Tata Global Beverages Limited, the world's second-largest branded tea company and iconic international coffee brand Starbucks Coffee Company today announced a 50:50 joint venture, Tata Starbucks Limited.
The joint venture, which will own and operate Starbucks cafés, will be branded `Starbucks Coffee - A Tata Alliance'.
The joint venture plans to develop retail stores in cities across the country, beginning with stores in Delhi and Mumbai in calendar 2012.
In a separate sourcing and roasting agreement between Starbucks and Tata Coffee Limited, Tata Coffee Limited will roast coffee to supply Tata Starbucks Limited, and to export to Starbucks Coffee Company worldwide
This agreement paves the way for consumers in India to enjoy the Starbucks brand and Starbuck to distribute high-quality Indian arabica coffee worldwide.
Starbucks and Tata Coffee will work toward developing and improving the profile of Indian-grown Arabica coffees around the world through joint marketing efforts, as well as improving the quality of coffee through sustainable practices and advanced agronomy solutions.
The companies have agreed to jointly leverage assets and innovation to offer a premium tea product branded, Tata Tazo.
''The joint venture with Starbucks is in line with Tata Global Beverages' strategy of growing through inorganic growth focusing on strategic alliances in addition to organic growth,'' R K Krishnakumar, vice chairman of Tata Global Beverages, said.
''It opens up exciting business opportunities and new formats for Tata Global Beverages. Starbucks brings unique retail expertise as well as a shared sense of business values. We are excited about the opportunities the alliance presents to innovate in the retail space and bring new beverage experiences to more consumers in India, leveraging the global in-home expertise of Tata Global Beverages and the global out-of-home expertise of Starbucks,'' he said.
''We're very pleased to have found the best partner for Starbucks in Tata – a company that shares so many of the same values for conducting business in a way that earns the trust and respect of our customers and partners (employees),'' said John Culver, president, Starbucks China and Asia Pacific.
''We look forward to bringing the Starbucks experience to customers in India by offering high quality arabica coffee, handcrafted beverages, locally relevant food, and legendary service,'' he added.
Through an initial financial commitment, Starbucks will also work with Tata to support 'Swastha', a school for children with special needs (in partnership with the Coorg Foundation) and aim to increase its capacity and outreach into the rural communities in the coffee growing region of Karnataka.
With more than 17,000 stores worldwide, Starbucks has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting the highest-quality arabica coffee in the world.
Tata Global Beverages, part of the global Tata Group, has an annual turnover is $1.5 billion, employs around 3000 people worldwide. Its popular beverage brands include Tata Tea, Tetley, Himalayan natural mineral water and Eight O' Clock Coffee.