“Bubble Tea Brand ‘Boba Bhai’ Targets 100 Stores by 2024 End,” Founder Dhruv Kohli
“Bubble Tea Brand ‘Boba Bhai’ Targets 100 Stores by 2024 End,” Founder Dhruv Kohli

Dhruv Kohli started Boba Bhai in July 2023 with a vision to bring the exotic flavors of Bubble Tea to the Indian palate. Starting as a small venture, it quickly gained popularity for its authentic and innovative Bubble Tea offerings. Focuisng on quality ingredients, diverse flavors, and a unique customer experience, the brand saw an opportunity to blend cultural experiences and flavors by introducing Korean-inspired burgers. This move was a nod to the global popularity of K-pop and the increasing curiosity about Korean cuisine. Boba Bhai's fusion of Bubble Tea and K-pop burgers stems from a desire to offer a holistic experience. The lively culture of K-Pop, with its energetic music, harmonizes seamlessly with the diverse flavors of Bubble Tea. “This innovative concept has helped us carve a niche in the competitive market, and our journey is marked by an unwavering commitment to quality, creativity, and understanding evolving consumer preferences,” added Kohli. Excerpts from the interview:

How do you see the growth of the bubble tea market in India?

India is the fastest growing economy in the world and consumers here are open to adapting foreign cuisines, as long as the taste is according to the taste palete of the majority of the country. The opportunity here is massive, especially with increased interest in Korean cuisine among the younger generation who are now exposed to and have a keen interest in K-pop Music and Dramas. I would say it's time for us to not only focus on American cuisine but also cuisines such as Korean among others. I expect the industry to witness significant growth in years to come, and this is largely due to changes in eating habits and consumer preferences. As per Precedence Research, the Indian bubble tea market is poised for substantial growth, projecting a CAGR of 14.6% between 2023 and 2029. 

Our target audience would be Gen Y, Gen Z and Gen Alpha, for these are the age groups who are always up for something new and exciting and are most interested in the wave of K-Pop culture which includes Korean music and shows.

How do you decide on the location when expanding the brand as the segment is still very limited to a certain crowd/region?

We consider factors such as demographic profiles and consumer behaviour in the area. Understanding the preferences and needs of the local population helps us tailor our offerings to better resonate with their tastes and preferences. 

We also take logistical considerations into account such as infrastructure, transportation networks, and proximity to suppliers to ensure efficient operations and supply chain management. Overall, our expansion strategy involves a comprehensive analysis of various factors to ensure successful penetration into new markets while catering to the specific needs of different regions and demographics. 

How Boba Bhai innovatively combined Korean and Indian flavours?

Boba Bhai's innovative fusion of Bubble Tea and K-Pop Burgers goes beyond just combining two diverse culinary cultures; it also incorporates localized flavors to cater to the Indian palate. By infusing traditional Bubble Tea with familiar Indian flavors like Kala khatta and K-Pop-inspired burgers with spicy paneer that creates a unique blend of culinary experiences that appeals to both global and local sensibilities.

We also see that there’s a sudden growth in Korean food culture in India. Where do you see this trend going?

India is witnessing a high rise in the acceptance of Korean culture, be it drama or music. Meanwhile, we are witnessing a growing interest in a variety of culinary experiences that is reflected in the unexpected rise of Korean food culture in India. As more people discover and value the depth of flavour and distinctive offerings found in Korean cuisine, this trend is probably going to keep growing. The appeal of Korean cuisine is fuelled in part by the success of K-pop, dramas set in Korea, and greater cross-cultural interaction. We see more Korean restaurants opening up, more creative fusion food being introduced, and more people indulging in Korean cooking customs. 

You have opened 17 stores in just 6 months. What’s the secret ingredient behind the fast growth?

Boba Bhai, with its robust presence and a monthly order volume exceeding 20,000 on prominent platforms like Zomato and Swiggy, is poised to maintain its leadership in the Indian Bubble Tea and K-pop burger market through a multifaceted strategy.
Continuous innovation remains a cornerstone of our approach. By regularly introducing new flavors, we aim to keep our menu dynamic, catering to customers seeking novel experiences. Additionally, limited time offers catalyze customer curiosity and engagement, ensuring our offerings stay fresh and enticing.

Ensuring quality and consistency is paramount. Our digital presence and marketing strategy leverage the power of social media. Through social media engagement, we actively interact with customers, share updates, and run interactive campaigns. Online advertising further broadens our reach and promotes special offers to a wider audience. To foster customer loyalty, we are rolling out rewards and discounts through loyalty programs, encouraging repeat orders. Referral programs are also being launched to organically expand our customer base through customer recommendations.

Our expansion strategy involves identifying new strategic locations and entering neighborhoods to expand our customer base. Exploring opportunities for physical store presence in high-traffic areas aims to capture walk-in footfall.
Lastly, employee training and satisfaction are crucial elements. Continuous training ensures a high level of service and product knowledge, while employee satisfaction programs contribute to a positive customer experience, as happy employees are key to our success

Future expansion plans and key focus areas - immediate and long-term. 

Boba Bhai has recently expanded its operations to Delhi, launching two new outlets in the vibrant locales of Malviya Nagar and Rajouri Garden.  The company is also eyeing over 100 stores across India by the end of 2024, spreading its unique bubble tea offerings to enthusiasts nationwide.

Stay on top – Get the daily news from Indian Retailer in your inbox
Also Worth Reading