With an idea to promote Cocktail drinking in India, Karan Gonsalves started BarCzar. Talking to Restaurant India, he shares the response.
Barczar is a cocktail subscription app where users have an option for paying for a one month plan or three months. And, when there plan expires they can renew it. One can have the drinks from all the bars listed on BarCzar. The whole idea to launch was that the cocktail segment in India is highly underserved and India has primarily become a beer drinking nation or whisky or vodka straight on the rock or with soda or ice specifically. And, in the last two years a lot of restaurants and bars are investing heavily in the cocktail menu and they have realised the same. Why go to a bar if you can get a Kingfisher anywhere or whisky soda anywhere? But if you go to a bar and look at their cocktail menu it is the special cocktail that is exclusively available at that place. And, for bar it is a great differentiator and for bar they will be able to show the customers they are serving some uniqueness. And, we felt that there is no single platform in India which showcases this opportunities for bars and so we brainstormed and figured out how this will encourage these kind of concepts.
Booze as much you can
There is no limitation on the drink. One can go to the same bar every day or different bars depending on his choice. Also, it gives risk free options to the customers. You have to be over the age of 25 and you have to get a invitation code which is marketed by the team or any member of the app.
We launched the app two hours before Modi announced demonetisation. It was ironic. I think the 30 days have been tough. Our subscription has started increasing from mid December and now it has hugely picked up. We had waiting lists on our website and a lot of people who were on the list are now starting to be a paid member. We have got around 500 members in Mumbai as market is a little bit niche. We have around 70-80 drinks listed on our website out of which 98 per cent is cocktail. One or two bars have given mixed sangria or the beer cocktail.
All the subscription money that we get we put certain amount back in investing into the business. It is not about getting people drink but to create a category. It’s about behavioural change. If I have turned a beer drinker into an occasional cocktail drinker I have done my job. The more knowledge people will have about cocktail the more chances to convert them as regular cocktail drinker. In a start up culture you don’t set up budget for a year. It is the response on how you run. Profitability is not the number one metric for start ups. How many paid subscription are we generating and how people are using it termed as profitability for us. We are cash positive from day one and that in itself is a positive point.
We are primarily in suburb areas and for next phase we will look into south Mumbai and Lower Parel area. BKC, Lower Parel are already bar hub and they have night life. Our goal is to have to not more than 35 bars on our app. We have also started looking at Delhi as next city and then Bengaluru and Pune. So far we have around 21 restaurants in our app and by end February we are targeting at around 30. Once the model is a hit we may look at international markets to expand. In next six month we want to add few cities in India and international market.