Starbucks Wants to Have More Coffee with India
India’s lucrative consumer market is one that many major American players have long worked hard to break into. Earlier this summer, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) was the star of the show, as we heard weekly rumblings about its successful and unsuccessful ploys to increase its footprint in the country — but now, it looks as if Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) is also giving India its best shot.
According to The Economic Times, the U.S. coffee chain’s 50-50 joint venture with Tata Global Beverages is working to open around 100 Starbucks cafes in the country by next year, and it isn’t planning on stopping there. And why would it: In its current state, the Indian cafe market is estimated at $230 million. It’s expected to grow about 13-14 percent annually over the next five years.
This potential growth isn’t something that Starbucks is newly aware of. Even last year, CEO Howard Shultz was making big plans on the India front, predicting the country to be one of Starbucks’s top five markets. Now it seems as though Shultz is seriously ready for those plans to bear some fruit, but the popular U.S. chain unfortunately has several big rivals to go up against. The Economic Times reports that Cafe Coffee Day already has more than 1,500 stores in the region, and both Barista Lavazza and Costa Coffee have more than 100 stores each. In comparison, Starbucks only operates 18.