Starbucks, the world’s biggest coffee-shop chain with 12,440 stores worldwide, subject to government nod, is gearing up, to enter the country in partnership with New Horizon- a joint venture jointly owned by Kishore Biyani owned Pantaloon (49%) and V.P. Sharma (51%), reports Bloomberg. V.P.Sharma is the Head of PT Mitra Adiperkasa, Starbucks’ Indonesian franchisee, which operates 45 Starbucks outlets in Indonesia. We had earlier reported about the Starbucks’ possible tieup with Kishore Biyani owned Pantaloon.
Starbucks plans to open its first store in New Delhi and subsequently in Mumbai, the nation’s commercial capital, said Sharma. The first Starbucks store may go on stream by the year end.
Starbucks will have to compete with already established home grown Barista and Cafe Coffee Day coffee shop chains in India. By the year end, Barista is expanding its network of 100 shops to 225 shops.
People in most parts of India, except south, like to drink tea than coffee. Even, south Indians drink ground coffee. Preferences are, however, changing fast and increasing number of young Indians, especially students and upwardly mobile professionals, are favouring coffee shops as meeting and socialising places. About half of India’s population is less than 21 years old.
“It’s a status symbol to have a Starbucks cup in your hand in the countries like China and I think that’ll translate to India as well, as more Indians are working in professional jobs that give them more disposable income,” said Rick Drake, director of research at ABN Amro Asset Management, which among others manages Starbucks shares.