The adrenaline rush we need to focus and work is often derived from coffee. A good cup of freshly brewed coffee can boost your energy levels, support your brain health, lower the risk of type two diabetes and also lower the risk of depression. We often hear that good ideas come from brainstorming, while great ideas come from coffee, well not just great ideas some great businesses also come from coffee.
Ahmedabad-based ‘Theka Coffee’ which was recently featured on season one of ‘Shark Tank India’ is one of the ideas which was loved and appreciated by all the sharks for its taste and quality. Founded back in 2017 by Bhupinder Madaan a.k.a Sahil Madaan, Theka Coffee revived its operations due to Shark Tank India.
Knowing more about the creative mind behind the Theka, Bhupinder hails from Ahmedabad - Gujarat. It might be stereotypical but like many from Gujarat, Bhupinder never wanted to work for anyone else. He quotes, ‘I’ll sell vada-pav on the streets rather than working for anyone.’ At the age of 13, he started selling momos on a cart but didn’t receive much response. As the year was 2009, the concept of momos was relatively unknown to Gujaratis, the business didn’t give him money but gave him the clarity he needed in life.
Studying BBA in one of the prestigious colleges in Delhi -Maharaja Surajmal college, Bhupinder realized that education is not as important as gaining a practical knowledge in real world. Taking inspiration from many millionaire dropouts, Bhupinder dropped out in the sixth semester and started an IT outsourcing company.
Returning back to what he was always passionate about, Bhupinder found his way back to the food industry.
‘I developed a love for coffee because I wanted to develop a business. Any business needs to be studied from the very base, I did that, and once I was confident about it, launched Theka in 2017,’ says Bhupinder.
Theka Coffee is a premium beverage made from 100% pure Arabica beans and has a one-month keg shelf life. This freshly brewed cold coffee fulfils a huge gap in the untapped coffee market. If looked closely, these big brand coffee outlets serve foreign coffees such as Americano, Latte, or Cappuccino which are premium for most Indians , however there isn’t anything Indian about those flavours. Theka coffee not only gives Indian taste but also named their coffee with quirky Indian feel.
Bhupinder says that if you want to sell something, first we need to create the need for it. To make the Indian crowd jump about 30 rupees more than they spend is a little challenging. Most of the Pre-mix coffees cost about 60-70 rupees, so we have controlled the prices just at as low as 100 rupees.
The quirkiness of the brand has to be one of the USP that attracts customers, slogans as ‘Tera Dhyan Kidar Hai? Theka Idar Hai!’ is just enough to catch attention. The concept behind ‘Theka’ was inspired by beer. Bhupinder says, ‘I was drinking beer one day and it struck that coffee is served in a very boring way like classic cups and glasses, hence coffee in beer bottles shaped would gain a lot attention. Anyone from North India knows that Theka is a place to get beer and alcoholic beverages. Here the irony is that Gujarat is a dry state so “THEKA” name itself justifies the quirkiness of the brand.’
In addition to this quirkiness, Theka serves three types of coffee namely
- Palang-tod coffee, which is a dark roast
- Bhayankar Chilled coffee, which is a medium roast
- Coffee ki Jawani, which is their lightest roast coffee.
- They also serve different flavors like Orange, Popcorn, Hazelnut, and Mint.
Theka was operational in 14 different locations pan India before pandemic. Considering the uncertainty of Covid restrictions, they had to shut down all the location except Ahmedabad. Initially, when the business started in 2017 from a cart, it was up and running since day one. Although Pandemic force him to close the business, Bhupinder never let any situation shatter his passion. He participated in first session of Shark Tank India and received tremendous response. Not only from Shark Tank India’s panel of investors but also from viewers and followers from all over India. Post-shark tank things turned around positively for Theka and currently Theka Coffee is present in 5+ different locations and is looking to expand to 25 more locations by the end of this quarter.
I am not planning for the next five years, but in the next two years, I want “Theka” Koisk to be present in 2000 locations. It seems doable because there’s no such competition as of now, since we are in a completely different market. Our product range is completely different from most local-level coffee brands. The quality beans, the affordability and the taste are very different. Once you like Theka Coffee, you aren’t going anywhere, that’s for sure,” says Bhupinder.
Shark Tank is a show where aspiring Indian entrepreneurs pitch their business models to a panel of investors and persuade them to invest money in their business. It was their first season in India, talking about his experience Bhupinder says, ‘Those who were featured on the show, approx 192-194 participants, surely their lives have changed too. All the participants were quite good with the presentation and business models that they have pitched. I technically lost my brand to COVID, but due to the hype of Shark Tank India, we got our two years back.
One of the things we loved about Bhupinder is that he’s not afraid of going back to where he came from. Even after being successful, he didn’t hesitate to start again from the street, that’s a quality to look up to.
‘Everything you do in the past makes you confident in the future, I started by selling momos on the street when I was 13, now I drive a nice car and still sell coffee on street. Your product is a part of your personality, you have to be confident about what you are selling,’
- Bhupinder Madaan.
They say that what you think is what you become, but what's hidden here is consistency. Without being result oriented, one should keep working and never give up. One chance can turn your life around. Bhupinder lost everything yet kept working, and now you read his story of becoming India’s one of the popular premium coffee brands. That’s one example of why you should never give up!
TagsTheka Coffee, Shark Tank India , Sahil Madaan, Bhupinder Madaan, Coffee Industry, Ahmedabad, Startup Story, Reliance, Home