Lead Story

Can VG Siddhartha continue to sit pretty?

Cafe Coffee Day has built a vast franchise, but it now needs to create a sustainable customer experience

Soumik Kar

It might not exactly be a battle zone, but the historic south Mumbai neighbourhood of Fort recently witnessed a quiet retail war. Not very far from the Bombay High Court runs a busy street that leads to US coffee chain Starbucks’ first Mumbai store. Situated near Horniman Circle, a stone’s throw from the Bombay Stock Exchange, the store experienced quite a crowd when it first opened. Along the usually crowded street leading up to it are a dozen other shops that jostle for attention, among which is a store that has shut down and whose signboard reads ‘The Lounge’.