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Tim Hortons to enter the Indian market in 2022

Tim Hortons India targets more than 250 stores within five years and says it sees an opportunity to tap into the country’s affluent younger consumers

Photo credit: Erik Mclean



Tim Hortons will make its debut in India this year, with stores scheduled for New Delhi and Punjab state. The Canadian coffee chain will enter India as part of an exclusive agreement with AG Café, a joint venture entity owned by fashion and retail conglomerate Apparel Group, and investment manager, Gateway Partners.
 
In press release, Tim Hortons set an ambitious target to open more than 250 stores in India over the next five years. The coffee chain also said it intended to catalyse the changing lifestyles of India’s younger demographic and tap into rising levels of disposable income across the country.
 
The entity, known as Tim Hortons India, will be led by Navin Gurnaney, who was previously CEO for Starbucks in India.
 
"We are very happy to bring Tim Hortons, a global café brand, to our guests in India. The launch will lead to major investments in market-leading talent and innovation, creating new jobs and providing a direct boost to the hospitality sector. We are excited ahead of this launch and we look forward to bringing the best of the café experience to Indians,” Gurnaney said.
 
Nilesh Ved, Chairman & CEO, Apparel Group added: "The food and beverage sector is seeing a revival after a long period of Covid-induced lull, and we see this as the most opportune time to introduce a new brand and have an aggressive plan to cater to the demand. As a global company with proven capabilities worldwide, we are happy to bring the Tim Hortons experience to India.”
 
India represents Tim Horton’s fourth market in the Asia Pacific region. The coffee chain first entered the region with store in The Philippines in 2017, where its currently operates around 40 stores. In 2019 Tim Hortons entered the Chinese market and currently operates more than 400 stores across the country. It opened its first store in Thailand in 2020, where it operates around ten stores.
 
India’s growing middle class and appetite for aspirational western brands is generating lucrative opportunities for hospitality businesses across the country.

In December 2021, Italian coffee giant Lavazza partnered with Tata CLiQ Luxury to sell premium coffee products online.
 
In a further sign that premium coffee and café culture is gaining traction in India, in November 2021, domestic specialty coffee chain Third Wave Coffee secured $6m investment and is targeting 300 stores by 2023.
 
Fellow Indian coffee chain Hatti Kaapi, which operates around 115 outlets in India, also attained new investment in 2021, securing $1.4m to grow its store portfolio in September 2021.
 
Tim Hortons faces competition from Starbucks and Costa Coffee in India, which operate around 250 and 50 stores respectively across the country.

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