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Last updated: June 27, 2007 at 10:22 am

Starbucks fighting hard to brew coffee for Indian middle class consumers

India has always been predominantly a Chai (Tea) drinking nation. Coffee has been only moderately popular in some southern states, other than that it has been Chai (Hindi term for Tea), Chahaa (Marathi term for Tea), cutting (Mumbai term for half tea cup), maramari (another popular term from western India for tea) all the way!
However, there has been a sudden change in this trend with coffee becoming more and more popular in recent times especially among the younger population. The roadside Chai (Tea) thelas (shops) outside colleges and offices have been replaced by hip coffee joints like Barista and Café Coffee Day. The Chai (tea) that used to cost couple of rupees (5 cents) is replaced by coffee costing something like Rs. 100 ($2.50).

Starbucks CoffeeIndia has now becoming one of the fastest growing coffee markets in the world. It is surprising though, that India has yet to get the taste of Starbucks coffee , the largest coffee shop chain in the world.
The reason – Their proposal to enter India was rejected earlier by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board, a government body that approves foreign investment applications in India, on the ground that the equity structure was ambiguous.

However, Starbucks still remains very bullish on India and company has decided to file a new proposal as the government sought some clarifications in its equity structure.

According to Technopak Advisors, a global retail consultancy firm, the organized coffee retail business in India is over Rs.8 billion ($17 million), and the potential for coffee retail outlets are nearly 3,000.

With the Indian middle class consumer ready to spend more and be a part of global lifestyle and culture, coffee parlours in the country are on an expansion spree. From small-sized coffee parlours to classy coffee lounges leading coffee retailers such as Café Coffee Day, Barista, Costa Coffee and Coffee World have all been fighting hard to lure India’s growing middle class.


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  • I had a starbucks capuchino and chicken pannini sandwich at the first starbucks outlet in india at horniman circle Mumbai. My comments: The multi grain bread was great. The chicken was meagre and of very poor quality. You need to have sachets of mustard/chilli sauce not just ketchup this is ‘spicy india’ ! Hiru bijlani


  • I think Starbucks can gain a very good market in India, this is because this is one of the very few brands which concentrates on quality of product and customer satisfaction. I hope to have a tast of this place soon enough!

  • star bucks one of the leading brand in all over the world. but for india already lots of compititors are exist in market its hard for star bucks to beat them let seeeeee. and hope for the best.

  • The reason – Their proposal to enter India was rejected earlier by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board, a government body that approves foreign investment applications in India, on the ground that the equity structure was ambiguous.

  • Hii…….i m very keen to do business with u please give us opportunity to work with u.we are a leading real estate company we can provide u space any where in india according to your requirement.

  • HI this sidhesh from Id-gourmet india ltd, we are already in the market for coffee segment . we are importing finest coffee machine from italy of lapavoni and gagia and we had also come up with coffee of lucafffe , the starting response that we get is very good, but i am looking for those person who want to put their coffee shops or chain, because it is lapavoni only who is able to deliver coffeelike these barista and coffee cafe day. it like u can have it your home and offices i am looking forward for the response. my no is 9594980003

  • I would be interested to look into the operations and product development part of starbucks coffee in Hyderabad, India. I had work experience with Eight o’clock coffee and Tazo tea company (Starbucks coffee). Kindly let me know if there is anything I could do to help with the set-up in India. Thanks, Shilpa

  • hi i am interested in taking up the franchise of star buck coffee ….. can you please tell me the basic requirements and procedure for the same….

  • hi, i wish to get the 1st franchise of starbucks coffee in my city (pune). kindly let me know futher details… thank you rahil jafrani.

  • Hello sir/mam, I am an hotel management graduate and currently working with Cafe Coffee Day as operational trainee. I want to know about your plans in india since i am looking for an career in your esteemed organization. Looking for an early response from your side.

  • Hi neeraj I am a CA(Inter) student and am looking to an coffee outlet in Hyderabad and near about cities …. Can i  have further details of your offer …

    • Hi, We are an US based company into realestate, assisted living facilities and hotels. We are looking for new joint venture in India. 478-257-6280 Thanks Dr. Sanjeev

  • I am planning a mela on "coffee culture in India": With innovative display of artefacts, tracing the foray of coffee, eventually beyond class and into the territory of chai. Anyone interested to work on the project, to, lets say, create a friendship with coffee giants please contact me.

  • How can Starbuck not want into India? With the size of India’s Middle Class and the work culture — it is a perfect market. Maybe even better than the USA.

  • sir if anyone here is ready to join hands with one upcoming coffee chain which is boosting in indian markets and will capture almost india with coming 60 months please mail me with all the details and offer

  • Vijan Singh, Please read my post titled “The jinxed entry of Starbucks in India” …Starbucks is unable to open in INdia..

  • hi i have a 3500 sq ft area in mumbai and am interested in your franchise ( starbucks) ,kindly let me know the mailing address for further procedure

  • i wann 2 open coffee cafe in patiala(punjab).i have 20’*24′ shop in heart of city.pls guide anybody tht how i get franchise of as Barista, Costa Coffee and Coffee world.

  • Mesmerized, I would put it this way…it is the culture change that is happening. Earlier the social networking used to happen in “Amrutattulyas (Pune term)” or “chai thelas” and now it is shifted to Barista’s and Cafe Coffee day…Although it is very- I mean very expensive change comparitively. However, you would not find many 30+ people hanging out at these coffee lounges- atleast thats what I assume…I have not been India for a while now and things change fast !

  • I do agree… many youngsters are hooked on too coffee (So as too say), but having a cutting at a road side thela is a different experience all together ( Yes im biased Chai lover). But on a serious notes these Coffee shops are a great place to meet and catch up with people, but they do attempt to leave a hole in your pocket.

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