TEA WITH A GLOBAL TWIST
Three years ago, the next generation of a tea brewing family in Delhi decided to take the family recipe and open a store in Leicester in the UK. Today, the brand, chaiiwala, has over 20 shops in the region and its founders want to expand it to India and beyond. Muhummed Ibrahim, the founder and CEO of Chaiiwala shares his plans to create a new tea drinking sensation in India.
India anyway has millions of tea outlets. So how would you create a USP here?
In London, we have established a well-defined brand image. In the west, we have sold over 50 stores and are exhibiting in New York and Canada. So apart from India, we are quite big in the tea world. Therefore, we will use the same ethos, techniques, and public relations to create a firm presence in India too. In fact, we may be able to show India a different facet of tea drinking.
Do you think the same strategy will work here? Or will you have to customize it for Indians?
We will be fine-tuning it a little bit. But generally, the product speaks for itself. We are doing quite well across our retail outlets in the UK and we will offer the same package to Indians too.
Would retail outlets be your target?
Yes, we are working in close tandem with large retailers such as the 7 Elevens and the big format supermarkets. Once the groundwork has been done, we plan to have 20-30 stores in the next 6-12 months. You will start seeing our products in retail outlets, including fuel stations. Our product is quite different from what you usually see in India. It is tea but with a twist. It has an eastern and western fusion. That’s our key USP.
Where do you see the next opportunity for your brand and what are your expansion plans?
Essentially our initial plan is to take the nation by storm. So we will start with Delhi and then move on to Mumbai and then Bengaluru. Our primary target will be the major cities where we can grow rapidly and from there go into all the smaller towns. We are a lifestyle brand; we want people to think of chaiiwala whenever they want to have tea. Also, we will offer the product with premium packaging but at affordable pricing.
Are you planning any exclusive brand outlets?
We will be setting up a few brand outlets in Delhi, test the market and essentially fine-tune our strategy to make sure it connects with the Indian market.
How many outlets are you planning via franchising?
We will get two outlets open by February. We have done a lot of market research already. And from there we will have multiple outlets while looking at area developments. We have partnered with Franchise Global and Franchise India. Essentially, we want to take tea drinking habit of Indians to the next level.