Chaitanya Bhamidipaty on brewing Roastea’s success story
Everyone loves a perfectly brewed cup of tea or coffee, and what better if one can get that delectable ghar waali chai flavour even outside home. There are numerous cafes, chai houses and the neighbourhood chaiwalas serving strongly brewed ‘cutting chai’, however, in this crowded and competitive space, Roastea, an Ahmedabad-based business, is carving a niche for itself.
Set up by lawyer-turned-entrepreneur brothers – Anurag and Chaitanya Bhamidipaty – in 2019, Roastea’s operations span various sectors like B2B2C, B2C, and D2C.
In conversation with Adgully for the regular AG Talk column, Chaitanya Bhamidipaty, Co-Founder, Roastea, speaks about his vision for growing Roastea’s business, the factors that set apart the brand from other bigger players operating in this space, leveraging social media platforms, expansion plans and more.
Could you provide a brief overview of Roastea and its mission in the coffee and tea industry?
We started with Roastea in 2019, where we wanted to provide customers with a wide selection of high-quality tea and coffee products tailored to their needs and preferences. The brand name, Roastea, combines the words ‘Roast’ and ‘tea’ to signify our specialty coffee and kadak chai products. From multinational corporations to public and private institutions, we serve a variety of customers who rely on our no-cost, rental-based vending machines for their coffee and chai needs. The vending machines provide fresh milk based over 35 beverage options, including filter coffees, western-style coffees, Indian masala chais, and green teas.
Our brand incorporates automated technology for brewing and cleaning to give a consistent taste 24x7 365 days all over India, with a formula driven brewing process and has a one-of-a-kind IoT-enabled configuration for all of our machines to get consumer preferences as well as save costs. Our revenue is generated from the consumables, such as coffee, tea, and spices, that our customers purchase and subscribe to monthly. We are also into kiosks and cafes, and they are placed in high-footfall areas for captive customers like malls, office complexes, airports, etc. Our mission is to be the largest beverage brand in India, especially in the vending segment.
What sets Roastea apart from other coffee and tea brands, especially considering your unique offering of both coffee and ‘ghar waali chai’?
We call our offering unique because we believe that no other brand has a similar product – be it in terms of taste, consistency, ease of operations, consumer friendliness, affordability – and all this with a variety of teas in a vending machine that no one has. Our vending machines offer over 35 types of beverages, including specialty coffees, filter coffees, home-blended kadak chais, and green teas, so Roastea is the place to get the best of both worlds. The size of the machines, the robustness and minimum stoppages due to near zero breakdowns set Roaseta apart. We wanted to offer the homely feeling of chai without the hassle of making one. That’s when we came up with the concept of ‘Ghar waali chai’, which has become our USP.
Could you share some insights into Roastea’s digital marketing strategies and how they connect with your target audience?
We have used all the available social media platforms – Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. We use this for our cafes and online sales platforms, having a cross-selling of vending machines through brand awareness. We have constantly increasing followers, who have connected well with the brand.
In an era where health-consciousness is on the rise, what steps has Roastea taken to offer healthier beverage options?
We understand the growing emphasis on health and well-being. That is why all our products are non-GMO and free from added colours and preservatives. We source our ingredients ethically and ensure they are pure and natural. For health-conscious consumers, our green tea and Kawha tea offer numerous benefits, including weight management, immunity boosting, detoxification, stress reduction, improved digestion, and anti-aging properties.
Our commitment is to deliver these benefits while maintaining delicious, authentic flavours. Our machines are fresh milk-based and, unlike pre-mix machines, are clean, devoid of any pest menace and hygienic. The auto brewing and auto cleaning mechanism ensure that the cleanliness is maintained, allowing an authentic, tasty product to the consumer.
Do you plan on expanding to newer categories? What steps is Roastea taking to continue its growth trajectory?
Our company’s impressive growth, at a rate of 3.5-fold annually, spans various sectors like B2B2C, B2C, and D2C. We’re on a rapid expansion path, aiming for 2,500 machines and 20 cafes by FY24, with a turnover of over Rs 40 crore, doubling that in FY25, and growing to 7,500 machines and 60 outlets by FY26, including international expansion.
Additionally, we’re developing specialised Chai Machines for the MSME, HORECA and the home segment as well as international markets. We are aiming to become a prominent beverage brand in India and contribute to the tea and coffee industry’s growth.