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Tata Starbucks launches in New Delhi
Fri 08 February 2013
Starbucks continued building upon its connection with India by formally arriving in the capital with its flagship store at the landmark Hamilton House in Connaught Place, New Delhi. Showtime Group, which had launched the Starbucks store in Mumbai late last year, conceptualized and executed this launch as well, on Feb. 6.


Being bang across a busy road, the venue and the setup were in full public view. Even as the final show rehearsals were being carried out, hundreds of curious Delhi-ites began thronging the vicinity in anticipation of the event. Onlookers could be seen settling down on road railings, footpaths, passages and also the rooftop of the Palika Bazaar car park right opposite Hamilton House.


A 64 feet wide and 16 feet tall backdrop was erected on the façade of Hamilton House, with a 20 feet wide by 16 feet tall LED screen in the centre. Special zones were created for the guests, media and photographers. Another innovation that adorned the stage was the four feet high 3D MDF replica of the heritage monument Qutab Minar, which housed the unveil button.


The show began with Cyrus Mistry, Harish Bhat and John Culver addressing the gathering of over 250 distinguished guests, media and the extended audience. The LED screen then came alive with the Tata Starbucks story through a combination of rich imagery and specially choreographed music. As Mistry pressed the unveil button, the LED screen split amidst a smokescreen burst to reveal the store, drawing applause from almost everyone in attendance.


Besides enjoying Starbucks coffee, the guests were treated to the showpiece Starbucks Courtyard that pictorially depicted Starbucks' journey from a coffee bean to the Starbucks cup. The ceiling had a thousand Starbucks cups dangled from it. While guests lounged in the courtyard, they were treated to a soulful performance of fusion music by the band Tripti, which used a combination of guitar, flute, violin and percussion.


The courtyard structure was 26 feet wide, 20 feet long and 14 feet high. Extensive use of reinforced iron grids, trusses for the roof, MDF, wood for the platform and burlaps literally created a small building, with a tarpaulin cover on the top to provide protection from the on-going heavy rain. The area used to create this structure was an unused shaft site adjacent to Hamilton House. The Courtyard will remain in place for the next few days to provide an extended experience of art, music and innovation to the visiting customers.


Speaking about the launch, Sushant Dash, Senior Director - Marketing & Category, Tata Starbucks Limited said: ""The key focus of the launch was to enter the city with a deep respect to the heritage, history and culture of the national capital. The strong partnership between Starbucks and Tata Global Beverages, two leading global beverage brands, was captured through a celebratory gala event with strong visuals that beautifully reflected the shared coffee passion and commitment to deliver the highest quality Starbucks Experience to consumers. The event truly welcomed this iconic brand in the city and aptly celebrated the expansion of Starbucks in India."


In the run-up to the event, Showtime had to surmount several challenges. The event crew had to contend with very heavy rains. As a result, the setup which was planned over a four-day period had to be completed in the fourteen rain-free hours that were available before the event started. Moreover, Connaught Place, being a busy public area, the Showtime team had extremely compressed timelines for load-in and load-out, given the municipal restrictions in the area.


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