Coffee Giant Starbucks to Soon Open First India Store

Posted September 28th, 2012 at 8:35 am (UTC-5)
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The world's largest coffee retailer, Starbucks, says it will open its first store in India next month.

Starbucks is entering the Indian market as part of a joint venture with India's Tata Global Beverages.

Starbucks' China and Asia-Pacific President John Culver said the U.S. company will open a store in India's financial hub Mumbai by the end of October.

Culver said the outlet will be “the first Starbucks location to feature espresso sourced and roasted locally from India through the coffee sourcing and roasting agreement with Tata Coffee Limited.”

Earlier this year, Culver told reporters that Starbucks hoped to open at least 50 stores across India by the end of the year.

Starbucks and Tata say the initial investment will be roughly $80 million. The 50-50 joint venture will be called Tata Starbucks Limited and be run by CEO Avani Saglani Davda.

Seattle-based coffee chain Starbucks has more than 17,000 stores around the world. Tata Global Beverages is the world's second-largest tea company.

While India is largely a nation of tea-drinkers, Western-style coffee chains have gained popularity among its fast-growing, wealthy middle class. Coffee consumption among Indians has doubled in the last 10 years.

Starbucks will face competition from established domestic chains like Cafe Coffee Day. The coffee giant is one of several U.S. retailers looking to cash in on India's growing appetite for Western fast food. The market is driven by a country where about 700 million people are under 30.