B2B Coffee Startup True South Serves Up Instant, Original Filter Coffee
“…the biggest challenge we face is educating our consumers about this new form of coffee. Coffee to people has always been beans and powder and they will take their time to accept a liquid form. But, from our experience, once they switch to this decoction, there is no going back.” If you’ve been to ITC Maurya or The Leela Palace, then you have probably had this shot of Kaffee.
Photo Credit : YouTube, http://truesouth.co.in/,
It was a hit with DIPP secretary Ramesh Abhishek who wanted a dose of caffeine early in the morning before taking the stage. True South is the real deal south Indian filter coffee coming out of a patent pending coffee machine made by this fourth generation coffee planter.
Chief executive officer of True South is Gaurav Pereira. Here’s the decoction magic of his family’s startup.
Why did you decide to start True South? (Besides the obvious need to innovate and stay competitive amidst the influx of coffeehouses popping up in India)
True South is an idea which sprouted from the aim to popularise the South Indian filter coffee in traditional and non-traditional markets. Our passion led us to develop a ready to use filter coffee decoction. The firm was founded by Harold Pereira, a third generation coffee planter from Chickmagalur, Karnataka in the year 2008.
What’s special about True South?
Our method of decoction is the secret behind True South filter coffee. A decoction is the process of extracting the essence of something typically through boiling, in this instance it’s that of coffee.
Brewing is an art as much as it is a science. From the temperature of the water to the right grain size, all parameters must be maintained strictly to obtain a consistent decoction. Brewing is also messy and time consuming. It takes about half an hour to make a good decoction. True South is essentially filter coffee without the filter. With a decoction of an impressive shelf life of 5 months and no added colours and preservatives, True South is the answer to filter coffee lovers everywhere.
How did you manage to fund this idea?
This idea is currently bootstrapped. At this juncture in our organization's lifecycle, we are not looking for investors either.
Tell us how the business has grown so far
We have largely been a B2B business entity so far.
We supply our decoction to many luxury hotel chains across the country such as the ITC luxury hotels, Fortune group of hotels, IHG and the Leela Palace group. We also supply our product to many quick serve restaurants (QSR) chains across India.
We are also available online in the retail segment [across India via Amazon, in Bangalore via BigBasket and Town Essentials]. The response we have had from direct consumers is overwhelming and up to date, close to fifty percent of our volume online is from loyal retail consumers.
What marketing strategies and plans are in place to grow the business?
We are currently in the process of building a strong online retail presence, joining with large ecommerce players in India. We also intend to also open outlets across the country soon. And we will make them outlets serving good, affordable coffee.
What is the market size and opportunity?
Coffee is a beverage that people in India are opening up to today. It is drunk in offices, in coffee shops and in restaurants across the country. The size and opportunity to serve good coffee in India is limitless and we are happy to be a part of this revolution.
Any challenges faced setting up? Anything unique to your situation?
As with any new concept, the biggest challenge we face is educating our consumers about this new form of coffee. Coffee to people has always been beans and powder and they will take their time to accept a liquid form. But, from our experience, once they switch to this decoction, there is no going back.
Share with us some best and worst memories while running the business.
There have obviously been bittersweet memories in running this business. We are thrilled when people recognise our brand and the quality that we stand for. We are also enthralled when people share with us their honest feedback of the product, both good and bad as it helps keep us grounded and focused on customer centricity.
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