US-based coffee giant Starbucks today said it is moving forward with the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with Tata Coffee and hopes to make an announcement soon even as the government has notified 100% FDI in single brand retail.
In an e-mailed response, John Culver, President, Starbucks (China and Asia Pacific) told PTI: "We are moving forward with MoU (signed with Tata Coffee in 2011) discussions and planning, and hope to make an announcement soon".
On January 10, the government allowed 100% FDI in single-brand retail, paving way for global chains to have full ownership of their India operations.
The company had earlier signed an MoU with Tata Coffee for formation of a strategic alliance for sourcing of coffee beans. As per the MoU signed, the companies also agreed to explore the opportunities for opening coffee shops in India.
Culver further said: "We are excited about the great opportunities that India presents to Starbucks and look forward to offering high-quality coffee, handcrafted beverages, legendary service and the unique Starbucks experience to customers in India".
However, the 100% FDI in retail comes with a sourcing clause. It will be mandatory to source at least 30% from the domestic small and cottage industries which have a maximum investment in plant and machinery of $1 million (over Rs 5 crore).
Starbucks said at this point the company does not have anything further to add.
Starbucks is the world's biggest coffee chain, managing over 16,000 stores, and operates in more than 50 countries.