Chaayos – “Experiment with Chai is” is one of the fastest growing startup of India. In India, chai (brewing tea) is more than just a cup of tea. It is something people start their day with; a necessary drink to wake you up in morning as well as refreshment drink with afternoon snacks. In every home in India, no matter of what status, people use to drink tea; or one can say a kind of drink people cannot live without. The thick sweet drink is an integral as well as favorite part of everyone’s life.
But after being so important and famous drink, we never heard of any famous brand or chain outlet dedicated to chai only. There are 2000 plus coffee chains are available in every corner of any city but there was a time when you could not get a neat and clean cup of tea with a nice ambience at a café. People had to depend on to their home or any street side shop to get a cup of tea of their choice. This is the core seed behind the foundation of Chaayos.
“This was the main idea of Chaayos – having a place where you can go get a fresh hygienic cup of tea made to your likings with a nice ambience and relax settling.” – says CEO and founder of Chayoos Nitin Saluja.
How Chaayos Started
Chaayos is founded by two techies – Nitin Saluja, IIT Bombay Graduate and Raghav Verma, IIT Delhi Graduate. Before the foundation of Chaayos, they used to work in a US consulting firm Opera Solutions. Nitin was always a chai freak.
“Somehow chai was always there at the back of my mind. And when I asked myself if there is a place in India where I can find ‘meri wali chai’, the answer was no.” quoted Nitin.
According to him this was the turning point and he decided to explore the idea on a business level. During this phase Nitin met Raghav Verma – an IIT Bombay Graduate of batch 2010 through a common friend. Raghav was also working for the US consulting firm Opera Solutions. They both shared the idea and convinced to kick it of this craziest idea on the floor of entrepreneurship. They both quit the top paying US based IT job and gave their every ounce of blood to their startup. Business areas like – Product development, settling the supply chain, settling up the process are under Nitin and areas like Marketing and business development are under Raghav concern. They named their startup – CHAAYOS and the first outlet store launched in November 2012 in DLF cyber city Gurgaon, Delhi.
Taste and Ambience
When we see Chai as a product, it is very simple. But in Chayoos, customers can get 25 variety of tea and those can be customized in 12000 different ways! “Experiments with Tea” – this is the tagline of Chayoos. Versatility of tea with wide range of flavors this is what their brand believes in.
Each Chai is handcrafted and made upon orders. The variety of teas which Chaayos offers ranges from Indian Chai like Pani Kam Chai and Kashmiri Kahawa to international favorites like chamomile tea and Moroccan tea.
– Adds Nitin Saluja – Founder of Chaayos.
They have presented very uniqueness in their tea menu or you can say they have bold enough to do experiment. Some of their famous teas are named as Hari Mirch Chai, Aam Papad Chai and God’s Chai.
Another most important featured they have added in their business is the ambience of the outlets. The Chaayos café represents the “Chai way of life”. The interior design of the café is as such that it relates the very core concept of tea; lamps made of cutting Chai glasses, kettles and Chai samples in taste tubes that shows the experimentive nature of the firm.
According to Nitin –
The idea is to create a warm and friendly neighborhood space where people can come with friends and family and also on work.
The Business Insight of Chaayos
Chaayos started its journey by opening its first and single store in DLF Cyber City, Gurgaon Delhi. Today they have approx 16 stores running in Delhi including Mumbai. This year they are planning to open 50 Plus cafes in Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi. As of now, they have 200 plus working headcount for their firm and they sell approx 500 Plus order per day per outlet.
Raghav Verma, co-founder of Chaayos, says Chayoos has a long journey of uphill tasks in upcoming years. This includes increasing the number of outlets, establishing a footprint across all metros, building a strong team of people for each department like production, marketing, delivery etc.
“We are a chai company, not a chai cafe. Whenever and wherever there is an opportunity to serve somebody ‘chai’, we want to be present.”
– Raghav Verma.
“Our aim is to deliver all across NCR in less than 20 minutes by August end. Chai is something for which people would not want to wait too long.” – informs Nitin.
The Highest selling outlet of Chaayos turned into an annual income of INR 1 Cr. This was the greatest mile stone in business journey of Chaayos.
Chayoos- A Well backed Venture
As any other business Chaayos was also required investors to raise funds to grow its business. It cracked the deal with Angel Round from the likes of Zishaan Hayath.
Chaayos also raised 5 million dollars from Tiger Global Management. The fund will be used to expand its café to Mumbai and Bangalore. In an intervew with Yourstory Nitin said
We get this question a lot: why did someone like Tiger invest in a chain of tea outlets?” He goes on to explain the situation: “On the face of it, Chaayos is a chain of tea outlets but there is a bigger underlying vision. The company wants to become part of every Chai occasion for the consumer. And the outlet is just a start.
Chaayos is betting that the next phase of its growth will be powered by tea delivery services and packaged tea blend that it sells through its café as well as on online market place such as Amazon and Snapdeal. Company Sells 10,000 cups of tea in a month and is targeting to sell three million cups of tea within 18 months with plans to open Chai on demand services. For this they have tied up with many logistic companies to deliver Chai in 15 mins.
Nitin and Raghav has taken a simple concept to a very high heights. But for them this is just a beginning. They are all set with new ideas and concept and working on to mix these new ones with the already implemented new ones. There is no doubt that they have rivals too in the market like Chaipoint and Chai Thela which are giving them a neck to neck competition.
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