“Food per say has always been a huge part of my life and growing up,” shares Akriti Agarwal, CEO at Thirsty Beers who has grown up with big gardens / farms within her family homes and otherwise as well. “We as a family have always been exposed to a great mix of local and international ingredients, flavors and cuisines, added Agarwal whose father and grandfather were extremely fond of trying new things and they still continue to try and experiment. “He can literally make a new dish out of anything that’s there in the refrigerator and he doesn’t need to refer to a recipe, ever,” she proudly mentions by adding that her travels, solo and otherwise have also contributed tremendously to her food journey and evolving her palate. Excerpts from the interview:
What was the inspiration behind Thirsty Beers and Thirsty City127?
Thirsty Beers was already found when I joined hands with my director, Vir Kotak. From there, we together have grown and evolved the beers. Thirsty City is a result of sheer passion and market gap. A lot inspires us, what matters is how we convert that into a consumer offering
How challenging it was for you to be a woman restaurateur as this sector is highly male dominated?
There’s not a single industry that’s not challenging. It would be unfair of me to single out hospitality. But yes, it’s tough. One got to be tougher than usual.
Why Mumbai as your location. You could have opened one in Delhi-NCR?
Yes, we could have and are opening this year. Mumbai first because of the microbrewery licenses which were unavailable in Delhi when we started out.
How have you seen Mumbai’s nightlife changing in all these years? How is your bar different?
The scene across India is ever evolving. It was thriving back in the 60’s and even before, in the era of jazz and live performances. The adults ruled then. It’s a different scene now. Millennial rule now, it’s dynamic, it’s wild, it’s experimental and it’s spoilt for choices. The consumer is also very price sensitive.
Thirsty City 127 is a bar that was born out of market gap. It’s different because it identifies what’s missing. It offers a unique and differentiated product which in itself is ever evolving and in sync with international trends.
With Mumbai now open 24*7 what profits you have gained in your business?
It’s too new a rule for us to comment on its impact on business.
Who all are your regular clients?
Anyone who is visiting the bar more than a few times is our clients. They love the new things we do and come back to try ‘new’.
What tips you would like to give to woman entering the bar biz?
Trust your instinct and go for it.
Since, you are into beer business. Do you see any competition from players like The Beer Café who have expanded themselves pan India?
We always appreciate healthy competition. It’s great to be in a dynamic market with such varied formats.
What is your expansion plan?
We are currently working on a new concept for Delhi. Another new one for Bombay and a completely differentiated format for the beers.