A study on Starbucks: 5 ways of creating an evidence of the quality of service in the outlets and 5 reasons of success

By: Anamitra Roy

Starbucks Corporation is one of the largest chains of coffee outlets in North America. It was founded in Seattle, Washington in 1971. The 5 ways of creating an evidence of service quality in their outlets are:

1) Creation of an Appropriate Environment:

Starbucks designed the ambience of the retail outlets in such a way so that most customers would like to spend some time there. There would be lounges and living areas where customers would just not have coffee, but get a coffee experience. This was one of the greatest assets of Starbucks that helped her to create an evidence of its services.

2) Location:

Most Starbucks outlets would be located near high visibility areas where there would be retail centre, office buildings and university campuses.

3) Trained Employees:

Starbucks employees are given two types of training. One is called “hand skills” and the other is called “soft skills”. The employees are always told to connect to the customers by enthusiastically interacting with them, maintaining eye to eye contacts with them and greeting them.

4) Administration Policies:

One of the administration policies of Starbucks is to ensure a clean environment, product quality and maintain a speed of the service.

5) Innovation:

The policy of bringing innovation was largely successful in creating physical evidence for its services. Starbucks had the policy of introducing at least one drink every holiday season. This meant that there was always something new at Starbucks.

The 5 reasons for the success of Starbucks:

1) Creation of Ambience:

Starbucks as a coffee chain outlet did not aim at selling coffee. It believed in selling a coffee experience. The ambience in Starbucks is such that the customer can do a lot of things over a cup of coffee … lounge, live and enjoy it.

2) HR and Administrative Policies:

Maintenance of a clean environment, speedy service, ensuring customer satisfaction through enthusiastic interactions and greeting them are some of the attributes of the administrative policies of Starbucks that was largely responsible for the success of this organization.

The people working in Starbucks were given respect. They were called “partners.” There were policies for their promotions (the company encouraged promotion from within itself) and other benefits (like health insurance). Starbucks believed that “partner satisfaction” will lead to customer satisfaction.

3) Location:

Starbucks always opened her retail outlets near busy streets by the side of university campuses, offices and retail outlets. This ensured a very high visibility of the outlets. More importantly, Starbucks outlets are opened in places where customers are available who have the mentality of spending time on a cup of coffee. For example, one of the favorite locations of Starbucks is to open coffee outlets near university campuses where students are available who are expected to visit the coffee outlets in groups and spend time on a cup of coffee in between classes.

4) Innovations and Product Quality:

Constant innovations (for eg. Introduction of at least one drink per holiday season) were also responsible for the success of Starbucks.

Starbucks prided herself on serving the customers the highest quality coffee in the world, from Africa, Central and South America, and Asia-Pacific regions.

5) Handling Competition:

Starbucks believed that it was far from reaching saturation in many existing markets.

There were a lot of competitors of this organization which depended on one strength (like Caribou Coffee emphasized on environment, Peet’s Coffee & Tea depended on quality of the coffee). Starbucks’ success in handling the competitors was that it had all the strengths in it to compete with others.

About the Author:

Mr Anamitra Roy is B.Com. Hons. (C.U., India), Certified Financial Accountant (CMC, India), DFA(CMC, India), PGDBF (HSIS India, India), Certified Financial Accountant(GLOBSYN Skills, India), GPBL (TASMAC, India & University of Wales, United Kingdom).


“The Diary of a Greening Volunteer”


By: Krishnakumar, V.G

 It was a stunning experience to me, while I was selected for the Forest Rangers training at Southern Forest Ranger’s College, Coimbatore in 1981. I belong to the coastal area of Kerala, which has the canopy of only coconut palms and jungles formed by the weeds like Eupatorium etc. The only wildlife I could get familiarized was the caparisoned elephants paraded during the annual festival of our temple.

The 365 days training was a turning point of my life, not only of mine, but also of the 150 forest ranger trainees from the whole of India. The most interesting session was of the Social Forestry, which was just booming in our country at that time. Our instructor Late Shri S. Viswanathan, (Asst. Conservator of Forests, Tamil Nadu Forest Department) took us to the amazing work of greening barren lands through his magical words.

At that time, the practice of Social Forestry scheme was just on the startup stage. The alarming stage of vast deforestation and plundering of forest wealth on inadequate conservation laws was telling on the ecology of the nation. Felling of trees degraded the land and perennial rivers and hydroelectric dams were filled with eroded soil leading to the death of those boons of nature which were the water suppliers and powerhouses of the nation.

If those deforested areas were left as such, it would lead to further soil erosion and global warming would also be increased. So the long vision authorities decided to regreen those areas by planting suitable tree species. Their vision was to ensure the following:

  1. Protecting the nature.
  2. Prevention of soil erosion.
  3. Restoration of flora.
  4. Thereby increasing the micro and macro fauna.
  5. Increasing rural employment potential.
  6. Increasing the fuelwood availability.

World Bank has generously funded the noble scheme. Unfortunately, some of the corrupt bureaucrats misused the scheme to siphon the money to their pockets through illegal means, including false statements of developing plantations in unknown areas. More than 1 lakh forest officials were penalized for the corrupt practices under social forestry scheme in various states.

Now, let me come to my personal experience as a greenery man. While I was working in the raw material depot of the paper mill, I could find vast areas of unutilized stretches of land in the yard in the form of slopes and other such locations. During the monsoon period, I could find that reeds (a variety of bamboo) in the stacks used to sprout with profuse roots. I collected those sproutings with roots and planted in selected areas where water was available. I used the help of contract workers to protect those plantings from climbers. After one year almost all of the plantings were established.

It was in 1996, I was appointed as the first officer of our farm forestry scheme- promotion of various pulpwoods including bamboos in the marginal farmer’s land through NGOs. As a pilot scheme, the target was only 10,000 numbers of seedlings. In that scheme, we included saplings of jack, mango and gooseberry too to get the response of the public. Our modus operandi was simple. Selected NGOs were asked to inform us their requirement of saplings of eucalyptus, acacia, mangium, reeds, casuarina, albizia, bamboos, mango, jack and gooseberry. The demand was hefty. The available stock was distributed to the selected NGOs in proportion to their demand. The distribution was confined to the non-forest district of Kerala, i.e., Alappuzha district. 21 organizations took part. It was an interesting feature that there were more beneficiaries for pulpwood saplings than for fruit bearing species like jack, mango etc.! People need only those economically important species!

After the distribution, we conducted the post distribution survey on the survival of the distributed saplings. Results were encouraging. The landowners were happy to see the responsible officials visiting their land to see the planted saplings.

The results were reflected in the next year’s program. Quantity was increased. In order to make the public aware on the raising of arboreal nursery, we selected few NGOs in hamlets and trained them. Different species need different pre-sowing treatments, which were Greek to them! For example, seeds of acacia species need treatment like scarification in light acid or putting the seeds in boiling water followed by cooling down for 12 hours. Fearing the failure of the treatment or ignorance of the fact, it was my duty to give those NGOs the treated seeds, courtesy to my late mother and aunty who helped me in those occasions! Even after the sowing and sprouting of these seeds, workers of NGOs were reluctant to believe me as the broad leaves (phyllodes) did not emerge and only primary leaves had emerged. Only after the emergence of the phyllodes, they got relieved off the tensions. There are other common trees like gooseberry which need pre-sowing treatments. The seed of gooseberry will not germinate, if it is dibbled. Seeds of gooseberry have thick seed coat. Hence, the seeds will be applied with a light application of kerosene and light flame will be ignited and immediately put off. If these treated seeds are sown, new saplings of gooseberry can be developed.

During my tenure as the farm forestry officer of Hindustan Newsprint Limited, I experimented with the plantings in those land masses which was branded as unproductive or useless like swamps, pure silica sand patches etc. Selection of ideal species for the location, adopting appropriate planting techniques including mound planting in swampy areas helped to green at least few patches.

While distributing new species, I used to plant at least 2 to 3 numbers of such saplings in my land to note the growth rate and other features. This helped to foresee the growth of distributed saplings in distant places.

The role of an employee changes as per the needs of his employer and being an employee my role also got changed after 3 years. But again an opportunity came in the form of transfer to North East unit as the head of Tissue Culture Unit of that mill. There also, the swampy area of about 0.5 Ha of land was planted with different varieties of bamboos to develop a bamboo setum so that ideal species can be selected by interested farmers for farming.

In my free times at home, we used to cultivate different vegetables which give immense pleasure to mind and body as well a feeling of self-reliance for food.

Yes, greening is a pleasure giving job, both to self and to society.

About Author: Well experienced Forestry personnel in all fields of forestry in paper industry. Raising plantations of pulpwood like eucalyptus, acacia, bamboo etc. Experience in Tissue Culture laboratory (from the installation to production stage), extraction works and storage. Well experienced in public activities like Farm forestry. His Specialties: Forestry- plantation, tissue culture, extraction and community forestry.

Foundation & Building Construction

Compiled by: Aamarpali Puri

  1. Building Planning :

Site Selection : Before any building is planned and constructed, site selection is very important and the following points should be considered :

i) Soil at the site should not be made up type. Due to settlement and collapse, cracks may developed in the building.

ii) Site should not be very much undulating.

iii)   General slope of the site, should be away from site, which facilitate the drainage of building.

iv) Water supply mains, electric lines, telephone lines, drainage sewers etc. should be very near to the site, which helps in costing.

v) Ground water table of the site, should not very high.

vi) In selection of residential building, the school, hospital, railway station, market etc. should be nearing eite.

vii) Building site should not be selected in depression.

viii) Should be in elevated site.

ix) Good foundation soil should be available.

x) Should be away from the busy roads, hospital, school, college building should be away from busy area.

xi) Residential buildings should not be near work slops, factories, for noise.

xii) Site at sea shore is good but metallic fittings are liable to be corroded.

xiii) The site, near usy big picture like building, an to be avoided, it will not look good.

2. Planning of a building-Principles.

  The basic principles of dwelling houses are as follows :

i) Aspect

ii) Prospect

iii)   Furniture requiring

iv) Roominess

v) Grouping

vi) Circulation

vii) Privacy

viii) Sanitation

ix) Elegance

x) Economy

xi) Flexibility

  1. Aspect : Aspect is actually positioning of the rooms in a building in such a way that occupant would enjoy the natural comforts to the maximum possible extent.
  2. Prospect : Prospect is found by the views desired from certain rooms of the house.
  3. Furniture requirement : It is essential item for living room, drawing room, kitchen, class room, laboratory room, operation theatre, office room etc. However, it is better to prepare a sketch plan, indicating furniture positions, so that doors, windows and circulation space can be planned.
  4. Roominess : Without disturbing/changing the plan, some spaces like cup-boards, lofts, wooden shelves etc. an to be provided. The rooms having its length twice the width is objectionable.
  5. Grouping : Grouping means setting different rooms of a building according to their inter-relationships. The rooms are arranged in the layout in proper correlation of their functions and due proximity with each other. For instance, in a residential building, dinning room should be close to kitchen. At the same twice kitchen should be kept away from main living room, to avoid smoke and smell.
  6. Circulation : Passages, corridors, halls, and lobbies, serve the purpose of horizontal circulation, where as stairs serve the purpose of vertical circulation. Circulation between rooms of the same floor is known as horizontal circulation, whereas circulation among various floors is known as vertical circulation.
  7. Privacy : Unless privacy is secured all the principles of planning of a building are bound to fail, particularly in case of residential buildings. Privacy may be from one part to other of the same building or it way be privacy as a whole from neighbouring buildings, public streets or by ways. The internal privacy means screening interior of one room from other room. Toilet rooms, lavatories bath rooms, bed room, w.c., urinals require absolute privacy.
  8. Sanitation : Sanitation is not only included w.c., urinals, both rooms, wash basins, sinks, but also lighting & ventilations.
  9. Elegance : The over-all effect-produced by elevation and general layout of the plan to known as alegance. It is better if elevation is developed first and then plan is adjusted according to the elevation. A building located in a depression will always give depressed elegance, when as building located on an elevated spot gives impressive appearance.
  10. Economy : The economy may not be a principle of planning, but definitely a factor effecting it. It is to be kept in mind that economy should not effect the utility and strength of the structure.
  11. Flexibility : Flexibility means planning the rooms in such a way which though originally designed for a specific purpose, may be used for other purpose also.

The role of Religion in Politics

By: Prapanna Lahiri

The relation between religion and politics has always been an important theme in political philosophy. Religion is the driving force shaping the values and beliefs of individuals who make a society. Historically, this relationship between religion and society manifesting in the State has taken a variety of forms from the state dominating religion to religion dominating the state and the more recent attempts to separate them in the modern world.

In ancient Egypt the political ruler was considered the highest religious leader with divine powers. The ancient Jewish tradition avowed a strict state monotheism that ruthlessly suppressed non-Israelite beliefs. The Chinese sovereign was historically considered the Son of Heaven. In Tibet, monasteries and monks held considerable political power.

In the West since the days of Constantine the various arrangements for religion in a society’s political life has been central to shaping of political thought. Following the Protestant Reformation, European societies struggled with finding the exact roles for the church and the state in each other’s domain. In every European nation, barring those Communist days of a secular ideology trying to suppress traditional faiths in Soviet Russia and Eastern Europe, the church and the state stayed intertwined in some way or another depending on a nation’s history and culture.

Progress towards liberal concept of toleration: This concept centres on existence of a state that ensures religious freedom of people and treats all religions equally. Historically, the ancient Indian Emperor Ashoka (304-232 B.C.E.) being an early practitioner of this principle honoured all sects. Cyrus, the Great the founder of the Persian Empire had the first distinction of declaring official grant of toleration to non-state religions. The politics of Europe in the middle Ages witnessed a continuous conflict between the church and the state owing to frequent encroachment in each other’s realm giving rise to disputes over areas of authority. In the evolving Christendom the relationship between Christianity and secular authority was crystallised by the phrase attributed to Jesus in the gospel “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s,” John Locke (1632–1704), the influential English liberal political philosopher championed the inherent freedom of men and strongly upheld that the ruler should not coerce people to believe in what the ruler believed to be true religion, nor should churches exercise coercion over their members. These thoughts played a seminal role in charting the history of the church and state during both the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and later in the American Revolution. Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1786) is considered a pioneering model for modern religious freedom legislation. This statute as a statement about freedom of conscience and the principle of separation of church and the state was a landmark precursor of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution that provides protections for religious freedom. The French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789) which was one of the basic charters of human liberties guided by inspiration of the French Revolution also enshrined Freedom of Religion (Article 10).

Some variations on relationship between church and state in contemporary Europe are:

  1. Pope the head of the Catholic Church exercisesex officio supreme legislative, executive, and judicial power over the theocratic State of Vatican City.
  2. Germany,Austria, and some Eastern European nations support some large religions.
  3. In England, the Government supports the church through taxes and exercises directions over it. The constitutional monarch heads the Church of England and the Prime Minister selects Archbishop of Canterbury. Similarly in Norway, the King is also the leader of the state church and more than half of the members of the Norwegian Council of State are members of the state church.

The Islamic world: Since Islamic code (Shari’ah) guides an ideal Islamic state, theoretically it does not distinguish between the state and the religion.  However, in practice governments in Islamic countries evidence a wide spectrum of attitude defining the relationship between the faith and the state based on the governance model:

  1. Caliphate in Sunni Islam: The Caliph heads the state drawing lineage from Muhammad. No such state exists today but some extremist organisations like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and Al Qaeda profess to establish such dispensation.
  2. Velayat-e faqi: The Islamic Republic of Iran follows a version of this concept where an Islamic jurist or faqih as the supreme spiritual leader sits atop the power structure of the republic also comprising the executive, judiciary and legislature.    
  3. The Republic of Turkey has a tradition of secularism despite some weakening in recent years. Turkey abandoned Islamic law adopting Italian penal code in 1926.
  4. TheConstitution of Indonesia (a Muslim majority country) does not designate a state religion and guarantees the freedom of practice of other religions and beliefs.

In India: In a Multi cultural and Multi religious country like India the relationship of the state with religion is of profound importance especially since the British colonists divided the country into Pakistan and India on the basis of the religion of the population of the undivided nation. Pakistan declared itself a religious state and India adopted a secular constitution. Hindus form the majority (nearly 80%), the Muslims the next minority group forming 14% overall, with concentration at particular regions of up to more than 50% and others forming the rest. The democratic constitution adopted, follows a ‘first past the post’ electoral system resulting in some professedly secular political formations trying to extract Muslim support, as easy road to political power, by constructing insecurity in them forcing them to exercise block voting in their favour. This in itself resulted in mixing politics with religion. This sometimes evoked reactions in the majority community creating social strife.

It is evident from the above discussion that secularism is advancing rapidly in modern times in many of the world’s societies. This trend is obviously connected with the process of economic development. Nevertheless, religion continues to be an important political phenomenon throughout the world, for various reasons.





Note*: The view expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not in any way represents the views of CRF.