Howard Schultz Success Story
Now who doesn’t like a strong brew of the trademark Starbucks coffee and its founder Howard Schultz success story? You might be anywhere in the world, but it is kind of hard not to fall for the charm of this perfectly brewed piping hot cup of cappuccino or the ice cream laced rich tasting latte from the Starbucks kitchen. It would not be wrong to say that wherever you might be in the world, the Starbucks outlet is one of the most popular meeting points and hangout option for almost anybody whether you are there with a gang of friends or sitting alone trying to get inspired.
But have you wondered what inspired the founder of this brand, Howard Schultz, to create such an iconic global hotspot? Well, this one’s perhaps one of the most talked about rags to riches story that goes on to establish one of the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. If you are passionate and committed to your deep set beliefs, you will find a way out and a profitable future ahead. Howard Schultz and his Starbucks has indeed made coffee drinking an experience to remember, cherish and crave for after every cup that you drink and every moment you spend there.
The Howard Schultz Success Story
Spending his early life in the New York City housing projects, the chairman and CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, never really imagined heading global coffee chain like Starbucks. Growing up in Canarsie, Brooklyn and belonging to a modest working class Jewish Family, Howard Schultz often considers his tremendous professional success is in many ways a tribute to his dad, who held a variety of blue collar jobs but never attained professional satisfaction or dignity.
Almost from the very beginning, Schultz’s career graph was very different from his parents. Maybe that is why now you are reading the Howard Schultz’s success story here.
He earned sports scholarship while still in high school and went to the Northern Michigan University and thereby becoming the first graduate in his family. From then on, Howard moved from one job to another till he came across the four storey coffee shop in Seattle and lost his heart to it. Yes, we are talking about the earliest avatars of this iconic coffee shop then owned and run by brothers Baldwin and Gordon Bowker. Struck by their passion, Howards continued to convince Baldwin for over a year before landing up with a job with them.
Things, however, underwent a massive change when Schultz attended a houseware show in Milan. He was so enamored by the entire personalized espresso and cappuccino serving techniques in Italy that he was convinced that this experience should be adopted by Starbucks. The Bowker brothers, however, thought differently. So finally in 1985 Schultz decided to start his own store Il Giornale that aimed to replicate the coffee experience in Italy, and in 1987, they bought Starbucks and Schultz became CEO. Over the next decade or so he led the expansion and turnover of the company and today there are more than 21,000 Starbucks stores in over 65 countries, and company’s turnover is close to $77 billion.
Entrepreneurship of Sensitivity
Right from the beginning, Schultz brand of entrepreneurship has been identified by intense sensitivity towards employees. Chastened by the experience of his dad injured as a truck driver without any insurance, health cover for his employees was one of his first priorities. As the company’s valuation increased so did his offerings for his employees.
Along with stock options, Starbucks has now also announced to fund college tuition for its employees taking forward their commitment towards providing a better future for their employees. Perhaps, this is one of the most striking aspects of his way of conducting business. The human resource, his employees, is one of the best assets of his company and he ensures that they get the best possible treatment.
When he conceptualized the Il Giornale, the idea was to not just sell a cup of specialized coffee but also to share an experience that customers would cherish. Credit to him, quite early on he also realized the importance of extending that same personal touch to his employees as well and making them cherish the bond they forge with the company.
Commitment to Quality
Another striking aspect of Howard Schultz success story is the absolute commitment to maintaining quality. Right from the time when the idea was conceived to the current expansion and turnaround in the company’s fortune, Schultz has continued his unflinching commitment to maintaining quality. In 2008, when Starbucks was going through a rough patch financially, he closed down more than 7000 stores in the US temporarily to retrain the baristas on how to make the perfect espresso. Starbucks went on to record a massive turnaround over the next two years, and the current valuation is north of $70 billion.
Coffee & Relationships
One of the earliest lessons that Schultz acquired from his visit to Milan was the personal relationship between people and their cup of coffee. True to his entrepreneurial spirit, Schultz made it his business to make this ideology his lifelong mission. Needless to mention that not only did he turn a quaint coffee shop in Seattle into a global brand but also converted Starbucks amongst the most loved brands globally now.
Therefore, it would not be wrong to term the Howard Schultz success story as not only a great manifestation of true enterprising spirit, but also one of the brightest examples of championing the humane angle and the personal touch. The idea is always the primary aspect, but the way in which it is executed is perhaps as crucial if not more and in that context, Starbucks and Howard Schultz emerge as a consistent winner.
They say the experiences in life shape our personality and perhaps the Schultz brand of sensitivity is a perfect representation of that. Businesses are not just dealt with in boardrooms, businesses are not just about profit-loss and balance sheets, but also about giving back to the society. An entrepreneur who does not lose this personal touch becomes the likes of Howard Schultz, empathetic and enterprising with a sharp business sense.
Am I going to publish your success story here one day?
I will cross my figures for it. Who knows? Maybe you will become even better than Howard Schultz. I am sure you can.