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The Urban Gumti - Cafe of urban dreams

Four friends came together from different places and stayed together. The dream of opening an affordable cafe for the young people like the way they too wanted in their college days, became the focus.

eChai Ventures interviews Rohit Dawesar who is one of the partners in The Urban Gumti Cafe, Indore

Q. How did you come up with the idea of 'The Urban Gumti' ? What problem are you solving? How does it work?

A: About coming up with the idea. I strongly believe, before deciding where to go, one must decide with whom to go. So, firstly we made our team of four people who were of the same thinking and who wanted to work together. Then we started figuring out where we wanted to go. For that we did an R&D for business ideas. As they say Roti, Kapda and makaan are the basic needs. We thought up of opting for the former one, as we found a lot of mediocrity in this field. Here's also the answer to what problem we are solving. We are giving people some amazing tastes and varieties under a roof, which very few are offering. Customers come at our outlets for hanging out, and to satiate their desires for yummilicious food and beverages. They even order us through various food ordering platforms and even on calls.

2. What is your target market?

A: Our target customers are mostly youngsters and families who love eating delicious fast food, or salads and even bakery products. Or even youngsters who want to spend time over a cup of tea or coffee. We have 25 varieties of teas. Out of which some are very first of it's kind, like, Paan Chai (Green Velvet Tea) and Indori Bhiyo (Sev ki Chai). Even some of our other products can be unique products in the world, which are our signature products.

3. What is your competitive advantage?

A: Our biggest competitive advantages that we don't believe in mediocrity, we believe in being world-class. Our taste with economical pricing and the fact that we are among the very few chains who are providing world's most popular 5 products under a roof, i.e, Burgers/Fries, Pizza/Pasta, Subs/Salads, Tea and Coffee are our USPs. We are specialized in each and every product we offer.

4. How much time did it take you from conceptualization of 'your venture' to actually launching it in the market ?

A: It took us around an year for the same. We did an intense R&D for approx. 6 months for understanding the market and it's needs. After finalization of the idea, it took us 6 more months to execute our idea and to learn the trade (although the learning part is still going on and will be on till the end of the world. :) ).

5. Tell us more about your team?

A: We are a team of four as partners. There is Anil Varandani, who is an engineer by degree, having three years of experience in IT and marketing. Raghuraj Singh is again an engineer who also happens to be a writer (Book: How to start your own business in India). Anand Varandani who has degrees of MBA and CFA and has experiences of working with various national and multinational financial institutions. Lastly there's me, I too am an engineer having experience of running coaching institutes for 5 years, running a networking company for 4 years, being a motivational speaker and currently writing a fiction novel.

6. What is your technology stack?

A: We believe if you don't change with the changing world, you would be left behind. We use all the latest technologies for monitoring our sales, monitoring our staff, customer satisfaction, and even for marketing. Our sale is monitored by POS (point of sale) software which gives us information on hourly basis of the walk in and billings. It is a complete billing solution.

7. How do you plan to market your product?

A: We are now on the verge of expanding our business via franchising. This was the primary aim of starting and making of the brand 'The Urban Gumti', we held ourselves back till now, as we wanted to make our systems strong, meanwhile also testing by drilling into our customers hearts developing love for our products, which eventually we have done. Now our brand is a very well known name in our city, and we are daily getting queries for franchisee from all over India. Soon, we will be moving out of Indore for reaching everyone around the globe.

8. What are your customer acquisition strategies?

A: Our strategies are simple. We believe on two things. One, word of mouth with our delicious products. Two, keep reminding our customers of the experience they had and can again have by ordering food from our outlets or drop by at any of them.

9. What is the revenue model of 'The Urban Gumti' ?

A: Our business's revenue model is no rocket science to know. It's the same as of any other food outlet in the world, no matter how small or big. Whereas in the franchisee model, we charge a once a lifetime franchisee fees in which we provide them with our world-class product's recipes, training to staff members, marketing support, branding from our side and complete support in making the outlet successful.

10. What do you want to achieve from this? What is your larger goal or vision?

A: We solely believe in the philosophy that life is too short to eat and drink mediocre products. Our larger goal to reach customers all over the globe and become a permanent resident of their hearts.

11. What sort of support and feedback are you looking from the community?

A: eChai has been a wonderful platform with a very positive quality to teaching entrepreneurs to Corise. What happens mostly is, people have a tendency to be jealous about each other's success. And this is our education system's fault, which taught us the number game. The only support I expect from eChai is to keep doing what you guys are doing, teaching entrepreneurs to make a win-win situations for each others and for the customers.