Having conceptualised brands and formats such as V spot cafe bar and bar exchange, he has over 12 years of hands on experience in the hospitality industry.
“From putting the focus on more expensive “special drinks” to adding branded merchandise to your cafe, there are a number of things you can do to stand out, attract new customers, and keep the old ones coming back time after time” says Viraj Lamba, Co founder of Funbars Hospitality's brand FLYP@MTV Cafe which is the sole licensee for Viacom 18's iconic youth brand MTV.
In conversation with Restaurant India at the Indian Restaurant Congress 2018, Viraj Lamba unwinds his experience and how is he planning to scale his business in the F&B curve.
How has been your journey so far?
I started out in the hospitality industry at the young age of 18 while pursuing business management at University of British Columbia. It has been an amazing journey and the recent venture in my plate is the MTV FLYP Café. We are present in Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Hyderabad etc. Each element in the café gets its inspiration from various themes associated with MTV. Our aim is to make FLYP@MTV, a cult hangout destination.
With so many brands emerging with new concepts, how do you plan to stay ahead in the competition?
It is about understanding your target audience that you are working with and working on. You need to understand and map their journey and see what they like and dislike. Pickup those global trends that the customers are looking at, digitally or through personal experience and transfer them in a local palate. Creating those local sensibilities for your customers will add a value to your business and help you stay ahead of the curve.
Traditional businesses or a traditional restaurant in particular, still creates nostalgia but they are unable to serve to the 55% population of the country which is below 30 years of age.
What are the barriers you faced initially and how did you overcome them?
I would rather say more of learning’s than failures. With our brands, the main challenge that we need to overcome is about evolving in the right direction. We need to present something new to our customers every day which is made possible by proper planning, execution and getting the bottom line right.
As a brand, we need to keep ourselves updated, keep the innovation going and learning the journey of the customer.
As far as customer satisfaction and customer experience is concerned, what are the global trends we can look forward to?
Globally, customers are now looking at things, which are presented in simpler ways. Simplicity is the new era where globally food & beverage businesses are looking at. A lot of grow local or serve local is hitting the streets. A lot of micro breweries, craft breweries which have a local palate have emerged in the market which is supported by the local community globally. Farm to table has always been great which is no more limited to food & Beverages alone.