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After the Centre put on hold a proposal from Starbucks to open retail outlets in India, the US-based coffee chain major has roped in the Kishore Biyani-promoted Pantaloon and VP Sharma, head of its Indonesian franchise, to gain an entry into the country.
Starbucks will form a venture with Sharma, president and director of PT Mitra Adiperkasa, Indonesia, and Biyani, managing director, Pantaloon Retail India, Sharma was quoted as saying by news agencies. He, however, declined to provide financial details. Starbucks' venture with New Horizons, in which 51 per cent is held by Sharma and the remaining by Biyani, will open its first store in New Delhi by the end of this year. According to estimates, entry into India would enable Starbucks to triple its stores to 40,000 worldwide by expanding into emerging markets. It will have to compete with the established local chains such as Barista Coffee and Cafe Coffee Day.
The chain now has 12,440 stores worldwide.
Starbucks was one of the 15 companies which applied to open stores in the country after the Centre allowed FDI in retailing of single brand products last year. Nine of those companies got the government's approval.