Thursday, September 3, 2009

Barista to invest Rs.40 crore this fiscal

Barista Coffee Co, one of India's leading espresso chains, will invest Rs.40 crore to expand its network this year, a top company official said here Thursday.

"We'll invest Rs.40 crore this year to open 100 new coffee outlets across India. We are targeting nearly 25 percent of revenue growth this year," said Barista's chief operating officer (COO) Sanjay Coutinho.

Of the new outlets, 80 would be espresso bars, 10 highway outlets and 10 Barista Cr�me lounge bars, Coutinho told reporters during an interaction.

Barista, owned by Lavazza, Italy's largest coffee company and sixth largest coffee roasters globally, had a turnover of Rs.150 crore last fiscal.

The company has 230-odd espresso bars at some 30 locations in India. It also has cafes in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

"We'll start outlets Nepal in the next two weeks. Initially, we'll open two in Kathmandu and Pokhra," Coutinho said.

Among other plans, he said the company has applied for licence to serve beer and wine at its existing espresso outlets.

"We've applied for the licence but since we've not received anything we can't share anything on this."

Barista is also going for "customisation" of its menus, Coutinho said, adding: "We're seriously thinking of converting some of our stores into vegetarian outlets at places where majority of the population is vegetarian."

Maintaining that Barista had a "huge opportunity to grow", he said it was exploring new business models like opening cafes at three-star or four-star hotels in India. "But it's still in a fluid stage and we are just holding talks."

Cafe Coffee Day boasts of 65 percent of India's Rs.400-crore coffee bar market, while Barista commands 25 percent.
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