Opening a mega store in the Capital, US-based Starbucks Coffee on Wednesday said it has aggressive expansion plans for India and saw the country emerging among the top five global markets in the long-term.
Refusing to commit itself to a timeline for achieving the target of opening of 50 outlets in the country by 2012, which has already missed, the Tata Starbucks joint venture said it was committed to India and would like to aggressively grow here. “We are committed to India for the long-term and we want to grow aggressively here. India will be our top five markets around the world over a long-term,” Starbucks Coffee president (China and Asia Pacific) John Culver told reporters at an interaction here.
Mr. Culver said currently the US, Canada, Japan, the UK and China are its top five markets. Starbucks is present in India as an equal joint venture with Tata Global Beverages.
Asked specifically if Starbucks is still committed to opening of 50 cafes and investing Rs. 400 crore in India, Mr. Culver said: “From the Starbucks perspective, we are a publicly traded company. We do not release those figures publicly. We did not do those numbers specifically from a Starbucks perspective.”
In January last year, during a joint press conference, Mr. Culver alongwith Tata Global Beverages vice chairman R.K. Krishnakumar had announced plans to open 50 cafes in the country in 2012, entailing an investment of Rs. 400 crore.
Mr. Culver parried a direct reply to a query on reasons for delay in rolling out of Starbucks outlets in India. Tata Starbucks opened its seventh outlet in India with the inauguration of a new cafe at Connaught Place here. However, Mr. Culver said the company will roll out more outlets in the city in the future. Starbucks had opened its first outlet in India in October 2012 in Mumbai, where it currently has four cafes. Last month, Tata Starbucks opened two more outlets at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here.