We Indian’s have always loved our favourite cup of tea, be it any time of the day or night. Anubhav was preparing for UPSC in Delhi and Anand was doing a garment business in Indore city of Madhya Pradesh way back in 2016. The idea spiked in Anand’s mind who together with Anubhav thought of doing something of their own. Looking at the circumstances Anubhav quit his UPSC preparations and moved to Indore. With bare 3 lakhs rupees as capital in hand the duo decided to pursue their dream and launched Chai Sutta Bar in 2016. On asking why ‘Chai’, Anubhav shared that tea is the largest selling beverage on planet after water. “Countries/customs, ways of preparation and consumption might differ but the product Tea would remain same. Hence we thought selling Tea would be our safest bet,” he added whose overall turnover crosses approx.50 crores and above but are still bootstrapped. Excerpts from the interview:
We see that in the last 7-8 years there has been a sudden growth of tea cafes across India. Why so?
See, tea is not just the highest selling beverage but it also has a lot of health benefits associated with it. Everyone consumes tea in different ways, if you go to analyse figures statistics suggest, in 2015 the consumption of Tea in India alone was 932 million kilograms and by 2020 it is 1116 million kilograms which seems a fair number and a drastic demand. Tea is not only a refreshing beverage, it also works like a stress buster for many, some may assume to be culture representation whereas many treat it as a tradition.
How is Chai Sutta different from others in the segment?
When you say Chai Bar, it’s all about mixing two complete opposite traditions together. And when is complemented with Sutta, most people know what that is but we do not promote any kind of tobacco in Chai Sutta Bar premises. It’s just about making chai available on a bar table is what separates Chai Sutta Bar from others. Except this the ambiance has a very positive vibes while one enjoys a cup of Chai in a Kulhad like a desi way Chai Sutta Bar ensures that its customers are not economically drained.
You have expanded to 70 cities in India and 3 countries outside India. What was the accelerating factor behind this fast growth?
To set the perspective right, from the beginning the idea was to be present in all the University and Hostel areas across the country. But little did we expected the overwhelming response that we get from our regular customers that Chai Sutta Bar will become the most loved Chai outlet across the nation. Few factors that we definitely think worked in our favor were:
· Increasing demand for Chai
· Young office going crowd
· The affordability that Chai Sutta Bar provided
· Extremely pocket friendly siders
· Unique taste and flavors
· Positive ambience and environment
· Bar feels
· Well maintained hygiene
How about entering into a franchise concept because it is believed that it’s the best medium when expanding to a new geography?
Definitely, we completely agree that the franchise models works wonders. It has done wonders at least for us, we have grown exponentially in the past 4.5 years with this model and there is no stop that we see coming through our way. When we specifically talk about covering geographies definitely this model works wonders as we are able to open our wings and fly continuously, specifically for a product like Chai who’s demand is only going to grow and never reduce.
Who are you targeting as your customer?
Our target audience is anybody and everybody who consumes Chai and is open to experiment with flavors. Our 1 kulhad chai costs as low as Rs. 10/-, a nominal amount that everyone can afford to shed at Pan Gumti and Chai Tapri’s as well. So we have no discretion in audience, we want to work with the objective of serving the right cup of chai with complete hygiene and positivity
How have you priced the teas?
Chai Sutta Bar completely comprehends that Chai is a necessity for most and not luxury. Our pricing model with a Kulhad selling at Rs. 10/- to appetizers and mocktails selling at Rs. 100/-. Anything and everything on our menu is within this range that is the USP of Chai Sutta Bar. We have priced our products in the most economical, affordable and realistic range without compromising on the quality or taste.
What is the average sale and ticket size?
We sell on an average 3 lakh + Kulhads in a day. Our average sale is approx. INR 12000/- per outlet in a single day.
Who do you see as your competitor as we have seen that brands like chaayos and Chai Point have already experimented a lot with their offerings and have now entered into delivery and retail spaces?
It is said that the tea market is really competitive but we take brands in our business segment as a source of inspiration, a reason to innovate, and to learn from their experiments and failures. However, we feel that the demand for Chai is never going to die so even if there are multiple competitors in the market who have Chai as their key product will sell brilliantly and we also feel that we ourselves are our biggest competitors because if each day we do not up our game by a notch any business would die. So keep bettering ourselves is our biggest experiment we think we do as a brand.
What’s your expansion plan?
Our aim is to be present across the world and in every possible gali or lane in India. We are currently present in 65 cities and 3 countries but by 2025 we aim to make Chai Sutta Bar an International Brand.