INDIA – Tata Starbucks, the operator of Starbucks outlets in India has unveiled plans to expand to two new cities in India as part of the company’s growth strategy in the country.

According to ET Retail, the addition brings the coffee brand’s operations to ten cities.

The company has identified India as a market that presents ‘tremendous opportunity’ for growth as coffee consumption level is lower than the West.

“By the end of this year, we will be in 10 cities and we are very optimistic of our long-term growth in India,” said Starbucks Group President of International & Channels Development and Global Coffee & Tea, John Culver.

“We are taking a long-term view of the opportunity that exists here, and I believe there is a tremendous opportunity for us to continue to accelerate our growth here.”

Tata Starbucks, a joint 50:50 venture owned by Tata Global Beverages and American Starbucks Corporation already operates in eight cities in India.

In the financial year 2018, it opened 30 stores and entered a new city Chandigarh with an aim to capture a new niche of consumers whose incomes are increasingly rising.

In the financial year 2019, the company posted 30% jump in sales attributed to increased number of stores.

After opening about 30 stores during the year, the company said it made profit at store level as well as across all cities.

“Tata Starbucks, our joint venture with Starbucks, reflected a double-digit top-line growth 30% due to growth in existing store sales coupled with expansion of stores,” TGBL said in its annual report.

“In India, we are in the early days of growth. We have been in the market now for six years and recently opened our 150th store,” said John Culver.

The company recorded the fastest store expansion in the company’s 48-year history in the initial few years.

In the financial year 2018, the company posted its first positive EBITDA after sales increased by 28% as a result of strong performance in in-store and new stores opened during the year.