Wall Street Journal: Starbucks Corp. unveiled an alliance Thursday with Tata Group, India’s flagship conglomerate—a move designed to pave the way for retail locations here and to sell more Indian coffee world-wide.
Indians have been flocking to coffee. Overall domestic consumption has risen to an estimated 94,400 metric tons in 2008, up almost 90% since 1998, according to government figures. Much of that has been driven by quick-service, comfortable cafes that are Starbucks’s specialty. For instance, Coffee Day Resorts, in which U.S. private-equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. holds a stake, runs a large chain of Café Coffee Day stores across India. Lavazza of Italy owns a chain of espresso bars, Barista. Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz said in an interview from Mumbai that India could one day rival China, where it recently announced plans to more than triple the number of outlets to around 1,500 in five years.
Mr. Schultz said Starbucks plans to become a “third place” for young Indians to seek out between home and work. And he agreed catering to local tastes is key. Read more at the Wall Street Journal.…..
From Sanjeev Kulkarni