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The Chai Sutta Bar: Growing to a 100 crore business, one cuppa at a time



Entrepreneurship might have been in the genes of Anubhav Dubey who started a tea shop in Indore at the age of 22 without the knowledge of his father, a real estate businessman, along with his friend Anand Nayak.

Today it has grown into a Rs. 100 crore turnover 145-outlet tea chain, located in more than 70 cities in India and with an outlet each in Muscat and Dubai.

They started the first Chai Sutta Bar outlet in 2016 with an investment of Rs. 3 lakh and expanded through the franchise model. Today the company owns five outlets, while the remaining 140 outlets are owned by franchisees.

Anubhav’s family went through difficult times when he was a child, and some of the memories of those days are strongly etched in his mind. The family used to live in Rewa, a small town with a population of about 3 lakh people and located about 670 km from Indore. Belonging to a lower-middle-class family Anubhav was taught plenty of lessons to respect and use every single penny wisely.

Somehow his family managed to get him to a college in Indore. Here too he traded second hand used phones with his friend and made some extra money out of it. After college, he went to Delhi to prepare for UPSC, which was his father’s dream. But he had no intention of becoming an IAS officer. He met his friend who was also not enjoying what he was doing after college. So, both of them decided to start something of their own and that is how Chai Sutta Bar was born.

Anubhav got a fund of Rs. 3 lakh from his family and with the help and support of his friend, they found a land with decent rent and perfect location. Later on, they bought second-hand furniture and did whatever they could to save the money in the starting. Their business boomed and they shifted from paper cups to kulhad (earthen pots) and served seven types of chai, including chocolate flavour which was much loved by the youngsters, rose chai, besides the traditional masala, ginger, cardamom chai and a special paan flavoured chai.

The price ranges between Rs. 10 and Rs. 200 for chai and other items that they offer including Maggi, Sandwiches, and Pizzas.

“Despite two lockdowns in the past one year, none of our outlets have shut down and are doing decent business. This is the worst phase for the F&B industry, but we know we will sail through,” says Anubhav confidently.

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Investor’s greed a problem, says Sankaran Naren




Gordon Gekko might have felt that greed, for lack of a better word, is good, but that isn’t always the case. The human urge to clamour for more has caught many an investor on the wrong foot and Sankaran Naren, Executive Director and CIO at ICICI Prudential, opines that investor greed is increasing day-by-day, which is a problem.

Naren Indian equity portfolios at ICICI Prudential, and has worked with various financial services companies, including Refco Sify Securities India and HDFC Securities. Delving further into the issue at hand, he says, “We are not seeing a problem in the macro or business cycle. But investor greed is a bigger problem. They think that there is only one asset class called equity and there is nothing called risk and that is the bigger problem rather than anything else in the macro or business cycle from an India point of view. In the world, all the way from 2012, people have not seen market corrections in the US. There people are used to investing in stocks and not worrying at all about market corrections except in 2018 December and 2020 March,” said Sankaran.

At this point, he believes that it is very important for investors to practice asset allocation and that they should make choices based on earnings connected to 2021 or 2022, investing in names which have steady operating cash flows, dividend yield, etc.

“The key learning from 2007 is that investors who invested in IPOs based on 2014 earnings were in for a disappointment. There is a fair amount of froth in many parts of the markets, particularly in new-age areas. Unlike Asia which has seen periodic market corrections, since 2012, US equities have barely witnessed a meaningful correction,” said the fund manager.

“Today the number of loss-making new age companies trading at stretched valuations is very high in the US compared with dividend-paying, cash flow-generating old economy-oriented companies,” he concluded, as he offered an investment roadmap for stocks and mutual funds to a rapt audience. 

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Swiggy to give 2-day paid monthly period leave to female delivery partners




Food delivery giant Swiggy has announced a two-day paid monthly period leave policy for female delivery partners, marking an industry first. Swiggy has over 1000 women on its delivery team, and has stated that since bringing on female delivery partners, it has been working to increase inclusivity and diversity across the platform. The company believes that providing a welcoming environment for women will inspire them to explore delivering with them.  

Other initiatives to deepen inclusivity include enabling access to vehicles, access to hygienic restrooms, and implementing safety measures for female delivery partners. Mihir Shah, Vice President of Operations at Swiggy, said discomfort from being out and about on the road while menstruating is probably one of the most underreported reasons why many women don’t consider delivery to be a viable gig.  

“To support them through any menstruation-related challenges, we’ve introduced a no-questions-asked, two-day paid monthly period time-off policy for all our regular female delivery partners,” said Shah.  

SoftBank-backed Swiggy has approximately 200,000 delivery partners, with about 1,000 of them being female. Swiggy hired its first female delivery partner in Pune in 2016. “Since then, we’ve been working hard to promote inclusivity and diversity across the platform, with a goal of increasing the number of female delivery partners in Swiggy’s delivery fleet,” Shah added.

“Swiggy understands the pain of a woman in the field and period leave will definitely motivate more women to choose this platform and be independent,” said Komal, a delivery partner from Chennai.  

Last year, rival company Zomato announced a period leave policy, allowing female employees to take up to 10 period leaves in a year. These are available to employees and not the gig workforce. It has, however, taken steps to have a more inclusive gig workforce. In June this year, it said it has set a goal of reaching 10 percent female delivery partners by the end of 2021 starting with Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Pune. 

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Gates Foundation boosts access to Covid-19 drug for lower-income countries




The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged up to $120 million as part of its Covid-19 response effort to help lower-income countries gain access to the investigational antiviral medication Molnupiravir, which some say might be a gamechanger.

The Gates Foundation’s co-chair, Melinda Gates, said: “To put an end to the pandemic, we must ensure that everyone has access to life-saving health services, regardless of where they live on the planet. Low-income countries, on the other hand, have had to wait for everything from personal protective equipment to vaccinations. That’s not good enough.”  

Concerned about lower-income countries’ struggles to access Covid-19 vaccinations and the risk of being left behind once again when it comes to medicines, the Gates Foundation is urging other donors to commit money to hasten the implementation of Merck’s experimental drug Molnupiravir, if it is approved.  

Merck expects trial tablets fto reach low-income countries by early next year. Regulatory authorities such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and national governments are in charge of deciding whether or not to approve the drug for usage. The Gates organization said it aims to significantly reduce the time it takes for new drugs to arrive in low-income regions after they become available in wealthier markets. That gap can be at least 12 months, it said.

The organization has already granted money to assist generics firms in developing low-cost production procedures that lower raw material costs and boost product yields. Some wealthy and middle-income countries, such as Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, have either obtained or are in the process of obtaining the therapy.

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