It must have been over a cup of tea that Nitin and Raghav conceptualized “Chaayos”. Chaayos the highest rated Chai-cafe in NCR serves customized tea and is redefining ‘chai’ consumption here. How else will that happen but by making the chai in its basic and never before explored forms accessible. You can get your hand on dry or ready to drink tea in the comfort of your home or at the ambient chaayos cafe’s . Chaayos has 9 cafes in Delhi , Gurgaon and Noida, set up near corporate offices and social ‘addas’ like Hauz Khas village and SDA market. Chaayos is adding the X -factor back to tea, which in its common form is something we had started taking for granted. Having said that Chaayos is not just about Tea, but also offers a wide range of sandwiches, ice tea and shakes.
Picture: Chaayos, DLF Cyber City
They are following a hybrid of Online and Offline business model. They are providing ready made chai on demand through disposable kettles and have created their own blends of premium masala chais. They are also selling these tea blends through its cafes as well as marketplaces like Amazon.in, Snapdeal and Bigbasket.com. More than 1500 boxes are sold every month.Chaayos also has partnerships with Ola Café, Grofers, etc. Along with facility of Tele-orders, Chaayos also has a mobile app , which allow customers to order food and tea on their smartphones and have them delivered at their door step.
Picture:The Chaayos Kettle
Chaayos was Founded in November 2012 by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-B alumnus Nitin Saluja and IIT-Delhi graduate Raghav Verma. Nitin’s love for the ‘chai’ made him think of offering ‘ chai’ with the X-factor while he was working for a consulting firm Opera Solutions .He realized his dream in 2012 and started Chaayos. Nitin is the CEO and also does all product R&D. This is not his first shot at entrepreneurship – he co-founded a robotics education company (Think Labs) at IIT-B, which is today valued over $10 MM.
Picture: Nitin and Raghav
Marketing and Business Development at Chaayos is handled by Raghav, an IIT Delhi graduate of 2010, who is also the co-founder of Chaayos. He looks after the creative stuff – marketing, business development and branding. Prior to this, he co-founded an online education company called Prepsquare. Before that, Raghav was also working with Opera Solutions.
Apart from the co founders , they have a core team of eight people and a ground staff of 50 and are hiring more people for various positions.
After making their initial mark , Chaayos raised seed funding of Rs 2 crore from Powai Lake Ventures in 2014 led by Zishaan Hayath . In 2015 they got an VC funding of Rs 32 Cr led by Tiger global with participation from the Ola founders Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati. As a part of this funding Kalyan Krishnamurthy , Managing Director of Tiger Global joined the Board of Chaayos.
Chaayos is planning to open 50 more tea cafes by end of 2016 as the company looks to build a pan-India presence. More stores will be added in NCR along with Bangalore, Mumbai and Pune . They might also open stores in Hyderabad, Chennai and Chandigarh. Chaayos will be keeping an eye out for SE Asia, the Middle East and other regions as well. Promoted by Sunshine Tea House , their main strategy right now is to scale up rapidly.
This ‘Experiment with Chai’ has certainly been successful!