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Starbucks opens its doors in India

Starbucks has opened its doors for the first time in India as the US coffee chain goes after the country's fast-growing consumer market.

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Staff work behind the counter of India's first Starbucks outlet in Mumbai on October 19, 2012. (AFP/Getty Images)

Starbucks opened its doors in India Friday.

The Seattle-based coffee chain has opened an outlet in a historic building in southern Mumbai as it seeks to convert millions of sweet chai tea drinkers into coffee lovers.

The Associated Press reported that Starbucks, with its joint venture partner Tata Global Beverages, plans to open another two stores in India’s financial capital next week.

Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz said the company saw “great potential” in the world’s second most populous nation.

“Our first flagship store in Mumbai is an amazing celebration of great coffee, rich Indian heritage and community,” Schultz said in a statement.

“We are investing for the long-term and see great potential for accelerated growth in India.”

According to CNN, Indians are quickly developing a taste for coffee.

New Delhi-based consultancy firm Technopak estimates the market could double in the next five years to more than $500 million.

Starbucks hopes the country's burgeoning consumer market will be willing to fork out more for one of its cappuccinos or lattes than they would at a local coffee chain. A tall cappuccino will cost the equivalent of $2.15 at Starbucks, positioning the company in the "premium end" of India's cafes, the AP said.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/india/121019/starbucks-india