Tell us about your brand model. How successful it is in India?
Juice Bar is good business model. Our USP at Juice lounge is to make juice in front of the customer unlike other normal juice centers where the juice is prepared behind the table letting customers think all the nasty and bad things. So, the customer is fully aware about what quality of fruits are being put in the juice and what ingredient goes into the juice at juice lounge. The customers have full say in the ingredients’ selection i.e. what they want or what they do not want. The customer knows what he/she is getting in 100 bucks. This helped Juice Lounge to make an identity for its juices and other products.
The last 10 years has been great with lots of franchise stores. Gradually, people know what we are and what we do. Now, it is operating more than 50 stores.
How do you maintain quality and standard at each of your franchise store?
We have got food grades for fruits and vegetables which we approve. For maintaining the same standard and quality, we tell stores what grade of fruits and vegetables to buy. Other than that, we do audit in every two months. One is the physical audit and the other is quality audit for every store. These exercises help us maintain quality and standard at each franchise store.
It is believed only health conscious individuals go to juice centers, what is your comment on the same?
Not only health conscious people, but people of all gender and age visit a juice centre. Reason to visit the juice corner may be different but everyone goes to a juice bar.
While prices of raw materials keep changing every day, what mechanism have you adopted to keep your prices stable?
The virtual market may go up and down, but we do contracts with vendors for a year. This is a fixed contract, so whatever happens to market the contract remains the same. Once the contract is done, we know what fruit we are getting and at what price for the entire year. Each year we do revise our prices as per the contract. This is how we track on our flavors and pricing at all franchise stores of juice lounge.
How many stores are there under the brand Juice Lounge and what numbers are you aiming at in coming five years?
Today, we have got more than 50 stores in 4-5 countries. In next five years, we will be coming up with more than 60-100 stores across India, as we are opening 12-15 stores every year. With the strong and sound logistics background, we are aiming pan-India expansion.
What format have you adopted for franchising?
We have two formats for franchisees. One is without sitting either in a mall or in high street, where people come and buy their juice whereas in the other model, people can enjoy their juices in the attached sitting area which is the longer format of franchising.
How do you reach to your target audience in terms of marketing?
We have a PR team who does marketing for us. We ourselves do local marketing and promotion. Whenever we do any event or programme, we get it covered. Once we are over 100 stores then we might think of other marketing options as well.
As you operate in national and international segments, what key difference in terms of law and order have you faced?
Firstly, legality of every country is very different. Compared to India, norms in international circuits are a bit tougher. The logistic system is very different in India and other countries. In other international countries, they have norms which have to be fulfilled very strictly.
With brands like real, Tropicana offering packed juice, which is a kind of convenience to users. Do you really think juice bar or lounges is a good business idea?
The packed food item scenario is big; they are in all segments like Chinese and other packed food not specifically in juice as such. But, as everything cannot be packed so we don’t think they are going to affect us in any way. And with our new flavours and tastes coming in every 2-3 months, we are always new and fresh.