Tata Starbucks will increase the number of coffee outlets across India and the business will emerge "much stronger" from the coronavirus pandemic as consumers gravitate towards more trusted brands, according to Tata Consumer Products Ltd (TCPL).
A 50:50 joint venture between TCPL and Starbucks Corporation, Tata Starbucks, has so far reopened around 60 per cent of its stores in India after the lifting of lockdown even as it opened two stores- one in Delhi and one in Mumbai - operated entirely by women, as part of its commitment to create more opportunities for women and empower them.
"Tata Starbucks is a business on a very strong footing, having delivered very strong growth and great financial improvement year on the year prior to the disruptions due to COVID-19, and we remain focused on expanding its presence further," TCPL Managing Director & CEO Sunil D'Souza told PTI.
"While the business has been impacted by COVID, around 60 per cent of stores have now reopened. Alternative channels such as delivery and takeaway have been strengthened to serve consumers effectively." D'Souza said the coffee chain will only emerge stronger from the health crisis as it focuses on strengthening relationship with its customers.
"We also remain focused on continuing to build equity with our customer base, engaging them through the digital media, including hosting virtual coffee tasting competitions, running virtual challenges etc and remain confident that the business will emerge much stronger from this pandemic, especially as consumers gravitate to more trusted brands," he said.
Tata Starbucks operates 191 stores across 12 cities in the country and employs over 2,000 people.
Last fiscal, TCPL had invested Rs 53 crore in the JV, taking the total investment to Rs 288.80 crore and added 39 new stores.
"Our joint venture with Starbucks Corporation reflected a growth of 21 per cent for the year due to sales growth in stores coupled with store expansion," TCPL had said in its annual report for 2019-20.
This month, Tata Starbucks had announced, two of its stores to be operated entirely by the women staffs, as part of its ongoing commitment to promote an inclusive and diverse workforce by empowering women leaders.
Tata Starbucks has also launched its first drive-thru store in India at the Ambala Chandigarh Expressway in Zirkapur.