Starbucks Corp. announced Monday that it plans to open its first coffee shops in India by August or September, a year ahead of schedule. The company plans to have 50 cafes open in India by the end of the year through a tie-in with the Tata group, India’s largest business house. The tie-in will allow cafes to open in Tata hotels and retail outlets—a victory for Starbucks, since its original plan to open cafes by the end of 2011 had to be delayed due to difficulty in finding real estate. The first Starbucks will open in Mumbai and New Delhi. Although India is frequently associated with tea drinkers, cafes have been growing steadily in the past couple of years, with local coffee company Café Coffee Day having more than 1,200 locations in the country.
CAFE AP Photo