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Food and Beverage 2012-03-08

A cup full of profits

By Neha Gohil Feature Writer

Destined to grow coffee culture in India Concorde Cuppa Beverages Pvt. Ltd was started in 2008. In an interview Naren, Founder and Director, Concorde Cuppa Beverages Pvt. Ltd share the inception and expansion plans of the brand.

Neha Gohil (NG): Share the inception and concept of ‘Cuppa’?

Naren: Coffee Culture is slowly picking up in India due to the global exposure of the corporate youth and increasing life style standards of Indian middle class as well. Inspired by Starbucks from USA, I thought of starting my own coffee brand. Concorde Cuppa Beverages Pvt. Ltd was started in May 2008. The entire concept of Cuppa was designed and built from scratch.

The concept is to have a daylong availability of excellent beverages as well as freshly made food in the Café. Customers should unwind and relax in an excellent atmosphere, clean and hygiene environment and should have domestic as well as international beverages.

NG: What is the USP of Cuppa?

Naren: Wide variety of national and international tea/coffee, excellent ambience, bright colors, refreshing interiors and wide variety of freshly prepared food are our USP’s.

NG: Why and when did you decide to take the franchise route for expansion?

Naren: Franchise route was a part of business plan from inception. Mostly the present cafe brands do not have an option to franchise. We realised that there were a lot of potential investors who wanted to have a café store, but could not due to the non- availability of good franchising brands.

Cuppa gave a platform to potential investors to become a franchise. We are an end to end solution provider. We operate in both Build-Operate-Transfer as well as Build-Transfer models.

NG: Presently, how many owned and franchised outlets do you have? Where are they located?

Naren: We have total 33 outlets out of which six are company owned and 27 are franchised. They are in Bengaluru (26), New Delhi (3), Hyderabad (2), Davangere (1), and Pune (1).

NG: What are company's expansion plans through franchising in India? How much investment is required to partner with the brand?

Naren: Cuppa will continue to expand through franchise option across India. We tend to reach 100 stores by end of 2012. The investment starts from Rs 25 lakh to 50 lakh and an area of 500 sq. ft to 2,500 sq. ft and above.

NG: Have you faced any competition from other F&B brands? If yes, how do you propose to deal with it?

Naren: So far, we have created a niche brand for ourselves. We operate in the same space as other F&B brands do. We constantly keep innovating with our menu products. We are the only café where in store promotions in both food and beverages are done all through the year. New items are added in to our menu every quarter.

NG: What criteria do you seek for prospective franchisee?

Naren: Currently, we look at the financial stability, first time entrepreneurs, and passion for business in prospective franchisees.

NG: How does the company support and train its franchisees?

Naren: We are an end to end solution provider. We in fact hand hold the franchisee starting from Proprietary/Partnership firm registration, facilitate Government approvals, finalise commercial space, hire and train the café staff, provide store operation training and monthly reports to franchisees etc.,

We have an Area Operations Managers who manage a set of stores and AOM will be the SPOC for franchisee’s to resolve café issues like quality, cleanliness, collections, payments, machinery issues etc. Our model is fine tuned in such a way that franchisee need not spend full time in his/her outlet. We do monthly audit’s to ensure inventory control and sales analysis. All the SOP’s are part of the deliverables given to franchisee at the time of store opening.

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