Netherlands-based financal services provider Rabobank says that the Indian coffee-retail sector is expected to grow to an estimated 4,000 outlets by 2015.

The report highlighted the growing interest amongst locals for coffee who are traditionally known to prefer tea.

India currently has about 2,100 specialist coffee outlets with Cafe Coffee Day owning 1,350 of those having opened their first store in 1996.

The report states that these numbers are soon to increase with more global coffee specialist looking to expand their market in the country, giving the beverage consumers further choices in next three years.

Rabobank International Beverage Analyst Nitin Kalani said that the potential growth expected of specialist coffee chains in the country would offer numerous opportunities for both local and international players, if retailers can overcome inherent obstacles.

The main cause of concern for the coffee providers is acquiring wide area in the prime location with competitors battling for it besides focus on operational efficiency rather than raw material costs, which marginally affects the sales cost.

International coffee chain Starbucks recently opened its first outlet in Mumbai in collaboration with Indian business house the Tatas.

The chain plans to expand its presence to over 50 outlets by the end of 2012.