Starbucks Coffee said Monday that it will open its first store in India through a 50-50 joint venture with Tata Global Beverages by this upcoming September, according to the New York Times.
A senior executive at Tata Global Beverages said at a news conference that there could be 50 stores set up by the end of the year, and potentially 3000 locations in the future.
According to the Washington Post, the stores will be unusually co-branded: "Starbucks Coffee: A Tata Alliance." A tea will also be developed by the companies for the Indian market under the Tato Tazo brand.
The introduction of this merger into the flourishing Indian coffee house industry will create competition for existing ventures such as Cafe Coffee Day, Lavazza, and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, according to the Times.
John Culver, president of Starbucks China and Asia Pacific, said that Starbucks would not directly compete with Indian coffee chains because it would sell premium food, tea, and coffee in its Indian stores. According to the Times, a small cappuccino from Cafe Coffee Day typically costs $1, which is significantly less than Western coffee prices.
K. Ramarkrishnan, president of marketing for Cafe Coffee Day, said the company hopes to "learn a few things" from Starbucks.