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The story of Chai Sutta Bar started with Rs. 3 lakh and now stands at a valuation of Rs. 100 crore

Dreams, aspirations, purpose, and vision are all made of a single thing, and that is hope. It can take you a long way when it comes to fulfilling your place in life. Sometimes life comes too hard at us and breaks us down to pieces. But it is our responsibility to rub those tears and fix those broken pieces into beautiful artifacts again. There can be instances when the wind of life seems to appear too often and we have to mend the destroyed dreams multiple times, but we should never give up and continue to see the optimism of life.

This is what the story of Chai Sutta Bar is all about. Two school friends, Anubhav Dubey and Anand Nayak, join their hands of faith and dive into the entrepreneurial venture. Business Outreach Magazine brings to you a story of friendship, struggle, and success. 

Anubhav Dubey was born into a simple middle class family and saw a lot of hardships during his childhood. When he looks back at those memories, he recollects how his family used to save every dime and make it beneficial for their daily expenditure. Anubhav’s father is a real-estate businessman now and, with the blood of hustle, Anubhav and Anand turned Chai Sutta Bar into a 100 crore valuation with hundreds of outlets all around 70 cities in India along with outlets in Muscat and Dubai. 

This amount of enormous success happened in just 5 years. Initially, both the founders started with a capital of Rs. 3 lakh and with tremendous skills in business back from their school days. 

Chai Sutta Bar has been doing great with a lot of franchise outlets in different places. Anubhav’s childhood was spent back in Rewa, a small town with just over 3 lakh population and about 670 km from Indore. He did his schooling till class eight at Maharishi Vidya Mandir, and due to financial troubles, he wore torn old shoes to school and buying new oneswase too far-fetched for them. 

Times were tough for Anubhav and his family. Anubhav had only one white dress to wear in school and every day his mother used to wash it. Anubhav even used a pencil for writing in his copies for one year. His mother used to rub that off in order to reuse the copy. Such a mindset of utilizing every resource by his mother took the family through the toughest times. Anubhav dropped his goal of sitting for civil service exams and decided to walk, or rather, succeed, towards entrepreneurship

Anubhav used to watch his father borrow a friend’s car and drive it around, dropping people off at their desired destination. In return, he used to take a fare for the trip and fill up the fuel tank of the car. At this time, Anubhav’s family had come to a better financial standing and Anubhav was sent to Columbia Convent school located in Indore. However, his brother stayed back with the family as affording a good education for one child was only possible at this moment. 

Being in a bigger city was a bit of a challenge for Anubhav, and he was also feeling alienated since all his classmates were speaking fluent English. But Anubhav quickly caught up to speed and made a lot of friends at school. He was in class 11 when he made friends with Anand Nayak, who later turned out to be his business partner. In spite of being average in school, both Anubhav and Anand were outspoken and smart. 

During this time, touchscreen phones arrived on the market. Both of them gathered money and bought one phone each for Rs. 6,000. In their quest to make money, Anubhav and Anand rented this phone and later sold it for an impressive profit. Both the friends graduated from Renaissance College with a commerce degree in the year 2014. Both continued to sell pre-owned mobile phones for their personal expenses. 

After completing college, Anubhav shifted to Delhi to study for civil services exams and got enrolled at Vajiram and Ravi Coaching Center in Karol Bagh, while Anand went to work in a garment factory to help his brother-in-law. After being detached for about two years, in 2016, Anand called Anubhav and wanted to discuss their future with some better prospects. After several hours of brainstorming, both friends decided to start their business as they used to do back in school and college days.

The first thing that raised eyebrows was starting a real-estate business, but that required a lot of capital. Since they both had only Rs. 3 lakh, the idea of opening a tea stall caught their attention. By now, Anubhav’s father was unaware of the fact that his son was in Indore, and the money that was being sent to Anubhav for rent really helped them initially. Anubhav’s mother knew the entire scenario and supported her son to chase his goals. 

They set up their first tea stall at Bhanwar Kuwa Street, opposite to a hostel for girls. That conversation really attracted Anubhav and Anand with a positive vibe and started their journey. The rent was about Rs. 18,000 per month and was decorated with old furniture from the pre-used market. They also saved money by painting the place themselves and doing all the labor. Manoj was the first employee of the tea stall and was told to get double the salary from his current job after the business witnessed some traction and profit.

On the first day, Chai Sutta Bar offered free tea to everyone who was passing their stall, and initially, Anubhav and Anand did every marketing strategy in the book to attract more customers. They also invited their friends from school and college to their stall, and within a short time, the place turned out to be a likable spot for the customers. 

About seven varieties of chai were offered to the customers. These included chocolate flavor, which was the favorite for the young crowds, rose chai, paan flavored chai, and the traditional chai that included ginger and cardamom. The chai was priced between Rs. 10 to Rs. 200. On their menu, Chai Sutta Bar also provided maggi, sandwiches, and pizza

Three months later, the startup had their first franchise outlet. Although Anubhav’s father came to know after six months about his son’s business, he silently had faith and kept supporting Anubhav. It was during a Ted Talk, where Anubhav shared his struggles and successes, that his father was present with him to support him. After the event, his father hugged him for the first time in his life. 
In spite of the pandemic hitting the world, Chai Sutta Bar has seen decent growth in the food industry. From 2016, the company has expanded to more than 400 outlets in more than 190 cities, and they currently charge about Rs. 6 lakh for franchise fees. Business Outreach Magazine is more than glad to have shared such stories with you and wants to tell you that with a bit of faith in yourself, success can surely come to your life and give you the meaning and purpose you always wanted.

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