Chaayos

Chaayos – A Million Dollar Brew of 21st Century

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India has predominately always been a tea-drinking nation. Chai as we call it, has been an integral part of our lifestyle. “Tea is not a serving, it’s an emotion that this country runs on.

Despite such popularity and widely accepted beverage, I always wondered why it never became a part of the Indian Millennial culture? Coffee Café became a part of Indian youth and meeting points. While important discussion and meeting use to happen at a coffee cafe, tea became the distant cousin.

WHY WE DON’T WORK TOWARDS FROM BEING AN EMPLOYEE TO AN EMPLOYER?

The journey which is certainly hard but not impossible. There are several reasons on why the youth is not inclined towards the entrepreneurial venture. But the top three according to me are lack of risk-taking ability, lack of capital (Click here to know how to raise capital for business), lack of inspiration. Also, we emphasize a lot on lack of capital and risk-taking ability as prime reasons for lack of entrepreneurial attitude. It’s mostly the lack of idea or inability to see the shortcomings of the current scenario which is the prime reason.

Melting the above two points, “Chai” and entrepreneurial venture. Nitin Saluja a young IIT graduate, the first-generation entrepreneur founded, enterprise turned into a Million Dollar Brew. He saw the opportunity and ventured out to make “Chai”.  Chaayos has served “meri wali chai” since 2012 in DLF cybercity Gurugram with an investment of 12 lac INR and a 500 sq ft. retail space. It has scaled to 80 stores spread across Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Bangalore, backed with angel investment.

THE BEGINNING

graduated from IIT, Raghav Verma & Nitin Saluja - meri wali chai

Nitin Saluja graduated from IIT Bombay in 2006 and started his entrepreneurial journey right after his college in robotics with Think Labs, which he later parted ways by selling off and is still a million-dollar venture. After this stint, he worked in the US with Opera Solutions LLC, where lack of good options of Tea or a place to find good tea, got him thinking to open a space for “Chai” lovers in a café like setting.

It’s during this time he meets his Co-founder an IIT Delhi graduate Raghav Verma who he shared his idea with of opening a tea venture.

“WHEN YOU FIND AN IDEA THAT YOU JUST CAN’T STOP THINKING ABOUT, THAT’S PROBABLY A GOOD ONE TO PURSUE.” ~ JOSH JAMES, OMNITURE CEO AND CO-FOUNDER

It was “Chai” at first sight for Raghav and Nitin, they started working together on this idea of creating a place for tea drinkers, while Raghav uses to take care of business development and marketing, supply chain and product development were under Nitin. In any start-up venture, it is very important to choose a correct co-founder which not only brings a specific skillset on the table but should also match the frequency with other team members.

Since a lot of startups fail due to disputes among the co-founders. Therefore, Raghav and Nitin the two co-founders distributed work among themselves and then focused on extensive market research, product development, business model to finally open the first store in November 2012 in Gurugram.

Chai Point was already operating in a similar space which had started its operation in 2010 and was already having 50 stores by the time Chaayos opened its first store. Chai Point was already a venture capitalist backed business by 2012, thus the road wasn’t going to be a “rose petal infused tea” for them.

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THE JOURNEY

Cloud Kitchen

Key to a successful venture and entrepreneur is the ability to do things differently. So what exactly did Chaayos do differently than its competitors which were already established? Firstly, they made a modern space that had a very edgy feeling to it. You could see the elements of savouring the “Chai” everywhere, from their presentation, art details, serving, and of course the customized menu. Secondly, they relied heavily on customer feedback.

Nitin was physically managing the first store and Raghav managed the second store by themselves. Thirdly they were able to make a diverse menu with different permutation and combination based on their own taste and customer feedback.

Sometimes the best way to move forward is to risk it all and not be restricted by the available knowledge. That’s what Chaayos did and created a diverse menu twitch according to the needs of the customer.

From sugar levels to the amount of milk added, everything was customized thus giving it the feeling of Meri wali chai. This helped them create a niche for themselves in the clustered market of coffee cafes and cater to the target audience of millennials.

“WONDER WHAT YOUR CUSTOMER REALLY WANTS? ASK. DON’T TELL.” ~ LISA STONE, BLOGHER CO-FOUNDER, AND CEO

Chaayos from its first store has been progressing at a really fast pace. Chaayos started from one store in 2012, now has around 80 stores across Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chandigarh. It has by now secured a total funding of about $41.5 million backed by Think partners, SAIF partners, Tiger global management.

“Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.” ~ Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO

BUSINESS MODEL

Any business model is defined by its clear path to move forward and sources for revenue generation. The business model is required for successfully starting, running, and expanding the business.

BELOW IS THE CHAAYOS BUSINESS MODEL –

Chaayos Business ModelValue Proposition

Chaayos customized tea solution according to the taste of the individual. Chaayos provides 25 different types of tea flavour. It offers up to a thousand ways to customize your tea according to your taste with add on flavours like Elachi, Ginger, Masala, Tulsi and many more. Thus sticking true to its marketing tagline of Meri Wali Chai.  Chaayos now also provide a wide range of national and international food pairing options.

Meri Wali Chai

The key lesson for all young aspiring entrepreneurs always remembers that your product should be the highlight of your business model.

TARGET BASE AUDIENCE

It is very important for any venture or start-up to know its target audience. Your marketing strategy is always based on the audience you target. Chaayos was brewing its tea for all classes, office goers and millennia’s.

MARKETING STRATEGY

Reaching out to the target audience is very important and even more important is reaching out via correct mediums. Thus to make the aroma of a freshly brewed tea reach out to its said customers. Chaayos used both online platforms and offline marketing.

Chaayos USP consists of its premium outlet atmosphere, diverse menu. Its quick feedback mechanism gives customers a feeling of comfort and satisfaction. A good café ambience and quality checked product is the only way to retain customers.

CHAAYOS IS PRESENT ON ONLINE PLATFORMS LIKE:-

  • Facebook:- It currently has 53,000 followers. It allows its user to engage with customers, share stories, and help get useful feedbacks for improvements.
  • Instagram:- Chaayos currently has 22,700 followers on Instagram. It’s used for posting promotional activities, celebrity engagements, informative posts, etc.
  • Twitter:- Brand uses twitter for running various promotions and advertisements along with running campaigns and discount codes.
  • YouTube:- Chaayos make digital content for YouTube promotional activity to promote the USP of the brand.
  • Offline:- You can see Chaayos doing promotional activities at malls, gyms, office complexes, and local markets.
  • Expansion plans:- Chaayos plans to open up to 300 stores by 2022-2023. They want to expand their number of outlets in already
    existing cities of Bangalore and Mumbai. They aim to provide chai delivery within 20 minutes in all the existing cities. Thus now Chaayos is present in office complexes, malls, local markets, etc. While initially, they had tied up with other service providers for delivery. Now they are also keen on building their own network of delivery.
  • Competitors:- Chai point, tea nation, Chaipatty, and tea villa are some of the biggest competition for Chaayos.
  • Revenue generation:- Revenue is generated by both sales of food and beverages. While food comprises 40% of the sales beverage amounts for 60% of the revenue. Chaayos also earn via deliveries and sales of boxed tea blends via online stores.

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THE LESSON WE LEARN

Chaayos is one such success story among the thousands of success stories of how people started with an idea Worked upon in, and created a successful venture out of it. Your story can be next. Just keep looking for opportunities it might be right in front of you while sipping tea.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row]


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