Tata Starbucks, a joint venture between Tata Global Beverages and US-based Starbucks Coffee Company, is going full throttle to increase its store count to 115 from 91 by March-end and is taking care to infuse local culinary flavours into the items it is dishing out.
While its beverage offers in India are mostly aligned with what it serves globally, the global cafe chain is cooking up a storm on its food menu, serving up a slice of the region it has entered. With the launch of three stores in Kolkata, marking its entry into the city, Starbucks has introduced two fusion desserts — Chomchom Tiramisu and Chocolate Rossomalai Mousse.
The company’s chief executive officer in India, Sumitro Ghosh, said Starbucks’ future plans of serving regional cuisine in stores across India will depend on the success of the desserts in Kolkata where they have introduced their food localisation idea.
“We have some unique things that are only for the Indian marketplace and this is the first such thing we did specifically for Kolkata. We have tried to understand the palette of our customers and then come up with such a menu. This is the first time we have done this,” he told Business Standard.
Ghosh said Starbucks' sales in India were the highest in Asia. In the current financial year, Starbucks has opened 24 stores, taking the tally to 115 across seven cities. “We are pleased with our top line growth as well as the profit position. You would see improvements in this financial year as compared to last year and we see that continue to happen,” he told this business daily. Starbucks is targeting an average floor area of 1,500 square feet per store.
The company owns and operates its stores and has no plans to opt for a franchisee model. It plans to open more outlets in Kolkata and is reviewing the locations. Ghosh observed that the brand needs to have at least 6-10 outlets to build its presence in the city.