Starbucks entered the India market ten years ago with joint-venture partner Tata Consumer Product Ltd. Over a decade, Tata Starbucks has offered a warm and welcoming third place experience to partners, customers, and communities across India. Here are the top 10 things to know about Starbucks journey in India as the brand celebrates its 10th anniversary in the market.
1. Tata Starbucks opened its first store in India in 2012
An architectural celebration of India’s rich and diverse heritage, the flagship Starbucks store located in the historical Elphinstone Building, Horniman Circle, Mumbai, opened its doors to customers on October 19th, 2012. The store was designed to reflect an open and eclectic design aesthetic that embraces both Starbucks coffee heritage alongside local culture and aesthetics, fostering moments of connection amidst the signature Starbucks Experience. After a decade-long journey of elevating coffee and connections, the Fort store has now evolved into India’s first Starbucks Reserve® Store.
2. First Starbucks Reserve® Store in India offers a multisensory coffee experience
Covering almost 5,200 square feet, the new Starbucks Reserve® Store is designed to bring the coffee experience to life for customers. The premium coffee experience unique to Starbucks is evident in the new Reserve Store’s multisensory aesthetics. As soon as customers enter the store, they are greeted by the rich aroma of coffee and the monolithic terrazzo Reserve bar handcrafted by local artisans. Highly-trained black apron coffee masters serve some of the most exquisite and rarest coffees in the world through a variety of brewing methods. The Starbucks Reserve® Store is an elegant and welcoming space that create unique moments of connection with our customers through the artistry of coffee.
3. There are more than 300 Starbucks stores in India
Since opening the first Starbucks store in India in Mumbai, Tata Starbucks has continued to grow and expand to new cities. Now, Tata Starbucks operates in over 36 cities through a network of over 3,800 partners (employees). With the brand’s entry into 14 new cities in 2022, this marks Starbucks largest store expansion in a single year in India. In September 2022, Tata Starbucks passed the 300-store milestone with the opening of the first Starbucks in Dehradun city.
4. A celebration of India’s coffee heritage with two special blends
Created in honor of Starbucks first anniversary in India, India Estates Blend was launched in 2013. Honouring the market’s long-standing coffee heritage and its coffee growing communities, this coffee comes from the estates in Coorg and Chickmagalur—the birthplace of coffee in India. The first whole-bean coffee to be entirely sourced, roasted, and packaged in India, India Estates Blend was later joined in 2020 by Diwali blend.
Diwali Blend was the first ever Starbucks coffee dedicated to an Indian festival and was a tribute to the region’s deep coffee heritage and expertise, made with hand-selected coffee from Valparai, Jumboor and Suntikoppa estates in the verdant hills of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The unique blend features a balanced acidity, warm notes of cocoa, a syrupy body with notes of chocolate and hints of spice and stone fruit. The package design depicts themes of light and illumination, with images of lanterns and elaborate traditional patterns.
Launching to celebrate Tata Starbucks 10th Year Anniversary is Diwali Blend – Starbucks® Blonde Roast. Hand selected from Mylemoney and Jumboor Estates in India, this bend is truly an aromatic treat and will be available for a limited time at select stores across India.
5. Plant-based innovation offers customers more lifestyle choices
As customers in India look to explore more plant-based food options, Tata Starbucks teamed up with Imagine Meats, a local plant-based meat start-up to introduce Starbucks vegan menu, which includes the Vegan Sausage Croissant Roll, Vegan Hummus Kebab Wrap, Vegan Croissant Bun and more. The newly-launched vegan food menu provides more options for customers, in addition to Starbucks existing beverage customization options with plant-based dairy alternatives such as almondmilk, oatmilk and soymilk. As customer interest in vegan choices continues to grow, Starbucks remains committed to introducing more delicious options for customer to choose from.
6. Customers enjoy seamless new ways to personalize their Starbucks Experience
Customers in India have more ways than ever to enjoy the Starbucks Experience, with the launch of several digital platforms and services. My Starbucks Rewards™, the Starbucks loyalty program which offers members exclusive and personalized benefits, was introduced to customers in India in 2014 and currently has over 1.3 million highly engaged members. In 2020, the brand launched its Mobile Order and Pay feature for My Starbucks Rewards™ members, allowing them to place their orders anytime, anywhere and collect their favourite Starbucks beverage on the go. Tata Starbucks also partnered with delivery partners Swiggy, Zomato, and e-commerce platform Flipkart, offering seamless online delivery service to customers. Customers on the go can also stop for a quick break to enjoy their Starbucks favorites at the Dhillon Plaza drive-thru store and enjoy the added convenience of picking up their orders from their cars.
7. Tata Starbucks invests in partner wellbeing
Since entering the market, Tata Starbucks has invested in the wellbeing of partners with innovative industry-leading benefits. This week, the company announced an expanded insurance option for the parents of partners, one of the most requested benefits across the market. Starting in December, baristas and shift supervisors who elect qualifying plans for their parents will have 70% the premium covered by Tata Starbucks, or fully covered for eligible partners with a tenure of more than two years.
Previously, Tata Starbucks became the first food and beverage company in India to establish a company-wide five-day work week for all partners. The company also embraces flexibility through its ‘connected workplaces’ program, where its non-retail support partners work in hybrid, field support and remote roles, and store partners can experience both part-time and full-time roles.
Tata Starbucks also provides meaningful opportunities and comprehensive benefits for partners including providing a graduation support program to all its full-time and part-time partners. The company offers many health and wellness programs including free mental and emotional counselling to partners and their family members, and an optional company-subsidized parental insurance program. In 2021, Tata Starbucks inaugurated the Two-Wheeler Mobility Support Program to help partners purchase a two-wheeler vehicle for professional or personal use, enhancing their independence and commuting experience.
8. An inclusive and diverse workforce with an emphasis on gender equality
Tata Starbucks is committed to empowering a diverse workforce and equal opportunity for all partners. The company has set a goal of achieving 40% gender diversity by 2022 through programs like Brew of Balance, which provides opportunities and flexible employment options for women returning to the workforce from parental leave or career breaks. In 2019, Tata Starbucks notably achieved 100% pay equity for men and women, gaining recognition as one of the top 75 best workplaces for women in India by the Great Place to Work Institute. Further strengthening opportunities for women partners, Tata Starbucks has opened 15 stores run exclusively by women, and provides safe and convenient transportation for women on select routes working later hours. To accelerate the representation of women in leadership roles, the organization has stood up corporate mentoring opportunities. This year, Tata Starbucks also introduced the Care for Caregivers program, which offers benefits like need-based transportation reimbursement support for expecting mothers, caretaker support on official trips and role-based flexible working arrangements for new mothers.
9. Starbucks gives back to local causes
Since entering the market, Tata Starbucks has been committed to creating opportunities to empower and transform the lives of girls and young women in India through education. In 2020, the company launched the Tata Starbucks Empowering Girls and Young Women program in collaboration with non-profit organizations Educate Girls and VIDYA India, through which each of the Starbucks stores across India, sponsors and supports the education of a girl in primary school, and partners also volunteer in imparting basic language, numeracy and life skills to the young girls. The program aims to support 2,000 young women through education, financial empowerment, and skills development, and in addition each Starbucks store across India sponsors and supports the education of a girl in primary school.
Additionally, through a Global Community Impact Grant from The Starbucks Foundation, Tata Starbucks and The Starbucks Foundation are supporting the Trust for Retailers & Retail Associates of India (TRRAIN) initiative to provide vocational skills training for 1,000 young women from underserved communities who are training for careers in the retail and food and beverage industries.
10. A long-term commitment to India
Since entering the market in 2012, Tata Starbucks has remained committed to bringing a warm and welcoming Starbucks Experience across India, by supporting our passionate partners and creating meaningful moments of connection over coffee. After a decade of growth and positive impact in India, we are excited to continue our growth journey and bring more value to our partners, customers and communities. As Tata Starbucks CEO Sushant Dash has said, “At Starbucks we don’t see just customers. We see people.”