Tata Starbucks opens first Indian store in Mumbai

Tata Starbucks Limited opened the doors to the first Starbucks store in India on 19 October. This flagship store is located at the historic Elphinstone Building, Horniman Circle, Mumbai. In addition to the flagship store at Horniman Circle, Tata Starbucks Limited announced it would launch two more stores in the next week at Oberoi Mall and the Taj Mahal Palace Annexe in Mumbai. The opening of these new stores are the first of the 50/50 joint venture between Starbucks Coffee Company  and Tata Global Beverages Limited. “We are proud to enter the India market with Tata Global Beverages, a global company that shares many of the same values that Starbucks was founded on more than 40 years ago,” said Howard Schultz, Chairman, President and CEO, Starbucks Coffee Company, in a statement. “Our first flagship store in Mumbai is an amazing celebration of great coffee, rich Indian heritage and community.” “This is a historic moment for Tata Global Beverages and Starbucks,” said R K Krishnakumar, Vice Chairman, Tata Global Beverages, in the statement. “Both companies have a history of delivering product innovation and the highest quality experience to customers around the globe.” The stores will be serving Indian Espresso Roast, sourced locally through the coffee sourcing and roasting agreement with Tata Coffee. India currently has a close to 100 per cent import tax on roast coffee, and on green coffee that is not re-exported.  As part of the agreement, Starbucks and Tata Coffee Limited said they will work toward developing and improving the profile of Indian-grown Arabica coffees around the world by elevating the stature of Indian coffee, and improving the quality of coffee through sustainable practices and advanced agronomy solutions. Commenting on Tata Starbucks Limited’s first store, Avani Saglani Davda, CEO, Tata Starbucks Limited, said in the statement: “We are honored to open our doors to customers today and look forward to sharing our passion for high-quality, locally sourced and roasted espresso, as well as the uplifting moments of connection Starbucks baristas are known for around the globe.” Strategically located, the companies states that this first store is designed to reflect Starbucks coffee heritage and embrace the local culture, featuring artifacts, Indian teakwood furniture, floor design and interiors created by local craftsmen and artists. The store offers Starbucks signature espresso-based beverages, as well as Starbucks VIA Ready Brew and Starbucks Reserves. The store will also offer Tata Tazo and Himalayan mineral water, and its food offering features Western favourites, as well as locally relevant offerings. Tata Starbucks Limited said it will work to improve the lives of coffee growing communities in the State of Karnataka. The joint venture, through an initial financial commitment, will work to support 'Swastha,' a school for children with special needs, in partnership with the Coorg Foundation. Additionally, Tata Starbucks Limited said it will work on initiatives including the promotion of responsible agronomy practices and training of local farmers, technicians and agronomists to improve their coffee-growing and milling skills. Tata Global Beverages Limited and Starbucks Coffee Company announced the strategic joint venture partnership – Tata Starbucks Limited, in January 2012. To read more about this deal, see 'A Match Made in Delhi' from May 2012 Global Coffee Review

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