Barista, the specialty coffee major that is a wholly-owned entity of the Chennai-based Sterling Infotech Group, is going to expand its outlets in Asian markets, said Brotin Banerjee, COO, Barista Coffee Company Limited. "We are planning to increase the outlets in Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. In Middle East, we are widening our presence in Egypt, UAE and Qatar," he said. The company is expected to open at least 10 to 15 outlets in this region by then end of this year.
Asked on the expected growth from these regions, he said, "We are looking at 10-12 per cent growth this year and 25 per cent in the next three years." Banerjee said that there would be product differentiation, while catering to the international market. "The coffee won't change as it is liked world over but the food items would be differentiated to suit the local needs," he said.
Back home, Barista is intensifying its presence by tying up with Indian Oil Corporation to start outlets on highways. The company is pumping in over Rs 20 crore for taking the highway route. "The alliance will involve investments from both companies to the tune of Rs16-20 lakh per outlet. At full stream of about 200 outlets, Barista is looking at revenue of 10-15 per cent of the overall Barista revenue," he said. Starting with the Delhi-Agra and Delhi-Chandigarh highways, which will be operational by May 2005. Barista also plans to cover other strategic locations like Delhi-Mathura, Mumbai-Pune, Chennai-Pondicherry, Delhi-Jaipur and Bangalore-Mysore highways.
Interestingly, the pricing will be slightly lower in highways in comparison to the offering in metros. "We are looking at pricing the products at 10-15 per cent lower than the prices charged in the cities," he said.
The company is also beefing up its marketing activities to increase footfalls during the summers. In April, the entire menu is going to be revamped, informed Banerjee. "We are coming up with 20 innovations in the product portfolio. We are planning to introduce fruit flavoured tea, yogurt-based smoothies and different flavours of juices. For summers, we would be concentrating more on cold beverages and salads," he said. The company has been growing at 20 per cent this year and plans to double the turnover in the coming fiscal, said Banerjee.