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Starbucks Enters India: The Indomitable Competitor or Underdog?

Karen A. Berger, Laura J. Blake
November 1, 2016
Asia - Pacific
Strategy & General Management, Marketing & Sales, Economics
17 pages
Business Strategy, marketing strategy, economic development, management, India
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.82)
Average rating: 

By 2011 analysts and journalists were buzzing about why Starbucks had been so timid with its entry into India. After all, Starbucks had over 17,000 stores worldwide in 55 countries. As the creator of the “café market” also called the “retail coffee market”, Starbucks had a reputation for decisive growth and expansion. India was a country with 1.21 billion people with local and international brands having entered the Indian café market gaining market share steadily for more than a decade. As late as 2011, the US category creator indicated that Starbucks was still reviewing all options and evaluating how they could or should proceed. Finally, in late 2012, they opened two stores. This case provides data about the market in India so that students can analyze the market and provide strategic recommendations about how Starbucks should move ahead.

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. Identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats associated with a market opportunity and use these to draw conclusions about competitive position in the marketplace.
  2. Develop a positioning for a brand based on the SWOT analysis and other data in the case.
  3. Analyze the level of competition of a market using a management tool. 
  4. Perform an analysis of category development data and tonnage data.
  5. Develop a list of primary strategic issues and actions for the company/brand based on a variety of data and analyses.