World’s largest coffee chain Starbucks, which forged an equal joint venture with Tata Global Beverages and opened its first outlet in India in October 2012, has seen the fastest rollout of its outlets in the country in the company’s history, according to a top company executive.

“With 40 stores in four cities (in 17 months) and nearly 1,000 partners (employees), India is the fastest growing market in Starbucks’ history," Tata-Starbucks chief executive Avani Saglani Davda was quoted saying at the Starbucks annual shareholders meet.

At present, Tata Starbucks has 40 outlets in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune with its coffee plantations in the Coorg area of Karnataka state. Globally, Starbucks— the world’s largest coffee chain—runs over 20,000 coffee stories across 64 countries, serving more than 70 million customers per week.

While the growth of the brand has been pretty swift, it fell short of its own ambitious target. In January 2012 when the JV was announced, the partners had set a target of opening as many as 50 outlets by December 2012.

Meanwhile, Seattle-based Starbucks’ global chief Howard Schultz, said that the global coffee chain operator ended financial year 2013 with record revenue growth of 12 per cent at $14.9 billion and an increase of 26 per cent in its earnings per share at $2.261. Its net profit rose to $2.5 billion, up 23 per cent, he added.

In November 2013, Schultz had said that Starbucks plans to open “thousands of stores” in India in the not-too-distant future. This will make India one of its two largest markets outside North America along with China.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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