Chai Point grew very strongly in the last one year. We on average served more than 4 million cups of Chai per month. We learnt not only more about Teas but also started our journey in the world of Coffee. It is only our second year of introducing authentic south Indian Filter Coffee (via boxC.in channel) and we are already tracking at 10 tons of monthly coffee procurement. Our biggest learning lessons though came in from our customers.
Here is what we learnt:
- We have always reinforced to our team members that our target segment is the urban white-collar working Indian. It is amazing that within this segment we now see multiple sub-segments emerging. We have customers that are passionate about climate change while some are more oblivious to the phenomena; there are those who are proudly nationalistic while others who are content being global citizens; many who love rich snacks while others are health conscious; some who love dairy and those who would rather seek dairy-free alternatives. Our supposedly singular segment, we learnt, is actually far from one. This means lot more work for us in terms of product and service offerings. We intend to customize in a balanced way and yet not lose the essence of our brand’s inherent simplicity. Big challenge for sure.
- Customers told us often that our stores give them a sense of community and that this is a very powerful reason for expressing your love of Chai. Example: Customers loved our Music Runs on Chai test pilot. We will broad-base it more in this year.
- Yes, broadly our customers are yearning for better food across all our stores. Especially with delivery our customers now want more food that goes great with Chai. We are now hard at work on this. Example: We look forward to delight our customers in the break-fast food offerings.
- Our customers love our speed of service in our stores. But they want us to get even faster and smarter. Our SHARK team is at it to come up with innovative new solutions. Example: Queue-buster solutions coming up at our most busy stores.
- Our customers want higher transparency in our products. We will call-out calories and nutritional value clearly now especially across our digital channels. Generally speaking our customers told us that they are getting more health conscious. Example: Our Jaggery and Honey sweetener options have been a huge hit.
- Our customers expect equally sharp service and quality of Chai across all our channels. They told us they see us as one brand irrespective of the channel of engagement. Example: Our customers want a boxC.in equivalent of our hallowed Ginger Chai – and we cannot wait enough to launch our offering. They told us that our touch panel screens should facilitate mobile payments. Some even said facial recognition and then a customized Chai offering should pour out of boxC. Some we will do ASAP but then some will take some more time.
- Our customers also tell us that we do not share enough of what we do inside our company. They are very happy and curious to know more of our beliefs and exciting new developments. Example: Many did not know of our “Clean Earth” initiative on smarter packaging and water usage. We will communicate lot more about our workings and beliefs with our customers. We will share our values proudly and happily.
It is amazing how fast the world is changing around us. Recognizing and then acting upon this is what is going to decide our customers’ love for us. We find this challenge exhilarating and a fuel to power all our upcoming good work.
Amuleek Singh Bijral
ceo, Chai Point