“Starbucks may be the world’s biggest coffee chain but it could be in for one of its toughest battles yet as it seeks to make a dent in the filter kaapi capital of India — Chennai,” reports The Economic Times.

“Starbucks will not only have to contend with some stiff competition from traditional names such as Madras Coffee House, it will also have to jostle with the various Kumbakonam degree coffee outlets dotting the city. Added to this, it will also be vying for space with upmarket rivals Cafe Coffee Day, Costa Coffee and Gloria Jean’s.” the article goes on to say.

Reuters

To someone who lives in Chennai or goes often to Chennai, the notion that Starbucks faces competition from the “traditional names” is laughable.

The well-heeled young Chennai-ite does not visit the “traditional names” and perhaps does not even want filter coffee.

Starbucks will, to these Chennai youth, not be seen as a great place for coffee, but a great place to hang out with friends. Starbucks will be the place to be seen, the place to flaunt your cool tablet, your cool phone, your cool boy-friend or girl-friend.

Starbucks will be place where creatives discuss music, films, theatre, books or even the latest apps. Some will discuss these topics, some will pretend to discuss these topics.

It would be downright uncool to take your girlfriend to, for example, any Kumbakonam degree coffee places. There’s no upside to talking about the latest cool movie in Madras Coffee House, because there’s nobody cool to hear your opinion.

And the coffee at these places is not cool either – your mother makes it better. Not as good as your grandmother, but certainly better than a traditional name.
Funnily, if at all the Starbucks target audience wanted filter kaapi in the “filter kaapi capital of India,” they would probably love it at Starbucks.

Because Starbucks is cool, and a picture of yourself having a filter coffee at Starbucks is instantly instagram + Facebook + Twitter material.

Oh, by the way, the coffee is incidental.

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