How this hot beverage start-up is brewing 'happiness' with innovation?

The organic markets in India are largely spread across the food and beverages, health and wellness, beauty and personal care and textile industries.
How this hot beverage start-up is brewing ‘happiness’ with innovation?
Shariq Ashraf  and Bhuman Dani

The Good Life Company(TGL) is the fastest growing hot beverages start-up in India. The company claims that it sources clean ingredients from global markets.  Priced at Rs. 549, TGL teas are packed in biodegradable pyramid tea bags and individually sealed using a natural nitrogen flush to retain its freshness. In an exclusive conversation with Shariq Ashraf  and Bhuman Dani Co-Founders The Good Life Company share more insights of their venture.

According to you, what would be the estimated market size of packaged beverages in India. What are the factors propelling growth in this segment?

India maintains a market size for organic packaged food and beverages of US$54.6mn in 2017, which is 0.1% of global category sales. The organic markets in India are largely spread across the food and beverages, health and wellness, beauty and personal care and textile industries. The highest growth is observed in the organic food segment, followed by textile, beauty and personal care. The current Indian domestic market is estimated at INR40,000 million which is likely to increase by INR100,000 million — INR120,000 million by 2020 with a similar increase in exports. Adherence to safety measures and quality food supply accompanied by strong global competition is likely to keep the industry’s plate full and stir it towards future expansion. Before we started TGL, being management consultants, we analysed multiple points of data on the Indian consumer trends and preferences, especially data on income profiles and how they would change over the next 5 years. We learned that the “Aspirational” segment (income levels 5L to 10L per annum) would grow the fastest over the next 5 years and would in fact 25 million households would be added to this segment. These “Aspirational” Indians represent a new category of individuals that are more value-conscious than price-conscious, which is why we decided to create a premium aspirational brand with high quality products sourced from the finest botanicals in the world.

Kindly shed light on your entrepreneurial journey. What inspires you to launch Mogo Mogo Tea? What were the initial challenges while launching this venture and how did you counter them? Do you work with modern retailers as part of distribution strategy?

The inception of TGL Co. traces back to when TGL Co. co-founder Bhuman Dani, an MBA from INSEAD, walked into the East India Company store in London one day, little did he know that it would change his life. With no background in the world of speciality teas, this experience opened his mind to brews, blends and blades. But this appetiser only fuelled his thirst for more knowledge in this space. So he began his apprenticeship with Jane Pettigrew, one of the most renowned master blenders of tea in the world and learnt about teas, origins and influence of botanicals in creating the perfect blend.

At the same time, in another corner of the world, Shariq Ashraf, an MBA from Oxford University and a self-professed tea aficionado was inspired by another tea company. While travelling through Argentina, he came across “Tealosophy”. Its founder, Inés Berton, inspired Shariq with her enviable tea knowledge and he began to work towards bringing this spectacular range of speciality teas to India. They were creating the perfect business model, when these ‘brew-bros’ met at a Mumbai alumni event of The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a leading global management consulting firm, where both had previously worked. Now this is what we call serendipitea!

Kindly shed light on your TG and order frequency on a daily basis. Also, shed light on your distribution touch points in the online as well as offline space. Going forward, what are the plans to scale-up the distribution?

Our usual order frequency is approx. 450+ from online platform.  In May 2019, we launched 10 TGL products at more than 150 points of retail sales. This includes the newest addition to the TGL tea family – the Lemon Detox, which is a unique blend of green tea, lemongrass, lemon slices, calendula and everlasting flowers. Not only is this amazing blend refreshing and aromatic but it also serves your daily detox needs perfectly.

 Are you bootstrapped or have raised any sorts of funds so far?

The Good Life Company, since inception has raised investments of INR 16.5Cr ( Primary+Secondary) from angel strategic investors. 

What kind of market trends do you see in small towns towards natural drinks? Also shed light on your marketing strategies?

We are not targeting in small towns as of now as we have briefly explained the TG above. We at TGL Co are making sure that we are tapping the entire medium platform to showcase our products and services. Currently we are working on Digital and on ground marketing. In terms of digital platform, we are running an ad campaign on a daily basis to reach our customers. At the same time we are doing a lot of pop up activities across all the sectors like, Corporates, Cafes, Retail stores, co-working spaces and by doing marquee events like NH7 Weekender, IIFA Awards, Vogue Wedding Show etc. 



Shariq Ashraf  and Bhuman Dani