We all have memories of sipping hot cutting masala chai at a tea stall at the ‘gali ka nukkad’. But just imagine sipping organic tea and eating delicious flavoursome frozen yoghurt in an innovative concept store where they flash the menu on an iPad and where your kids can have fun playing music notes on a virtual piano. Yes, it’s just that this is no imagination but an awesome reality. Gautam Singh and his wife Prerna took the concept of tea sipping to a different level altogether. Gautam, a project manager in the mobile apps space for a multinational firm with an experience of 12 years in the industry and Prerna, with Fashion Industry experience of 12 years, started Buntea & Bubbley as a dream project. Let’s understand this unique and fun concept of Buntea & Bubbley from Gautam and Prerna. What made you start your venture? The idea was planted in our head during a holiday earlier this summer. We had always wanted to do something on our own, something which was unique and a bit different than the usual. With our first sip of bubble tea, we realized this tea had immense potential in the Indian health market and that this was what we should do. We started exploring it as soon as we were back from vacation. During our discussions we came up with the name and the store concept. We have conceptualized everything in the store right from the logo to the kiosk design and from the menu and recipe to the entire technology behind it. From our first sip to our first store it took us around 4 months to conceptualize and execute the brand.
What has been the key to your business’s success? The concept of our brand to sell healthy beverages and healthy desserts along with giving a unique experience to the customer are the key to our success. • We believe in serving healthy items and are primarily focused on serving bubble tea and frozen yogurt. • Another aspect of our brand is innovation not just in terms of the food items we offer but also in terms of customer experience. • We have also tried to infuse an element of technology in our store which appeals to today’s customers. What are the major challenges in your line of business and how did/do you overcome them? Launching a new and different idea in today’s competitive market in itself is a huge challenge. Just like any new brand we also faced a lot of challenges like; • convincing a customer to try a different drink or try a Frozen Yogurt vis-à-vis an ice cream, • managing supply chain as all the ingredients and machinery are imported, • handling the operational front as we are not from the F & B industry. Do you have a mentor who guides/advices you on matters of the business? Till date, we have been learning the ropes of the business by ourselves without help from any mentor. We feel that there is something to learn from everything we do, so of course this has been a huge fun learning experience for us as a brand. The guidance has come via self learning through traveling, web, visiting places, talking to and understanding the customers’ needs. However, in today’s competitive world we do feel the importance of having a mentorship from someone who is an expert in the field. Hence, our company is in the process of signing up with IAN (Indian Angel Network) for their incubation plan. Have you benefitted from the use of any specific technology for your regular operations? Technology has helped us in translating our brand vision into our store concept. We aim to appeal to the inner child of each and every customer and technology has helped us in bringing that quality out of all of our customers. Our menu and billing system are iPad based. We have installed a floor projected piano developed using the latest technology of motion sensing. What strategy do you follow for Customer Satisfaction? We believe customer satisfaction is the most important key to success; hence, we pay extra attention to look after our customers. We personally take care that all our customers are treated well and that everyone has a great experience at our store. We constantly ask customers for their feedback and all suggestions are taken very seriously. What is your strategy for growth and expansions? 40% of our customer base is repeat clientele. Our customers have been promoting Buntea & Bubbley within their family and friends circle. Regarding expansion plan, like any other company, we also aspire to grow. In the next 10 years we envision our company to be synonymous with healthy & innovative beverages and desserts. • We are planning to open more stores and introduce a lounge. We have received offers from other malls as well. • We are also working on technology front to provide newer games & toys based on cutting edge technology which has largely been unseen in India. • We are also in the process of evaluating franchising options as it offers the only logical way to grow organically as a company. What, according to you, are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? 1. Belief – One must have faith in his / her ideas. Along with planning we feel the 1st step towards starting any new venture is the belief in your idea and that you can do it. 2. Fearlessness – Failure we feel is a part of success and failure makes us strong and more determined to reach our goals. We believe, that if you are determined to do something you must not fear about the results as I am sure if you are determined enough you will eventually achieve your goals. 3. Commitment – After you have started your venture we feel that you need to stay committed to your business as the initial years really can make or break a business. Always stay committed and determined to do better and to achieve better results. We wish Buntea & Bubbley a bright future. You can experience the healthy and hygienic beverages and desserts yourself by visiting them at Phoenix Market City Mall, Whitefield, Bangalore. Want to follow them? Visit their Facebook Page – www.facebook.com/BunteaAndBubbley