Buoyed by the response from the Indian market, California-based The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (CBTL), launched in 2008 in India, has plans to strengthen its presence across the country through company- and franchise-owned outlets. Currently having 26 outlets, it is planning to roll out 15 more by 2013.
Speaking to Business Standard, Pan India Food Solutions (the company that has brought CBTL to India), Operations Head (India) Amit Maheswari said, " The organised coffee chain retail market is said to be Rs 1,000 crore and has been steadily growing. For CBTL, this is where opportunity lies for growth. Initially, we started with one outlet in Select CityWalk in Saket in New Delhi in 2008, and now we have 26 across the country."
He added, "In order to further expand our footprints, we have entered the franchise mode. We have opened our first franchise outlet in India in Chandigarh. Besides opening company owned outlets, we are now seriously looking at the franchise model of operations. Looking to serve high quality coffee to the growing population of Indians who have embraced the coffee house culture as a part of their social life, the brand plans to rollout 15 more outlets in the country in 2013."
He added that a few key factors influencing this growth is transition of certain sections of the population from traditional tea-drinkers to coffee lovers, increasing amount of disposable income and exposure to international brands.
CBTL which presently is operating in 29 countries through 1000 outlets wants to make their outlets in India more consumer friendly, by offering food and beverage enthusiasts a superior experience and ramping up its food menu. According to Amit who also was in Chandigarh to launch the company's first franchise, "We are developing the regional store franchises model to expand in India. Our first franchise in India, in Chandigarh, has also been opened on this model." It may be recalled that The Chandigarh franchise has been opened two young entrepreneurs Vikram Nagpal and Ankit Ahuja, who also have franchise rights for Punjab. Amit added that after Chandigarh we are looking to open franchise outlets in Rajasthan, Chennai and Hyderabad.
He added that Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf sources coffee and tea leaves from the best plantations including the rare Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee Bean and the Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearl, in addition to various specialty exotic teas for the Chai lovers that range from the customary Earl Grey to the exotic Japanese Cherry Green Tea. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf was recently awarded "The Best Cafe" at the India International Coffee Festival, 2012 from cafes across India.