North or South, East or West, Indians connect over a cup of ‘chai’ and the increasing number of start-ups in the market is a proof that there is space for all. With its new combos and mini nashtas, a new entrant in the market Chai Resto, is changing the way working Indians consume Indian tiffin and traditional chai. Its co-founder Vamsi Krishna shares why competition is good and why tea has a global market.
Walk us through the journey of Chai Resto- what inspired you to enter the F&B industry and why did you think chai cafes had the right market.
More than 8.5 lakh tones of tea are consumed in our country every year. Tea is served in almost every region. In our culture, tea plays a significant role like when guests are served tea and most conversations happen over a cup of tea. Tea is more than a cup of beverage for Indians. Apart from social reasons, tea also has a very good global market, which is the prime reason for us to build a brand on tea. We are currently serving some big corporate firms and have entered entertainment segment in multiplexes. Now we have launched our delivery services through online portals. Our target is to make ‘Indian nashtas’ along with tea available everywhere through our outlets and cloud kitchens. So, we are now focused on expanding and making ‘Chaai Resto’ a global brand.
The QSR segment is overcrowded especially with many coffee and chai cafes. The darshini concept itself is a big hit in Bengaluru. What's unique about Chai Resto and how are you standing out in the crowd?
Our cafes are designed to get a vintage look and feel. We are promoting Indian food in a modern way with an affordable price. We are imbibing Indian food culture into our brand and are ensuring our customers feel it. Also, we focus on lively ambiance with feel-good music and consistency of taste. Our mini nashtas with hot chai and couple combos which are available round the clock on online platforms are stealing the show.
To a great extent Chai Point disrupted the chai segment with its chain. How is the current market for restaurants like Chai Resto and how tough is it competing with established brands?
As a market, tea is huge globally. Market still needs more options and varieties. Competing with established brands is a tough game. But in this journey, we learn a lot of things and change ourselves a lot towards the betterment. Every customer will get benefited by the changes we make in our system. As long as the market is healthy and ready to offer more, there should be competition.
What new age marketing strategies are you adopting to reach your target consumers and what role is technology playing in this regard?
We are focusing more on the online ordering platform for home deliveries. We think that is the future because of the significant increase in people using technology. We are developing more social media campaigns, and making our presence felt in online platforms.
What innovation are you looking at to add to your brand profile?
We may come with our own personalised app for ordering directly from us which will enable us to focus more on delivery system may be like Dominos dominating in this platform.
What are your expansion plans? (Stores, products, business model and targets)
We are now on a mission 150 outlets by 2020 in South India through franchisee model. Anybody who wants to become foodpreneur with an investment of 15 lakhs can take our franchisee and carry the mission forward. And also, we are coming up with a small cloud kitchen formats which caters only online ordering systems.