In conversation with Restaurant India, Atit Verma, Co-Founder, Tpot talks about how his love for tea made him enter into this industry.
How did the idea of establishing your own venture come up in your mind?
The Tpot journey started way back in 2013 when we were working in corporate having a dream to start something of our own. Irrespective of tea being the most consumable hot drink in this industry, it still was an untapped business in QSR industry. Therefore, our goal was to establish something which would be dealing with tea and items related to that.
When did you realize that there is something for you in the food industry? What inspired you?
While I was working in corporate, we used to have tea at road side vendors which were very unhygienic. So the inspiration came to start a ‘chai nastha’ venture where desi style can meet hygiene. Our USP is also based on providing five star quality tea and snacks at a road side price. The inspiration came from that moment itself where I wanted to establish a venture by serving good quality of tea and snacks to the people.
What’s the story behind naming it as Tpot?
I carry a great love for kulhad chai. When I use to travel in train from my hometown, one vendor use to come and sell tea by saying "kharab wali chai.” He used to serve tea in kulhad. I was his regular customer, whenever I used to travel in the same route. I thought why not serve good customized tea to people and that’s when Tpot was born.
How do you see the trend of F&B industry changing with time?
The trend is very dynamic which is changing rapidly. It is expected that we welcome many trends with the upcoming time and have to adapt to the situation.
The menu looks as if it has a variety of things to offer. Tell us something about it.
Different kind of customized tea is available including masala, ginger, laung and cardamom. In the food section we have vada pav, bombay pav bhaji, ammi keema kulcha, different varieties of sandwich, rolls, garlic bread etc.
What is your take on the rise of so many theme cafes in the current time?
This business isn't for the faint hearted. India has a big appetite for eating out. The economics of running a restaurant isn’t keeping up. The amount of real estate available to restaurateurs is limited, rentals are constantly increasing and yet consumers are going for (cheaper) casual dining, making it harder for us to break even.
Where do you see your venture in the upcoming few years and what more can be expected from you?
We are looking forward for reaching to a number of 150 outlets. Expansion of more geographical location in India is also in my mind to places like Pune, Bangalore and Ahmedabad.
What are your marketing strategies to deal with challenges?
Depending on local markets and taste, intense competition are just some factors. As said, consumers are going for cheaper casual dining which has made things difficult to judge consumer behavior. We are constantly playing with our menu so that it we can always provide something new to our customers.
What is the uniqueness of Tpot?
Our main motive is to provide five star quality tea and snacks at a roadside price. We provide customized freshly brewed tea and prepare fresh food which taste good and has the tendency to satisfy people’s expectation.