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Reference no. 307-274-1
IBS Case Development Center (2006)
In 2006, the US-based Starbucks Coffee Company, with over 11,000 stores in 36 countries was the number one specialty coffee company in the world. Every week over 40 million customers visited Starbucks coffeehouses. After achieving phenomenal success in the US, and revolutionising the specialty coffee culture, Starbucks undertook international expansion and popularised its specialty coffee worldwide. In the 1990s, Starbucks concentrated its expansion efforts mainly in Asia. The initial pages of the case delineate the origin and growth of Starbucks as a company and a super brand and the strategies adopted. In 2002, Starbucks announced that it was planning to enter India. Later it postponed its entry as it had entered China recently and was facing problems in Japan. In 2003, there was news again that Starbucks was reviving its plans to enter India. In 2004, Starbucks officials visited India but according to sources they returned unconvinced as they could not crystallise an appropriate partner for its entry. In mid-2006, Starbucks announced that they were all set to offer the 'Starbucks experience' to Indians in the next 18 months. The case explores India as the next destination for Starbucks and provides an industry analysis of the Indian coffee industry. It attempts to initiate a debate on whether Starbucks should enter India. If it should, then its entry strategy, differentiation strategy and long-term strategy for India may be identified. The challenges that India may present for Starbucks and how it should cope can also be discussed. The case is targeted at management students and can be used in the strategic and general management curriculum.