Global CEO of Starbucks Howard Schultz said that the international coffee chain plans to open “thousands of stores” in India in the not-too-distant future. This step will make India one of its two largest markets outside North America along with China, as mentioned in a report by PTI.

He also mentioned in his book 'Reimagining India: Unlocking The Potential of Asia's Next Superpower' that Starbuck’s JV with Tatas will help the company achieve this goal. However, he said that, "Getting there would not be easy. Our successful beginning in India has not been without hurdles. On the contrary, it has been a complicated six-year journey."

"I believe China and India offer Starbucks one of the greatest opportunities for growth. Our plan over time is that the number of our stores in India will rival the size and scale of what we have planned for China—thousands of stores. I look forward to a day in the not-too-distant future when India takes its place alongside China as one of our two largest markets outside North America," said Schultz in his book which is edited by global consulting firm McKinsey.

Starbucks opened its first store in India in October last year but has been present in China for the last 13 years.

The organised café market in India, which grew almost six times in the last five years to $230 million currently, is likely to hit $410 million by 2017, maintaining a compounded annual growth rate of 13-14 per cent, according to a report by consultancy firm Technopak Advisors.

Café business comprised some 11 per cent of total organised food services market in the country as per the report.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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