Thursday, 17 December 2015


-Brian Mendonça

So, you assumed that this piece is going to be about Café Coffee Day, right? After all, the acronym CCD could only stand for that, given the most popular association of the alphabets with the words.

It is quite fascinating the way acronyms serve as short hand for assumed associations with common meanings shared by a group of people. CCD is pushed as a global brand so its association, via various media blitzes, is quite prominent. In the ad world it’s called brand recall.

CCD came to India years back when the preferred drink for Indians was tea. How would a coffee drinking place survive? I pondered over these questions when I used to pass by a rash of coffee dispensers -- CCD, Café Barista and Costa Coffee -- in close proximity in the swank Greater Kailash II, M block market in New Delhi.

CCD is owned by Café Coffee Day Global Ltd. based in Chikmagalur, Karnataka which grows coffee in its own estates. It was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Bangalore or Bengaluru if you prefer. Targeted mainly at the youth segment in India the CCD brand stresses its youth appeal rather than its rustic roots in a bid to attract the ‘young at heart’ who live life mostly in shorthand and want to be ‘with it.’

At the last count this year CCD has 1530 outlets across 29 states of India. It also has a footprint in Dubai, Malaysia, Austria, Egypt and Czech Republic. CCD, India’s largest coffee retailer, is now posturing to take on Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee retailer, which has entered the Indian market with a 50-50 JV (Joint Venture) with Tata Global Beverages. A lot can happen over coffee.

CCD also stands very recently for Cardless Cash Deposit, a service offered by State Bank of India (SBI). Recently I needed to pool my funds into one account in SBI to make an urgent transfer. When I withdrew an amount from a non-SBI bank to deposit into my SBI account I was told that it could not be done across the counter.

Current procedures require you to swipe your Any Time Money (ATM) card of the SBI bank you are depositing into and then deposit the cash. Time was ticking away and I was at my wits end, because I had obviously forgotten my Personal Identification Number (PIN) of the ATM card of my SBI account.   

I was advised to do a Café Coffee Day, sorry Cardless Cash Deposit at the new Cash Deposit Machines (CDM) installed. I had never done it before. ‘Doh bar mobile number, doh bar account number dalo’ said the ATM outlet guard wearily. And that is just what I did. The machine opened its cavernous jaws and swallowed my hard earned money – only to belch out a receipt indicating the cash had been transferred to my account. I hastily updated my passbook at the SBI automatic passbook updation machine and saw the amount was credited – with a service charge of Rs. 25. Coffee anyone?
Published in the weekly feature 'On my mind' in Gomantak Times Weekender, St. Inez, Goa on Sunday 13 December 2015. Pix courtesy cafecoffeeday(dot)com

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