Are you are an employee in one of the corporates spread across the metros craving for a cup of freshly brewed tea? Chances are, you will walk a distance to find a Thela or settle for the abomination called tea the vending machine spews out.
But now, you have all the reasons to smile. Tea Halt, a startup by three IITians wants to bring you handmade tea at your office cafeteria.
Started in early 2009, Tea Halt a brand by Tisane Beverages Pvt. Ltd, opened its first outlet at Convergys India in Gurgaon. Currently, it has 15 outlets– 11 across various corporate companies and 4 in IIT Delhi. The target customers are employees and students who are a die hard fans of fresh tea and hate dip tea.
Tea Halt offers an array of options for teetotallers. Tea variants such as Milk tea, Green tea, Black tea, Herbal tea, Ice tea are available along with a mix of other beverages such as Coffee, Shakes, and Lemonade. Basic snacks are provided as a supplementary offering to complete the package.
The company sells 15-20 variants of tea and 30-35 different beverages in total. It maintains a month’s inventory for non perishable products and a week for others. For the same it uses a centrally located a 2,000 sq. ft space which serves as an office, base kitchen and warehouse. Base kitchen is used to manufacture snacks, as firm do not advocates outsourcing it to other vendors to keep a control on quality and demand.
Tea Halt does not pay any rentals or electricity costs to organizations where it sets up its kiosk. In return it provides subsidized rates on its products for the employees and students, thus creating a win situation. As of now it generates more than Rs 25 lakh per month from all of its outlets and is profitable.
Amit Ahuja, one of the co-founders at Tea Halt mentions that the outlets are profitable individually – “But collectively we are at equilibrium as most part of the revenues goes in supporting backend operations.”
Along with food & beverages, company has also started selling packed tea leaves at one of its outlets and will soon expand the offer to other booths. Though according to Amit, its hard for him to visualise an online model for selling tea, but exclusive portals such as kusmitea.com, chaichai.in and many others are catering to die hard tea fans across the globe.
A kiosk takes an investment of Rs 3-4 lakh and around 50 sq.ft of space.The startup is looking for funds to expand its outlet chain. “Collectively there are more than 1000 companies in Delhi-NCR so the potential market is huge and we plan to scale to 50 kiosks before considering other cities,” adds Amit.