"I believe China and India offer Starbucks one of the greatest opportunities for growth. Our plan over time is that the number of our stores in India will rival the size and scale of what we have planned for China - thousands of stores," Schultz said in an essay he has written for the book 'Reimagining India: Unlocking The Potential of Asia’s Next Superpower' edited by global consulting firm McKinsey.
    
Schultz voiced optimism in the potential of the Indian market to become one of the coffee giant's top growth drivers, saying "eventually we hope to have thousands of stores" in India.
    
"I look forward to a day in the not-too-distant future when India takes its place alongside China as one of our two largest markets outside North America," he said in the essay adding that the company's relationship with Tata, its 50/50 joint venture partner in India, will make Starbucks' growth possible.
    
Schultz, however, acknowledged that achieving its ambitions for India may not be easy. "Getting there would not be easy. Our successful beginning in India has not been without hurdles. On the contrary, it has been a complicated six year journey," he said referring to Starbucks' long wait to get into the Indian market.
    
"We'd watched the Indian market develop for many years. We could see that all the important pre-requisites for success were falling into place," he added.
     
He quoted instances like the emergence of a growing middle class with strong aspirations, enthusiasm for western culture and brands, gradual development of the nation's infrastructure and "what seemed to be healthy changes in the regulatory framework for foreign investment".

(Agencies)

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