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About 6% of Starbucks’ 390 India stores entirely run by women

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Adrit Mishra, the chief operating officer of Tata Starbucks, provides insights into the coffee retailer’s priorities and plans in India

Bengaluru: US Coffee chain Starbucks at present has about two dozen stores – or about 6% of its total 390 outlets in India– that are entirely run by women staff, a top Tata Starbucks official said.

“We currently have 23 Starbucks stores in India exclusively staffed by women employees. While some brands may open one or two such stores for publicity, the commitment to open 23 of them underscores the need for consistent dedication to this initiative,” Adrit Mishra, chief operating officer of Tata Starbucks joint venture told IndiaRetailing in an interview.

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Source: Starbucks

Mishra said Tata Starbucks is currently focused on three key areas in India: enhancing customer service connections, driving product innovation and reinforcing commitment to the communities.

“We prioritise to maintain customer connection and uphold the consistent service standard offered at our stores. This is integral to the brand’s identity, and it continues to be a focal point of our efforts,” Mishra said.

As part of the initiatives, Starbucks has an ongoing Barista Pride promotion in which each Starbucks store features a unique drink created by one of the employees. These beverages draw inspiration from the taste preferences of the customers who frequent that particular store.

“To me, it is one of the great examples of how product innovation intertwines with the relationships we build with both customers and employees. At the end of the day, we refer to our employees as partners, as they are equal contributors in shaping the brand we strive to create collectively,” he added.

Starbucks-branded coffee chain in India is operated by a 50:50 joint-venture between Starbucks Coffee Company and Tata Consumer Products Ltd. Since 2012, Tata Starbucks, has opened over 390 stores across 54 Indian cities, with approximately 4,300 employees.

The company also focuses on advancing further on the path of product innovation. “We’ve recently introduced new offerings such as Masala Chai, filter coffee milkshakes, and launched another hot beverage line in the Indian market called Pico,” said Mishra.

“To broaden our brand appeal, we aim to make our menu more familiar, ensuring it resonates with a larger consumer base. Additionally, we plan to enhance our offerings with globally favoured, world-class flavours to add excitement and appeal to a diverse audience,” he added.

Furthermore, Starbucks strengthens the authenticity of its brand and ensures that it truly embodies core values. “When we establish a new store, we aim to resonate with the local communities it serves. Building strong relationships and partnerships is special for us, and as a brand, we would like to foster it,” he said.

In addition to these, the coffee retailer has plans to expand its retail presence with the goal of operating 1,000 stores in India by 2028 or opening one new store every three days.

In 2023, Starbucks launched 71 stores making its entry into 15 new cities across the country.

The company will also double its workforce to approximately 8,600 partners as it plans to enter tier 2 and 3 Indian cities, expand drive-thrus, airports and its 24-hour store footprint to serve customers where they are, the Seattle-based beverage giant said in a post on its website.

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