A chaiwala in a shopping-mall–an idea for entrepreneurs

A chaiwala in a shopping mall! Yes, you are reading and seeing it correctly. A chaiwala is one of the most common sites in India: You can see them virtually everywhere. But it makes an attractive sight when you move aside the ascending stair-case. This is what happened to me when I visited the Spice Mall in Noida.


Now what’s new in this business of chaiwala?

Dinesh and Shivam were jovial when I asked them if I could click some pictures of the cups that were arranged so perfectly and would make any photographer excited about a good shot.

“Are you making some program, sir”, Dinesh asked candidly.

Usually, if you visit a shopping-mall, you will notice various types of coffee beans ready to brew something for you. A regular cup of tea is seldom available. But look at the concept of “Chai Garam”. They offer hand-made tea with reasonable price.

The owner of this tea-stall has rented a corner in a mall and make good business without much fuss and worry to care about “how it would be done?”, “who will drink it?” questions. The simple logic behind this business is providing what nobody else does but everybody wants a cup of tea, with a reasonable price and a taste to remember.

I tried a cup of tea myself and can provide an unbiased comment for it: The taste of the tea is one-of-its-kind. I never tasted such a tasty tea anywhere. I am not getting carried away by emotions here. I know what I am writing. Though this may not be the case for many of you, but for me, it was the best taste of tea.

Menu offered by “Chai Garam”:

Type Rate (INR)
Kadak Chai (Strong tea) 20
Coffee 20
Tulsi  Chai (Basil tea) 25
Elaichi Chai (Cardamom tea) 25
Adrak Chai (Ginger tea) 25
Tulsi Adrak (Basil+Ginger) 30
Dalchini Adrak (Cinnamon+Ginger) 30
Saunf Elaichi (Aniseed+Cardamom) 30
Speacial Tea Rate (INR)
Chai Garam Special 50
Black Darjeeling Chai 50
Lemon Chai 50
Green Tea 50
Green tea with lemon & honey 60
Black Darjeeling with lemon & honey 60
Kashmiri Kahwa 60
Earlgrey 80
Camomile 80
Jasmine green tea 90

Some statistics behind the business

The average cup costs around 25 INR. As per Dinesh, they are able to sell 200-250 cups per day. He says that lots of customers are regular and he could remember even the taste that they want to drink. The figure for a single day’s sale comes out closer to 5,000-6,000 INR. This means that the duo is able to sell tea for 1.5 Lakh per month. They pay a rent of 45,000 INR to the shopping-mall. The cost of material for making the tea should be around 60,000-75,000 INR. This still leaves a flat margin of 40,000 INR, which is low by no means.

Opening a business of tea, a chaiwala, does not sound too much attractive for entrepreneurs who might be looking for high-tech ideas making fast money. But given the ease of operations and profits, this should mean a good idea for small-scale business.

Uniqueness of this business

The idea is not a very striking one but its simplicity makes it work. Keeping the price on lower side, as compared to the branded coffee, they are able to attract even the casual and regular visitors. They are not using machines or tea bags to prepare the tea, which keeps the taste of their product intact.

At the same time, there is, as it appears, absolutely no barrier to the business. The footfall is regular but not crowding, which does not flusters the owner. So, they enjoy while they cloak themselves into a modern chaiwala having a corner shop in a shopping-mall.

For entrepreneurs, who are always looking for different ideas, starting a simple business but with a modern look can click. The main point is to keep the value intact: The margins and profits would automatically flow.

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