Woke up last morning to Sonia Shenoy announcing that Tata Global Beverage and Tata Coffee stocks will be up since Tata Starbucks' first store in India was opening later in the evening. The stock tips proved to be useless as usual, but it gave me an agenda for the evening- to go visit the Starbucks launch. Though it was a media and VIPs only event, didn't think twice before boarding a train to CST and walking it up to the beautiful Horniman Gardens area. And indeed, it sure turned out to be a wise decision!
Not being invited meant no free coffee tasting session, but hearing Ratan Tata talk from an arm's length distance was enough for me to be more than satisfied. Diana Hayden was the emcee and a very beautiful outdoor projection system was in place. Guests witnessed the story of Starbucks projected on the walls of the Tatas' beautiful Elphinstone building. A musical event was also organized at the Horniman garden and I hear that the Tatas have taken over the responsibility of maintenance of the area.
Though the store is capable of seating 150 guests at a time, there was still a mad rush by the VIPs, all of who wanted to sample the world famous beverage. SoBo elite like Deepak Parekh of HDFC and Tara Sharma were some of the celebs I spotted. Shobhaa De was accompanied by a young girl, who wore a t-shirt that poked some fun at Starbucks.
Over the next week, two more outlets will be inaugurated in the city- one in the Taj Mahal Palace hotel, and the other at the Oberoi mall in Goregaon. It won't be long before other cities in the country welcome Starbucks a la China, where a new store was opened every four days on an average, in the last financial year. For the coffee lovers, this will surely serve as another option to spend a lazy day in the midst of the finest brews.