Take a guess as to what this is? An aromatic beverage commonly prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub native to East Asia, sound familiar? A truly household name in India, marking the beginning of a fresh new day with a hot cup of ..Tea !!, the second most common beverage in the world after water.
A stressbuster, and a source of calm for many, a must-have with snacks over a lazy Sunday evening, we track the journey of a startup that brought the wistful home-style servings of your favorite beverage woven into cafes.
It all began with an idea to start a chain of cafes serving tea when a late-night craving went unquenched in late-night Houston in 2008, that led to the creation of Chaayos on November 2012, a chai ‘adda’ (hangout spot) that allows you to order chai online with over 1200 personalized chai options with branches in cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, New Delhi, Gurgaon as it rises in popularity among the gen-z youngsters giving the coffee laced cafes a run for their money.
What started off as a simple serving of chai has now grown to offer shakes, lemonades, snacks, meals as it went head to head with its competition. Tapping into a hitherto untapped market in a country roughly consuming 30 cups of tea for every cup of coffee, Chaayos came as a solution to the ideal cup of tea desired by the average Indian, with a market-ready to be taken by storm. But the obstacle lay in breaking the taboo image of tea outside homes. Tea was and will always be fancied in the home-brewed fashion because honestly, nothing beats that.
So to cater to the needs of its prospective customers Chaayos introduced customized tea, make it just the way you like it, that allowed it to gain the acceptance it needed to break out into the beverage scene and change the paradigm, as it began offering snacks giving it just the right touch of homely care, especially to the hungry office folk, where the staple ‘chai’ shall always remain untouched and unperturbed as it stands alone, in being doted upon by the 9-5 people, as the gratifying daily tea led them to forget about their troubles if only for a second.
Chaayos bagged a revenue of a whopping Rs 27.28 crore in 2016-17 and reduced its loss by 55% from the previous year. The repeat customer rate of 42% month on month, which has been a major factor behind Chaayos’s growth as the focus had always been on improving the customer experience and improvising in toto to cater to an ever-growing audience as it begins to find traction among the youth.
As Chaayos steadily grows in stature, go order a hot cup of tea, and relish while you read how a simple idea coupled with the willingness to experiment and improvisation led to a successful business venture that still has a long way to go.
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