In an email interaction with Restaurant India, Pankaj Judge, Co-Founder at Chai Thela talks about his story of bringing the brand to success.
The young and upwardly mobile consumers are not only trying out new coffee and tea blends but are also looking at customized or made to order products, shares NRAI foodservice report. Many tea brands are chasing on this and are offering add-ons and different ways of customising the regular tea and this has given a sudden push in the tea segment. Known for its tea drinking habit, India has witnessed an upwardly high growth in the tea cafe and boutique segment. Here are some excerpts from the interview of Delhi based ‘Chai Thela’ started in 2014 and has been catering to the demand of people in the field ever since.
When did you start?We ventured into the business in 2014 seeing that there is a need of affordable tea chain in the market. And, as I was always excited about the F & B space since it has so much to offer. I started ‘Chai Thela’ together with my partner Nitin.
How did you go about it?We started our first store as an experiment to see what all does it has to offer us and how the innovative concept will do. With time, as we gained popularity in the market, we kept refining our menus and gradually we realized that its working and we started expanding more in areas nearby to cater to the needs of people.
What was the initial investment and where did you get it from?Started with a mere initial investment of around Rs fifteen lacs from family and friends, it was a difficult task gathering the money.
What all do you offer in your restaurant?We offer a wide variety of tea as that is what our forte is. We offer 15 Varieties of tea flavours along with Indian snacks as side menu which includes bun maska, vada pav , Maggie etc that go well with the tea. Good and tasty ‘Chai Nashta’ is our speciality and is loved by people.
Since you have focused on the roadside ‘Thela’ chai. How about the interiors at the cafe?
The interiors at my cafe look like a typical but posh road side kiosk which is more refined, hygienic and cool. They go with the name and with the standards well.
How do you market your brand?We are not spending on Marketing as of now. Our main focus lies on building SCM and better standard products. A good brand with standardised offerings attracts customers itself.
What is your target audience?We have no target audiences as such and cater to all the age groups as every Indian drinks tea. You can almost never find freshly brewed tea anywhere and that is what we wanted to offer, a feeling of home, away from home.
Tell us about all that you feel you have achieved till now.
I feel satisfied with all that I have done and achieved in the process. We already have twelve stores and are soon opening 10 more in 3 months time. It was a long journey but has proved fruitful.