There’s nothing that a cup of tea can’t solve, and according to Amuleek Singh Bijral, Founder and CEO of Chai Point, India’s very first Chai startup, this is the situation all around the world. While it might come as shock to many of you but tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water.
In a bid to know more about Chai (चाय) and Chai Point, IndianWeb2 recently had a quick telephonic interview with the Chai king himself. Here’s what we found out.
According to Amuleek, when he started Chai Point in 2010, there wasn’t a single tea venture in the country delivering door-to-door tea. While the nukkad tea stalls were there, many white-collar workers didn’t enjoy the hygiene and the quality of tea being served there. Seeing that there was a huge market that craved for such a service, Chai Point was born in Bengaluru, then Bangalore.
Running on the slogan “India runs on chai”, Chai Point brings its users a perfectly brewed cup of Chai made with fresh, natural ingredients to homes, offices and working professionals around the country. Starting their first pilot store in Bengaluru in April 2010, Chai Point has rapidly grown to become the go-to brand for a perfectly brewed cup of Chai. It is currently present in eight cities – Bangalore, Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai. The tea Startup’s beverage offerings includes varieties of hot Chai, Iced Chai and shakes.
Chai Point has so far raised $10M (about Rs. 64 Crores) in single round from three investors — DSG Consumer Partners, Eight Roads Ventures and Saama Capital.
1) From Garden to Glass
As a matter of fact there is no single organised player in India’s Rs 33,000 crore chai market and Chai Point targets white-collar workers across the country who are fast on technology and love the new experience of sipping tea.
According to Amuleek, in order to provide its customers with the best brews, the company ensures that they source the highest quality tea from tea estates around the country. The tea leaves used by the company to make Chai are absolutely free of artificial colours and flavours as they are sourced from exclusive estates and companies in Assam, Darjeeling and the Nilgiris.
2) Made For Your Chai
What’s Chai without some accompaniments, right? Chai Point also takes care of this aspect of Chai drinking culture. In addition to its beverage offerings, Chai Point retails its own brand of consumer packaged goods, Made-For-Chai, which are bite-sized snacks that acts a perfect accompaniment to a cup of Chai. The offerings include Multigrain biscuits, Mathri, Cake Rusk, Quinoa Puff, Gud Chana, Masala Peanuts and Cornflakes Mix.
In order to stay true to its commitment of offering its customers with the best Chai experience anywhere and everywhere, Chai Point makes use of technology to solve the issues of convenience and accessibility in the South Asian country.
The technology being employed by the beverage pioneer are:
A cloud-based platform, SHARK allows for fast and seamless integration of billing and tracking across all Chai Point outlets, through mobile payment and Wi-Fi based setups. It also offers a delivery management platform that is integrated seamlessly with its POS and SCM service layers. The cloud-based platform also has a device management layer to manage IoT-enabled dispensers.
India’s very first cloud based beverages service platform, boxC.in provides IoT-enabled tea dispensing machines to corporate offices that provides freshly brewed Chai and coffee to office employees. The machines are connected to a cloud-platform which are accessible to customers who can keep track on the functioning of the machines as well as the billing process. The Tea retail chain startup Chai Point charges the corporates availing the service a monthly maintenance fee.
Hailing from Jammu and Kashmir, Amuleek did his electrical engineering from Punjab and then went on to do his MBA from Harvard University. After his MBA, though he had several offers from big corporates, he decided to come back to India and follow the entrepreneurial route and started Chai Point in 2010.
According to Amuleek, the tea industry in India is a huge market and they are still a small company in this huge market. Hence, they wish to ensure proper and faster execution of their plans and acquire quality customers
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