Coffee experience goes online

Di Bella to entice Indian coffee lovers through cafes and online store.
Sachin Sabharwal
Di Bella, Australia's premium coffee brand, made way into India about four months back and in such a short span has set up a couple of stores as well. Besides physical presence, Di Bella also has set up an online portal to capture the Indian coffee connoisseurs, which is one of its kinds in India.
Moving ahead, it has swift expansion plans to tap the market. Gunjan Piplani gets details from Sachin Sabharwal, MD, Di Bella. 
 
 
Gunjan Piplani (GP): Can you brief us about the company in India and worldwide?
Sachin Sabharwal (SS): Di Bella Coffee was founded in 2002 by Philip Di Bella with the mission to assist the customers to get a flavour- of ‘Australia’s Ultimate Coffee Experience’. Combined with our signature coffee blends and the ability to ‘inspire passion’, Di Bella is recognised as the fastest-growing and most awarded coffee company in Australia. 
 
Today, Di Bella Coffee has over 1200 retail and wholesale outlets globally, which includes Australia, New Zealand, China and India, and serve more than 2.2 million cups of coffee per week. We continue to develop the market both nationally and internationally working on all the elements to create ‘Australia’s Ultimate Coffee Experience’: the constant pursuit of premium quality beans, the development of rich full-flavoured blends, the use of the finest coffee machinery and the education of the coffee processes.
 
GP: What is the current presence of Di Bella in India and what are the expansion plans from here on?
SS: As part of our global strategy, Di Bella Coffee, has expanded its operations into China and India. This project uses the business model that has been the key to Di Bella Coffee's success and incorporates an eastern twist to fit the evolving coffee industry into the ever growing Asian market. 
 
Adding to its existing five outlets in Mumbai, it is soon going to open three more stores in the next two months. 
With the current escalating graph of coffee consumption, Di Bella proceeds to expand its services to Pune in the next quarter. From there on, there would be at least 40 outlets in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Delhi within the next two to three years. Further plans have been chalked out to have Di Bella cafes in malls, high-end streets, and corporate offices, which so far is an untapped area with great potential in India.
 
GP: What is the concept of selling coffee online?
SS: We will be the first coffee chain in India to introduce a full online coffee store in the second half of 2012; where consumers can order freshly brewed coffee and beans anytime, anywhere, at their doorsteps in Mumbai.
 
This online store would also include a full range of Di Bella Coffee products: from any one of its signature coffee blends to syrups, chai powder or frappe mix. Moreover, one can also purchase uniquely designed Di Bella crockery, the latest equipment and every coffee accessory one could possibly need to bring the café experience at home. It will, therefore, be an exceptional online coffee store retail experience for the Indian consumers.
 
GP: Elaborate about your CSR initiatives.
SS: Di Bella is not only just another coffee house. It is also socially responsible of its duties towards the environment. Following are the CSR initiative practiced at Di Bella
 
Employment – Di Bella Coffee (India)
India can’t become a developed nation by 2020 if we neglect and leave behind five per cent of India’s population suffering from various physical challenges like visually impaired, deaf and dumb etc. 
 
Di Bella Coffee is committed to tap the potential of differently abled people and integrate them with national economic system and productive force. We take pride to welcome the differently-abled people into our organisation and consider these candidates with a vision that they grow and enable themselves to live independently.
 
Trading up – Di Bella Coffee 
Many coffee companies are starting to advertise 'Direct Trade' as the source of their raw materials. Di Bella Coffee believes this is a great way to do business and is actively pursuing Direct Trade as a means of securing our coffee in the future.
 
Direct Trade works on the principle of businesses voluntarily doing the right thing that is opting to purchase from producers who use sustainable methods on their farms, who treat their workers well and who charge prices which cover the production cost. There is more work involved with this approach because the buyer must also become the importer, but the benefits are significant. The producer is rewarded for their sustainable practices by receiving the price they want. The buyer will be happy to pay a higher than industry standard price because they are competing to buy a reliable supply of premium product.
 
Rainforest Alliance
- Di Bella Coffee Every bean we grind at Di Bella Coffee is made using 100 per cent Arabica coffee beans sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms in Brazil, Colombia and Costa Rica. The Rainforest Alliance seal guarantees that your coffee was grown on a farm where the environment is protected and workers are given access to better pay, education and medical care. 
 
 
GP: What is the product and price range that is offered at Di Bella? Is there any kind of Indianisation of flavours?
SS: For India, the entire beverage menu (hot and cold) will stay the same as they are globally however, our food menu will be adapted to the Indian palate. This will include more vegetarian varieties and our dessert range to be mostly eggless. Our coffee prices start from Rs 90 onwards.
 
 
GP: What are the promotional and marketing strategies for Di Bella in India?
SS: India has so far not tasted a wide variety of coffees from across the world. Being an emerging Nation, India should have these offerings at its doorstep. Therefore, Di Bella is offering its full-time premium A-grade coffee beans sourced from countries like Yemen, Cuba, Peru, etc, to the Indian consumers.
 
Other unique offering includes Di Bella crockery. The entire range is designed around our exclusive menu. Our crockery has interesting names as well. For instance, a Koala Cup for Cappuccinos, Cuddle Cup for Hot Chocolates, Curved Cup for Flat White, Mug and Warmer set for Lattes and Mochas.
 
On top of it all, Di Bella will be the first café chain to have a full digital interaction platform throughout its outlets. There will be a Samsung Galaxy Tab on each table for customers to read the menu and place orders. They would also have net-surfing and email facilities on these devices. Moreover, the menu application software on these tablets is being designed to offer full Facebook interactivity to ensure our customers have a personal connection with the Di Bella brand.
 
GP: Who are your target audience?
SS: There is no particular age or people that we are targeting, anyone and everyone looking for an implausible coffee experience would be our target audience, but we mostly see the younger bunch of people more habituated to coffee drinking.

 

Sachin Sabharwal, MD, Di Bella
 
 
 
 
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