INDORE :  Tea-focussed QSR brand goes Global

STORY SYNOPSIS

In 2016, Dubey received a call from Anand Nayak, a former classmate, and  the two immediately began discussing possible business ventures.

To try something novel was the plan. So Dubey made the decision to serve tea in the kulhad.

In addition to choosing a green alternative, CSB is doing well for potters.

Today, the business operates 380 locations, including ones in Nepal and Dubai. According to Dubey, the country’s northern belt’s expansion is nearly complete.

 

Anubhav Dubey decided to work with Mumbai’s dabbawalas, who are renowned for promptly delivering meals to every part of the sprawling metropolis, in order to improve his management abilities.

Dubey, 29, finds management lessons all around him. Because of this, the creator of Chai Sutta Bar (CSB) is willing to pursue novel learning opportunities as he works to increase the number of his tea QSR locations in India. Delivery is all about being on time, being efficient, and reducing errors, therefore dabbawalas are a fantastic learning environment. I have a video I made with them about success, time management, and teamwork, and I’ll try to put what I learned into practise,” says Dubey.

After Class 8, Dubey relocated from Reva, MP, to Indore to further his education. He moved to Delhi in 2014 to study for the UPSC examinations but quickly realised he wasn’t cut out for it. “It took a lot of academic discipline to study for the UPSC. But I was constantly focused on work and frequently got sidetracked.

In 2016, Dubey received a call from Anand Nayak, a former classmate, and the two immediately began discussing possible business ventures. Dubey returned to Indore in 2016 without telling his family about his plans to launch a business. “We were unsure about our intentions. We took a bike tour throughout the city to gather ideas and discovered what was effective. What we observed was that tea stalls were fairly prevalent and operational everywhere. Anand desired to acquire a McDonald’s franchise.

What is cooking?

The two decided on a house close to a girls’ hostel since they were aware that location would be crucial. “We selected this site since it might be a hangout for young people. We at first invited our pals around for a complimentary cup of tea. Curiosity increased as soon as individuals noticed a crowd, and consumers flocked to the establishment. Our plan worked out well. We launched our first location in July 2016 and, thanks to a franchise, were able to launch a second location in just two months, according to Dubey. Through the franchise system once more, the third shop was opened in Ujjain and the fourth in Mumbai.

To try something novel was the plan. So Dubey made the decision to serve tea in the kulhad. “Our clients appreciated the chocolate tea we started with in the kulhad, which was priced at Rs 7. We made sure the atmosphere was excellent and that the goods were reasonably priced. Seven types of tea are available today, with costs ranging from Rs 10 to Rs 30. We offer meals as well, making us a full-service QSR shop, claims Dubey.

Another positive effect is coming from his kulhad trial. In addition to using a green alternative, CSB is doing well for potters, “Their business was highly seasonal. During the summer, they either made earthen pots or diyas for Diwali. Today, they have year-round employment, and we and our rivals have helped 1,500 families find jobs. We utilise 3–4 lakh kulhads each day, hence we require 93 lakh kulhads every month from various potters These potters are dispersed throughout tiny towns surrounding Allahabad including Khurja and Jamnipura.

Expanded footprint

Today, the business operates 380 locations, including ones in Nepal and Dubai. According to Dubey, the country’s northern belt’s expansion is nearly complete. He would now concentrate on South India. Additionally, he recently registered a business in the US, UK, and Canada.

“As of right now, the company has five locations, and one more will soon open in Dubai. The co-founder claims that the remainder are all in the franchise mode. Because a franchisee owner sees the value in the firm, according to Dubey, franchising has become a very popular method of growth. “People that are interested in becoming involved realise there is money to be made. We collect a one-time franchise fee and 2% of revenues as a royalty. We assist with venue reconnaissance, menu planning, training, marketing, logistics, and full supply chain assistance, according to Dubey.

Ankit Gupta, a CSB franchise owner, claims a YouTube post sparked his interest in the company. “We connected with the name because it’s so catchy. We worked with CSB to become a franchise holder in December 2019,” claims Gupta.

Although many people might connect the word “sutta” in the company’s name with smoking, Dubey insists they do not support it. We wanted a distinctive name because we are not a brand, and this was a marketing strategy we employed. Smoking is categorically prohibited in all of our locations and is not supported by any of our establishments. Even now, Dubey continues, we have anti-smoking programmes.

Dubey, a young entrepreneur, claims that the pandemic has been one of his most difficult times. We had to figure out how to manage everything, including the inventory we kept and the rent for the stores. The majority of our employees are either disabled or orphaned. Their paychecks were exceedingly hard to pay. But despite this catastrophe, the inspiring actions taken by our team members allowed us to survive the pandemic. During that time, we also sold our first franchise in Canada, which really boosted our confidence in what we were doing. We had roughly 100 franchises prior to Covid; today, we are getting close to 400,” adds Dubey.

After water, tea is the second most popular beverage on earth, and India is the 29th largest consumer of tea worldwide. “The opportunity is significantly greater globally. Following Turkey in that ranking is the UK. Since people in the UK prefer water-based tea, we will adjust our offerings to suit their preferences. There will also be samples of our customary milk-based teas available for the sizable Indian and South Asian population. In Canada, bubble tea is extremely well-known, and we’ll be competing against the venerable Tim Horton’s. However, we will proceed in accordance with market demands,” says Dubey.

While the franchisees it oversees generated over Rs 150 crores in income last fiscal year, the business only generated Rs 10 crore in that period. Until now, the firm has been bootstrapped, but Dubey claims he will require capital as it continues to grow.

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