Starbucks Opens First India Store in Mumbai

Indian employees of the newly inaugurated first India outlet of Starbucks work at a counter in Mumbai, India, Friday, Oct. 19, 2012. Starbucks inaugurated its first store in India Friday in a historic building in southern Mumbai as the Seattle-based coffee giant seeks growth in a market long associated with tea drinkers.

Indian employees of the newly inaugurated first India outlet of Starbucks work at a counter in Mumbai, India, Friday, Oct. 19, 2012. Starbucks inaugurated its first store in India Friday in a historic building in southern Mumbai.

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Unlike Europe, where Starbucks has foundered on entrenched cafe cultures, India is full of young people looking for an unintimidating place to hang out, away from the prying eyes and cramped quarters of home.

Retail consultancy Technopak Advisors predicted India's $230 million cafe market will swell to $410 million by 2017, with the number of cafes rising from 1,950 to 2,900 in the next five years, in a report released Thursday.

Cafe Coffee Day, which is owned by an Indian coffee conglomerate based in the southern city of Bangalore, has around 1,350 outlets and is the current market leader. A host of international players, like Gloria Jean's, Costa Coffee and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, are already scrambling to catch up. Dunkin Donuts also debuted this year, opening five stores in the year through September, according to Technopak.

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