Empty seats at coffee shops just because on a Monday or any weekday is a bygone story. The coffee culture in India seems to have picked up pace and it is no more just a weekend affair. The business is brewing at a different level than it did a few years ago. Actually, the concept of starting a coffee shop wasn’t preferred to be a good idea as there was no practice like consuming coffee or tea outside until one is on a long distance journey and is really struggling for a cup. However, things have surely changed and it is showing up at least in the urban regions.
Cafes in India:
Talking of the Indian coffee shop business anyone in the country would probably start with the name “Cafe Coffee Day” known vastly as ‘CCD’. To present it in the simplest form-the coffee shop business is mostly known by two names; one is CCD and the other closest contender is Starbucks. The latter is a global brand and has a better experience due to the worldwide expansion it has achieved. However it is a relatively new name in India (just around 30 months old) as the brand begun its operations with a 50:50 joint venture agreement with Tata Global Beverages. The joint alliance brand- Tata Starbucks has managed to read the business quite well and it has managed to reach the 50th store landmark in a record time. However, if the coffee business experts are to be trusted; this is just the start of a real-tough contest which is likely to be played further in the upcoming years.
On the other hand, there’s the home-grown brand CCD which has scaled up its business like none other. The chain includes more than 1500 outlets alone in India. The numbers go up if the global business is considered. All these achievements had a modest start in 1996 and since then there is no looking back. The company had a total revenue of 1,150 crores INR as per its 2014 submission.
Coffee in a Tea Drinkers Country???
In true terms it hasn’t been a cakewalk for the brands as India is predominately a ‘tea loving’ nation. However, according to the trade and market research firms CCD and Starbucks will be the ruling forces in the Indian Coffee outlet business. The business was clocked at 1,683 crores INR in the year 2012 (note that Starbucks wasn’t a part of Indian business then) and experts have estimated a business beyond 2.300 crores INR by the end of 2017. The business model in India is ought to differ as the likes, dislikes and the peak hours are different. The range of products served and which are on demand differ along with the peak business hours which is around 2pn-6pm unlike in the west.
Clearly this is boiling down to the ‘brand-battles’ as the players have termed it. CCD is gearing up and planning a faster expansion wherein, its toughest competitor Starbucks is not interested into pushing the issue and might add in another dozen outlets by the next annual concentrating more in developed urban spaces.
CCD is also planning big on moving deeper into the food section as it is trying to convert itself into a complete F&Bbrand by moving beyond the coffee cup and provide breakfast, lunch and dinner along with the widespread range of snacks it already has on menu. One popular strategy that the brand practices is the makeover of its outlets-it is followed that no outlet looks the same for more than 2 years in a row.
So, you get ready to indulge in some serious Coffee or Tea parties and have the best of both worlds!!!