Startup50 Consumer Brand

In Startup50 2018: Backed by Tiger Global, Chaayos built a robust business model and strong brand around cafes with a focus on Chai. It scaled up to 37 stores and built a brand that consumers love. 

Founders: Nitin Saluja and Raghav Verma 

Disruptive Model

Sunshine Teahouse runs Chaayos, along the lines of Starbucks but centred around tea.Chaayossells affordable, customisable brews, providing 12 basic ingredients (including cardamom and holy basil) to choose from. It also offers a variety of snacks to go with the tea, seasonal comfort/street food and other popular thirst quenchers. The outletstypically are spread over 700 square feet and are present in malls, corporate parks or on a high-street that do not have the traditional chaiwallas.

It recently raised US $2 million from Tiger Global to scale up its presence in Mumbai and Delhi, and open about 20-30 outlets more in the coming months. Pune, Gujarat, Goa, Chandigarh, Jaipur, and highways around NCR are some of the other areas where Chaayos plans to open its cafes.

It is also planning to focus on its deliveries business, which is growing at almost 20 per cent month-on-month. Earlier it had invested in third-party deliveries, but now plans to do it directly.

The company plans to double its employees from the current 600 to meet its expansion plans. To maintain a uniform standard of how the tea tastes across its stores, the company is investing in designing specialized machines called Chai Monks, that are soon to be rolled out across Chaayos’ stores.The tea cafe chain was founded in November 2012 by RaghavVerma and Nitin Saluja.

Quick Facts

US $2 million – Raised US $2 million from Tiger Global

37 –Stores in NCR, Mumbai, Chandigarh

20-30 outlets – Plans to open 20-30 outlets  

Meera Srikant has been working with publishers and publications since 1993, writing and editing articles, features and stories across topics. She also blogs and writes poems, novels and short stories during leisure. Writing for The Smart CEO since 2010, she is also a classical dancer.

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