India is the highest tea consuming country globally and second largest producer of tea in the world after china. Tea industry is around 10 billion dollar market in India and its growing at the CAGR of around 16%.
In conversation with Restaurant India at TIE Food Summit 2018, Robin Jha, Founder & CEO, Tpot Café shares his success story, and what it takes to stay ahead of the competition when the market is encircled by Chai players.
How has been your entrepreneurial journey so far?
In the past few years, India has seen the rise and fall of a myriad of business startups. Some were successful enough to become billion dollar companies, while others succumbed to the cut-throat competition. Amidst the race, there lies a Chai Nashta startup based out of Delhi NCR, which has been grabbing eyeballs with its quality food at much affordable prices. While everyday brings in news challenges and excitement, we have been scaling our company for the last 4 years. It has been the best decision that I had made for my life.
How are you scaling the business to remain ahead in the game?
The market is buzzing with competition and to mark your brand ahead of it is a difficult job at times. As a founder, when you are looking to start something, you might be thinking what is that compelling proposition for which a consumer or a customer will come to you? In any market, there is opportunity for multiple players and each player will have their own way to subsidize their customers. The initial journey is difficult to become profitable.
What makes your brand different from other Competitors?
The promise & value proposition which is essentially 5 star quality at roadside prices which essentially means that while the prices are great, we never compromise on the quality. The quality continues to be great. Our Chai’s are special, because we source it. The tea which you get at my outlet, you don’t get it anywhere.
What were the Challenges and how did you overcome them?
One of the biggest things in the food industry is to be a full stag player which essentially means try and do as much as you can all by yourself. If you own 60-70 supply chains, things will be in your favour.
As a startup founder, you are ready for challenges. Addressing every challenge and opportunity helps you grow. Grab every opportunity to deliver better products, come closer to your customers, be the next brand which your consumers will want to come to regularly.
Tell us about your future plans.
We have currently 31 outlets, with more focus in the B2B space. We are looking to scale up over 200 outlets in the next 2 years. We have in plans to capture other areas of Northern India like Chandigarh, Jaipur, Lucknow etc.
How are you planning to remain ahead of all other Chai Brands in India?
You need to be true to all your consumers. India has 4000 CCD outlets. If we gather all the Chai Brands together, I can assure the count will not rise up to 500. Competition helps you become well but only when it truly starts in the market.