What made you foray into the juice business? What market gap you are trying to fulfil?
We were witnessing that Indians are adopting western style of living and eating habits. At the same time, fruit is an inherent property which can cure lots of disease and improve the immune system of human body. So, that’s where the idea came in my mind. Besides, I myself is a food lover. I think that juice has become a substitute to food today. At the same time, it is a quick bite, saves time and gives all the required nutrition to the body.
When did you start your first outlet? How many outlets are operational today?
We started our first juice bar in 2007. So far, we have 11 outlets in Mumbai. Though we were slow on expansion initially, but before opening a new outlet, we want to ensure that the previous outlet is profitable in terms of process and scalability.
How do you position yourself different from the traditional juice vendors and big players in the packaged juice market?
The traditional juice vendors offer limited options and do not extend themselves beyond those limited options. However, we have an extensive range of flavours including Berries and Guava, which is not being procured by a regular juice vendor. More than that, we give extreme importance to hygiene. We assure that the staff must have chopped nails and their hair is nicely covered and they should be well-dressed before starting the process of juice extraction.
Packaged juice is not the real juice. It may be frozen or rapidly pasteurised or heat treated which reduces the nutrition value of the juice. We follow an entirely different process, where one can see fresh products getting blended in front of the them.
We have exported machines from Korea, so the blending would be different from the local juice vendors.
Any challenges on the procurement side? How do you manage your supply chain efficiently?
We are dealing with one reliable vendor from past five years. During the initial phase, we faced certain challenges, but we experimented with our business model and now we have the same vendor who supplies fresh fruits to our all the outlets in Mumbai.
We have certain preferences in our fruits. For instance – there are five different varieties of oranges available in the market, but we only use a selected high-quality species of the orange to extract juice, which shows our dedication to provide quality products to the consumers.
Who are your target customers and how do you compete with traditional brick and mortal juice stalls, if at all?
We have outlets in most of the malls in Mumbai, where people spend atleast 5-6 hours in shopping. Now, we are tapping hospitals in the city where we find potential consumers.
The ticket size in juice business is very tiny. Do you think it is a long term scalable model?
If you see developed countries like America, Australia and other western nations, they have reputed juice bars in their country. So, I think within a year or two, the juice business in India will expand manifold.
What are your expansion plans?
We are going to be a listed company soon. We are planning to enter into the franchisee model to expand our business in Pune, Delhi and Bangalore. Moreover, we have signed seven locations in Mumbai to start our services by March 2015.