Business - Cafe Coffee Day expanding into SAARC countries
Café Coffee Day (CCD) is getting ready to expand its footprint in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries. Having forged joint ventures in countries such as Austria and Pakistan, the coffee conglomerate now intends having a first mover advantage in the neighbouring South Asian countries before other multinational chains enter these markets.Mr Alok Gupta, Director, Café Coffee Day, told Business Line, “While India would be the nerve centre for CCD, we are looking at taking the brand to the neighbouring countries with the purpose of having a first mover advantage in this region and would need a strong local partner in these markets.” Staying away from franchise operation, CCD plans to have its company-owned outlets along with a local partner who knows the market. Using its existing two joint ventures as a learning platform, CCD is poised to enter new markets in this region and intends differentiating itself from the existing coffee retailing chains. Meanwhile, in the domestic market, CCD is getting ready to give a facelift to its food and beverage section by introducing a healthy and diet-oriented menu in the coming months. “We are a lifestyle brand and have to keep up with the lifestyle demands of our clients. In the next three months there would be healthier options in our F&B section,” Mr Gupta said. With 663 stores, CCD is currently on an expansion spree opening between 25 and 30 stores every month. Targeting new geographies and consumers, the coffee chain has decided to create new formats to cater to the same. “We are trying to address new consumers, especially affluent adults, and also promote in-house consumption of our brand” said Mr Gupta. Coffee making solutions Offering a larger set of coffee making solutions to consumers, CCD is hoping to grow this space. “We already cater to from the bean to the cup stage. Now, we want to offer a range of coffee making solutions with products such as high-end percolators, where we would also be giving after-sales service,” said Mr Gupta. Reaching out to consumers on highways, hospitals and educational institutes, currently CCD is expanding into new mediums. “With improved infrastructure and more cars such as the Nano on the road, we expect highways to emerge as a new medium for our cafes and already have 20 cafes on the Mysore, Goa and Chennai highways,” added Mr Gupta.