Spread across the city and country, Amuleek Singh Bijral, the founder of Chai Point is reaching for the pinnacle that will give pardesi ‘Starbucks’ a run for their money. The uncompromising and unchanging taste of perfect tea in Chai Point has made it the happiest hub for the IT professionals and other professionals’ ‘chai and biscoot’ break.
The CEO and founder of the company is quiet confident that his venture with the love of majority of chai (tea) lovers in India is going to be the desi and pocket friendly Starbucks. Humble and without any pretences Amuleek says, “Globally we certainly admire Starbucks. They made coffee the ritual in US as their one and ultimate beverage.” He goes on to say that all the big multinational beverage companies are as much of a competition as they are a learning guide. While Amuleek also keeps in mind that there are other companies like Amazon, Dominoes to learn form. “I want to integrate aspects of the models of Starbucks, Amazon and Dominoes for delivery, technology, retail and reliability with the working process of Chai Point. I am incorporating these really important aspects in today’s world while solving the Indian problem of giving great chai when wanted, at prices which are fair.”
I feel celebrating the entrepreneur’s experiences are not right and is overrated. It is the core team that matters.”
You know you’re doing something right when even Amazon wants to do a case-study on your technology. As is the case of Chai Point. Amuleek, who with a technology background is utilising all his skills in software (skills people questioned him with when he first began his hand in this fast growing start-up). Over the last three years, Amuleek and his team built their own cloud based platform Shark Net (an automated research software to know the consumption and supply of tea or coffee all over the country). The software is the world’s first cloud based beverage platform.
As much as a CEO as team leader, Amuleek says, “I feel celebrating the entrepreneur’s experiences are not right and is overrated. It is the core team that matters.” Building the Chai Point team didn’t come easy though, not when you have an out-of-the-box idea to sell tea and are trying to convince investors of it, “Well, chai is a very common beverage and from an investors’ stand point it is a difficult decision to take. Especially with start-ups concentrating on tech and mobile based products, a chai idea doesn’t look promising.” Amuleek further adds saying, “We had to take in a lot of criticism trying to get the funds. Even having made to feel that it is a foolish ambition. But, we were very determined in our idea. Now five year and multiple branches later, I do believe we are heading to the right destination.”
We had to take in a lot of criticism trying to get the funds. Even having made to feel that it is a foolish ambition.”
Looking to expand massively is Amuleek Singh Bijral’s big ambition. As by March-April, Chai Point will have 100 stores all over India. “But”, Amuleek says, “the market leader has 1500 stores, hence Chai Point has to go 15 times more. We have 1000 dispensers installed, while the market leader is 50 times bigger than that.” The CEO has his hands full with the potential for a massive growth. Tea is the 2nd most consumed beverage after water in the world, 3rd is beer, 4th is coffee. With Tea heading the beverage ranking, Amuleek is certain that the international realms are in their bucket-list within a few years. “We want our dispensers to reach everywhere and anywhere in the world.”, says the ever ambitious founder.
Original and authentic ideas may not always seem like the coolest idea, until the bold ones stand by their dream and make sure it happens. And so, we have the tale of Chai Point. The next big chai/food chain.