing at an accelerated rate. We see that there is tremendous opportunity here, both in the short-term, but more importantly, in the long-term. We want to make the right investments that are going to enable us to build this business the right way.

But Starbucks isn’t navigating India’s coffee market alone — it’s teaming up with Indian firm Tata Global Beverages in a joint venture. India’s middle class has more money to spend than ever before. With bigger disposable incomes many millions of people are consuming more branded food and beverage items, particularly from international chains.

Sales in India’s organized coffee market are estimated to be worth $140 million. And it’s the growing purchasing power of brand-conscious Indians that Starbucks is looking to tap in to.

I’m the BBC’s Nidhi Dutt for Marketplace.

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