After going slow on expansion of Starbucks outlets owing to a host of reasons, including issues with FSSAI, Tata Global Beverages plans to enhance the pace of increasing the network of the coffee chain going forward.
“This year the number of stores (of Starbucks) has not been as fast as we have had in the past, but I think we were retooling ourselves
“We were retooling the brand and the strategy and you know that for a while we had these FSSAI related issues…,” Tata Global Beverages Managing Director and CEO Ajoy K Mishra told analysts.
In June last year, Tata Starbucks Pvt Ltd, a joint venture of Tata Global Beverages Ltd and Starbucks Coffee Co, had suspended use of ingredients not approved by the food regulator FSSAI in certain products served at its Indian outlets.
Central food safety regulator, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), had rejected applications submitted by Tata Starbucks for a total of 32 products in April.
Mishra further said: “We have taken a pause to retool, re-engineer our product portfolio looking at indigenising a lot more whatever was possible.”
Stating that the company is now ready to resume expansion of Starbucks network, he said: “We have now reached a stage where there is going to be renewed focus on rollout and execution, so you will find that we are not consciously slowing down…”
He further said the “pace that incidentally happened in the last three to six months” is not going to be how it is going forward.
Mishra said, “Seven more (Starbucks) stores have been added during the year. Total number of stores stands at 79. We believe we are poised for good growth going forward having laid a very strong base.”
In 2013, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz had stated that his company planned to open “thousands of stores” in India in the “not-too-distant” future, making the country one of its two largest markets outside North America along with China.