"At Joost, we follow very high standard checks to get the best from the world," says Rivoli Sinha Founder & MD, Joost Juice Bars, NurtureU Enterprise Pvt Ltd. Read on to know more about the brand's inception and growth in India.
Please tell us in detail about your journey from inception till now?
When I stay abroad; I saw how the health-shift was happening. The health sector was picking up like, it is picking up here now. I foresaw an opportunity in a quick service, but I wanted to offer customers an ‘option to choose better’. There were no options for a healthy fresh drink in the organised sector. Joost happened to ‘bridge the gap’ and offer people an alternative to the usual. The intention was to move back home with a brand that was different. Joost fit in perfectly as it was healthy, fun loving and young brand. The vibe and energy of the brand is amazing. It’s truly ‘amazing how something so healthy can taste so good.’
From where do you source these products?
At Joost, we follow very high standard checks to get the best from the world. Our blueberries, raspberries, passion fruit come from New Zealand. At the same time we observed the Indian taste pallet and got the ‘alphonso or Hapoos’ mangoes from Ratnagiri belt in Maharashtra. We have also started operations by using imported strawberries and then happily switched to the secret variety ‘Sweet Charlie’, which is perfect for juicing and blending from Mahabaleshwar belt in Maharashtra. The other fruits are sourced from the local wholesale markets with approved vendors and strict specifications.
There are so many start-ups who are applying competitive techniques and prices to attract customers. Do you take it as healthy competition or an upcoming threat to your business? Please elaborate.
I welcome healthy competition. I want more and more people to get aware of the benefits of ‘cold pressing’ and well being as a whole. There are no technique or price points to attract customers. I believe, if your product is good, honest and margins justified and then the people will love to pay the price as they also expect a certain standard and quality.
What are the criteria to choose the right franchise partner?
When looking for sub- franchise, I only look for one thing- who are as passionate and want to own a Joost/Boost as much as I wanted to. It’s the passion and interest that makes me select anyone. A franchise partner should not be a non-involved one and money shouldn’t be the only criteria in choosing one. Any brand works hard to create and nurture, so you cannot give it in wrong hands.
What kind of training and support do you provide to your franchisees?
We not only look after training, but also provide customised software of Joost, also have a ‘forward team’ that runs and settles the store upon opening to boost the start of their business. We have franchise business consultants in each area from our company to support their businesses. The ongoing marketing activities are planned and executed by us. In short, it’s not treated like any other but our own store and every effort is put to enhance their business.
When a new investor starts the business, he/ she may have no idea how to deploy the money in the business wisely. How do you guide the investors so that they can optimise their investment and maintain sustainability till they reach the breakeven?
We have specified SOPs for every single rupee our partner invests in the business. Right from store built, equipment to BTL activities we have negotiated costs. Our forward team sets up the back end for our partners. This again minimises chances of going wrong because of parking money in wrong lane. Through our last five years’ experience, we know what investment clicks and what hits the floor. We pass on the whole know how and assist partners at every step of the business roll out, consolidation and expansion. The real success for Joost franchising would be when an existing partner invests in more stores. We like to put everything in black and white and give full clarity to the partner from day one to not only the good but the risks he/she is exposed to as well. Our guidelines are our experience of building 15 plus stores and in five years of operations. As far as financial sustainability is concerned, we are reasonable and deal with it from case to case. We have had cases where we have made exceptions and supported our partners in every way.
Which are the markets that have been more receptive? Which are the markets that are opening up for the same?
I will not say receptive, but ‘west’ and ‘south’ are more welcoming. Also, due to the weather constrains the northern part of the country is still not convinced. But on the whole, I would say the educated modern India is ready market for Juices and smoothies. Contrary to all myths, Joost does equal sales in winters and summer months in Delhi.
Franchise model: Master Franchise
Investment: Rs 8-12 lakh (machinery) & Rs 8-10 lakh (depending on the model/size of the store)
Existing outlets: 15 (company) & 16 (Franchise in process)
Area: 150-250 kiosk model & 300-700 pressery café model
RoI: 24% per annum.
Breakeven: 10-15 months
Target cities for expansion: Pune, Bombay, Ahmadabad, Surat, Baroda, Chennai, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Bangalore
Preferred location: Mall atrium or high street visible walking street
Year of starting franchise operations: 2016
Year of inception: 2011