With over 1,790 stores in the UK and more than 1,000 internationally with a total outlet count of 2900 globally, Costa Coffee owns the majority of its stores but also operates through joint venture and franchise agreements. Judd Williams, Regional Director, Middle East and Asia spoke at length to Ekta Sharma Verma about Costa's plans for India and how it continues to set impressive growth targets.
You call yourself world's second largest coffee shop. Tell us about your strategies for Indian market? How different is it from UK- Your domestic market?
At Costa we believe that it's our people that make great coffee, and every Costa Barista is as passionate about their skills and expertise as the Costa brothers were back in 1971. Whether we are in our domestic UK market, India or any of our other 29 markets, we're all about irresistible coffee, served with warmth and personality. We understand that there is a significant relevance of food as an important element in the Indian coffee shop business and this is an area where we have and will continue to innovate as a brand. We are extremely conscious about the localisation of the food and drink range specific to the region.
Via which model do you operate in India?
We operate via franchise model in India and work in close partnership with our long standing partner, Devyani International Limited.
Do you think Coffee market/Industry is well progressing in India? Is India a potential market for your business?
The café market size is an estimated Rs. 1,000 crore market and growing at around 30 per cent. There are today close to 2000 outlets across 40 cities and these cities alone can accommodate another 2,000 cafes in the next few years. Since India is such a huge market, even small percentage of market can mean very big and exciting numbers for brands. The long term prospects are robust as the coffee culture takes stronger root and percolates down to smaller cities.
Would you like to comment on the revamping going on for Costa brand in India?
Costa is the world's second largest coffee shop brand and is growing rapidly in its domestic UK market and internationally, bringing the total number of stores to almost 2,900, including 1,790 in the UK and just over 100 in India. Costa is working closely with their long standing franchise partner of 10 years, Devyani International Limited (DIL) to grow their presence in India. DIL's expertise in the Indian retail food and beverage sector has enabled Costa to build a strong brand presence and both Costa and DIL will continue to work hard to develop the business and provide our Indian consumers with authentic, irresistible coffee, in a warm and welcoming environment, in convenient locations.
Which all cities in India are you tapping for expansion?
We are open to opportunities as they present themselves. We are currently present in 14 cities across India including Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi, Jaipur, Agra, Pune, Ludhiana etc. Currently, with over 100+ stores, we will be adding outlets in existing areas of presence as well as evaluating new geographies in 2015.