Starbucks Corp and venture partner Tata Global Beverages Ltd. will open their first store in India by August this year.
The company expects to open 50 stores in Mumbai and New Delhi between September and December said Tata Global Vice Chairman R.K. Krishna Kumar at a press conference. The Seattle-based restaurant operator has an agreement to source beans from Bangalore-based Tata Coffee Ltd., a unit of Tata Global. Tata is India's largest coffee producer and exporter.
We're going to be very disciplined in how we grow, said John Culver, president of Starbucks' Asian Pacific region. The rate at which India is growing, the size of the emerging middle class and the growth of disposable income lead us to believe it's going to be a very large market for Starbucks over time, he added.
We have always discussed only a 50:50 partnership from the beginning for India. The partnership with the Tata Group is a long-term investment, Culver continued.
Starbucks plans to accelerate growth in the Asia-Pacific region, where revenue rose 38 percent in the quarter ending Jan. 1, Chief Financial Officer Troy Alstead said in a Jan. 26 conference call. India is the 58th country to have Starbucks, which operates 17,000 outlets globally. It has been planning to enter India for nearly eight years. It says it has found a partner in Tata who has local knowledge that will help it expand rapidly.