Starbucks Coffee coming to India. Soon!


Late last night, I picked up the news from my twitter timeline. And before I could confirm the bit on a news portal, it was more fun to check out the official twitter handle – Starbucks_India and the hashtag conversations – starbucksisfinaallyinindia

It’s really interesting how this superb brand has once again used the social media channel and informed the brand lovers and news channels about their launch plans for India. Because none of the newspapers this morning carried the story, probably means there was no official press conference to announce the launch. And they’ve already started a consumer engagement initiative even before they open the doors to their 1st cafe in India.

But with a launch plan of September only, will they be able to keep up the buzz online, I think there will be some more learning from this brand.

For those wanting to know when – my twitter timeline tells me that it’s expected only around September this year. Which city? Well, your guess is as good as mine. But fans on twitter are putting their bets on Mumbai. And I think it could be Mumbai / Delhi or surprise winner could be Bangalore. If you’re interested start following their twitter timeline and keep up with the buzz.

With Starbucks, which is the most awaited chain of coffee shops coming to India, I am sure there will be such a mad rush that they might just be the first coffee shop to take reservations.

I think all this while one of the primary reasons for their delayed entry into this Asian country has been the prohibitive property costs. And whether the Indian consumer was willing to splurge on such high-end expensive coffee experiences. But I suppose with the success of Costa Coffee and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf we’ve have seen a positive attitude to enjoy high priced coffees. And now soon, we shall have one more to enjoy.

So, how much are you willing to pay for a Starbucks cup of coffee in India?

Can India be a cashless society?


Saw this ad a while back. And although the creative team has taken the license to exaggerate the product benefit I am not sure if it really fits into our country yet so perfectly.

Visa Debit Card from Campaign India on Vimeo.

Can we hope that India will become a cash-less society? A major technology boost is needed before we can proudly flash our cards for every purchase. But hey we are getting there. What do you think?

Book-Shelf Update #5


book shelf update (by kapsi)

Butter Chicken in Ludhiana by Pankaj Mishra
Gives a good peek into the interiors of India. And I am very keen to explore India and it’s people beyond just it’s metro & satellite towns. This should be a good read.

Stay Hungry Stay Foolish by Rashmi Bansal (View Blog)
Success stories have always inspired me and I think I am going to enjoy this one too.

Superstar India by Shobhaa De
It’s my first pick of a Shobhaa De title, let’s see how interesting this one turns out to be.

Read other Book-Shelf Update #1, Update #2, Update #3, Update #4.

A little caffeinated opinion


This post is more like a comment to poor_planner’s Caffeinexperience. It turned out so long that I decided to post it here.

Together they sum up as a ‘great coffee experience.’ What more can they offer? When everybody starts offering the same ‘great coffee experience,’ will price become a deciding factor. Or will chains re-arrange themselves as premium and value chains.

Yes, although price would become a major deciding factor I think like all other services around us it will be the experience that will count. We humans tend to get ourselves adjusted to certain likes and dislikes. For example my wife always prefers a CCD to a Barista if given an option. Also my ex-colleagues at Think WhyNot would always prefer the next door CCD. For them there was a reason – it was easily accessible, the price was not too steep and besides we were regulars there so the waiters knew us pretty well which guaranteed a prompt and sometimes extra service. The way I see it there will be certain deciding factors:

  1. Service levels: How efficient is the team around the place? Can they make you comfortable in the rush hours too? Are the waiters pushy, wanting you to clear the table for the next guest? Besides let’s not forget that if you’re going to pay 30 bucks for a cup of coffee you surely want service level beyond what you would get at a Udippi restaurant or irani cafe.
  2. Innovation: How often does the chain bring about a change in their offerings? Are there seasonal specials? And all this at the cost making sure that regular favourites remain on the menu.
  3. Value-adds: What more are you offering than just coffee? CCD gives you a juke box, a plasma television and even mobile chargers. Barista offers wireless Internet. These could be sticky points for a regular set of clients walking in for those kind of services.

That’s a caffeinated opinion from me on this late Monday night ….

Give our cricketers some incentive


I was reading a few cricket cartoons this afternoon – yes, cricket currently is limited to cartoons only because I really don’t see anybody discussing the current world cup atleast.

Anyways, then it struck me why are our cricket players are so over-paid. I mean they not only get big fat pays from the big fat rich BCCI but they also get huge sponsorship deals. Great! but the recent performance has disappointed everyone it seems including the big sponsors. So now they seem to have got a fee review in place and the contract will be negotiable based on performance. Hello! didn’t anyone ever think about that one. Even the most high-paid CEOs in MNCs have their pays directly connected to the performance and profits of the company so why couldn’t somebody think of that for our super players. Besides they can always work out some very lucrative deals which will help improve performance. Give them an incentive, simple! If I remember correct a few years back during the football world cup some team players were promised a Mercedes each if they came back with the cup! Of course I am not sure if Sachin would be happy to get a free Reliance phone if he had come back with the cup. Or Dravid getting a lifetime free supply of Reebok shoes. But such incentives could make things interesting.

Would love to hear on how the sponsor companies are revising their deals.

To Each Its Own » Punjabi Lingo For Dummies


This is a beautiful post written by Sakshi. It’s interesting because Punjabi is a language which I like because of the vibrancy and high emotion content in it. There is this “josh” in it which is loud and vocal.

Sakshi gives us a preview of some of the commonly used *thheth Punjabi lingo. Incidentally my fore-fathers were also from *thheth. But we are Sindhis. Maybe I should post some Sindhi lingo here soon.