222 / August 18, 2023

Multi-Crore Chai Business Before It Was Cool – Chaayos’ Honest Story ft. Raghav Verma

65 minutes

222 / August 18, 2023

Multi-Crore Chai Business Before It Was Cool – Chaayos’ Honest Story ft. Raghav Verma

65 minutes
Listen on

About the Episode

Welcome Back Neon Tribe!

This week’s insightful episode is about India’s favourite drink “Chai”! We welcome the founder of India’s original Chai startup, Raghav Verma of Chaayos, to the Neon Show!

In this week’s episode, we learn about the ingenious man behind the Chai Revolution that’s taken place in India over the last 10 years!

In a country where Chai is consumed at 30x the rate of coffee, can you imagine having 80,000 varieties available to you all at one store?!

How has Indians’ opinion on the country’s culture changed over the course of the last 20 years?

Truly unbelievable! This outrageous flavour is Raghav’s favourite at Chaayos! You will have to hear it to believe it…

Wait… Chaayos had a huge impact on our host’s love story? Find out how!

All these Kadak topics and more in this highly ENGROSSING conversation with one of India’s Brightest Founders. Pour yourself a Chai while watching, as this episode will give you Sereni-Tea … Tune in NOW!

Watch all other episodes on The Neon Podcast – Neon

Or view it on our YouTube Channel at The Neon Show – YouTube

Siddhartha Ahluwalia 00:00

When you started Chaayos, were you worried that people would call you a “chaiwala”? (SPEAKS HINDI)


Raghav Verma 00:05

Chai is something which is available for free inside the office. Why would somebody come down in their office building? People said that, you know, ‘The chai in the tapris (shack) are for six rupees only. Why would anybody pay 35-40 rupees?’ That’s what it was back then. So why would somebody pay that kind of money? When we went and spoke to potential consumers, what they told us is that ‘It is my ideal chai if I get that in the right ambience. Then I would definitely come for it.’ So you know, someone would say ‘I like drinking milk tea more.’ Someone would say ‘I want a kadak chai’ Someone will say ‘I want ginger and basil.’ Someone will say ‘I want cardamom without sugar.’ Right? So there was no… There was no one size fits all chai, which everybody loved. So we said that, that personalization of chai has to be the core of what we create.

Siddhartha Ahluwalia 00:50

Hi. This is Siddhartha Ahluwalia and welcome to the Neon Show. Most startups, if not all, are looking to solve a problem faced by the majority. Our guest looked to do just that in 2012. In a country where chai is consumed at 30 times the rate of coffee, his co-founder and him recognize the untapped potential of the chai market. The rest as they say is history. Today the company is reportedly valued at 2000 crores. A warm welcome to Chaayos founder, Raghav Verma on the neon show. I would also like to thank our sponsors Prime Venture Partners for sponsoring the Neon Show. Hope you enjoy it!

Siddhartha Ahluwalia 01:31

Hi, this is Siddhartha Ahluwalia. Welcome to the Neon Show. Today I have with me Raghav Verma, founder of Chaayos.

Siddhartha Ahluwalia 01:39

Raghav just to give you a background, right? When Nansi and I started dating in 2016 and not enough funded [chuckles]. Nansi just graduated so we had a budget of 400-500 rupees and we said we cannot go to parks and so we needed to find a decent place, like in the center of the city. We started going to Chaayos. I think back then Chaayos brand was just getting built 2015-16—


Raghav Verma 02:07

2015, yes.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 02:07

That kind of timeframe. So our first location became the Chaayos in Connaught Place. My office, we had a coworking called Innov8. So it was very near to that and our second location became the Chaayos opposite IIT Delhi in the Hauz Khas market. And we had lesser budget than we used to go to sassi da dhaba.


Raghav Verma 02:08

[laughing] Yeah, that was my regular in college.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 02:20

So I remember the area around IIT Delhi because I graduated with my bachelor’s & master’s in 2011 and 2008 I was interning at ITT Delhi. So I was taking inside IIT Delhi. It was December winter and sassi became the main place at that point in time. So yeah moving forward 2015-16 timeframe. Our orders were also fixed, right? One desi chai that we both used to share. One bun maska and one maggi. And I think it was bun maggi back then, I remember, right? So it’s been a wonderful journey, right? How people have their emotions associated. Their life was built around like for us also around Chaayos. We are now based in Bangalore, so this trip to Delhi, we made sure that we are visiting all those places. Our memories, right? We’ve built a life around them and as entrepreneurs I was talking about. Yesterday, we met Vinay from STAGE, earlier WittyFeed. And he shared his journey as a founder when you come from a background of less resources. His first startup WittyFeed was a cracking success in the media, right? They reached the 40 crore revenue mark very quickly, like in four to five years of the journey. Bootstrapped. Profitable. All the checkmarks. And one day Facebook shut them down because of Cambridge Analytica and from there on to the next one year, right, it was a phase of severe depression. He went into severe depression. He shared, right. The podcast showed how he sought help from therapists. And it’s a tough journey that founders go through. Like you started yourself in 2012, right? Your first startup was a test prep startup, nobody knows about it. Then you pivoted in 2013 so share about your journey of building Chaayos and even the journey before that. You’re growing up years, which city you grew up, your parents…


Raghav Verma 04:48

Yeah. So my dad was in the railways. I am born in Jhansi, but at the age of just three years old, we moved to Bombay and I pretty much grew up in Bombay. So for about 15 years or so we actually had a railway colony in Colaba. So yeah, a pretty luxurious [laughing] part of south Bombay. Lots of space. A lot of facilities which you would not normally get. I was a lot into music. So music was a very big part of growing up and also college life. I started playing the piano, western classical—


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 05:35

At what age?


Raghav Verma 05:36

4th standard. Yeah, and I play about seven musical instruments. And I’ve played in a couple of bands also. Okay, so music was a big part of growing up. I was preparing for IIT. I opted for both Bombay and Delhi. I ended up getting into Delhi.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 05:56

What rank did you get?


Raghav Verma 05:57

I was 1300 the first time. Yes.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 06:02

So you were super intelligent, I would assume, right? Just—


Raghav Verma 06:06

I think you know, before IIT, you think of yourself as you know, I’m the class topper and you know, I’m the best amongst this group. And then when you get to IIT, you realize you’re just average or below average because there are so many smarter people out there, I think I was a little bit of smart and a lot more of hardworking so that’s what that’s what helped.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 06:31

So you saw your parents work hard. That’s how you got this, you know, the DNA of hard work.


Raghav Verma 06:39

Yeah, I would say that yes.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 06:41

Because railways is not an easy job as compared to other jobs. Railways… People don’t know that it’s a tough role if you are in the core operations side. Railways making sure that you know, cause India’s the largest rail network. You would have traveled a lot, I assume, in your childhood because of railways.


Raghav Verma 07:01

I did. So almost every summer vacation/winter vacation, there was some new place we were going to because with the railways. Thankfully I didn’t end up having to move schools and houses a lot. We spent some time in Guwahati, Northeast. We were there for some time. But pretty much it was Bombay only.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 07:22

Okay. So your Plus 2 was there. Yeah. Yeah. So, Bombay only. Then I had applied for both IIT Bombay and IIT Delhi. I got through chemical engineering in IIT Delhi,—


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 07:32

Bombay is much cooler, right? And like a Bombay kid, you want to say—


Raghav Verma 07:35

No, no.I I think I am, I’m actually very happy that, that was the time that you know, it was growing up around the same set of people. It almost became a comfort zone that you know, I had a good set of friends, family was there. So for me, you know, getting out of that comfort zone at that point of time. Coming and living in the hostel I think it’s one of the best things that happened to me at that point of line. And IIT was interesting, you know. First semester you’re like in this in this group of amazingly smart, amazingly talented people. And it’s just the realisation that yeah, now, this was a step one getting here was a step one, and I think more than the academics, more than more than the professors, it was just being in that environment and being in the company of such talented people and such intelligent people. I think that that really changes you in a way that not a lot of things do.

Siddhartha Ahluwalia 08:38

And from IIT Delhi, what triggered you into going for entrepreneurship. You could have easily gone into like made a career in consulting which is very much popular among IIT Delhi—


Raghav Verma 08:53

So I had absolutely no intention of starting up in college. My college life was actually more about bands and music than it was about even academics [chuckles].


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 09:03

So you were among the toppers in the batch or —


Raghav Verma 09:04

No, not really. I would have been like, like 80th percentile maybe. 8 was my GPA actually.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 09:15

That’s pretty high.


Raghav Verma 09:16



Siddhartha Ahluwalia 09:16

People don’t usually get that IIT.


Raghav Verma 09:16

Yeah, but it’s not topper level. So yeah, I actually… Consulting was the preferred job for me, okay. Appeared for all the day one interviews, ended up getting a job on day one so was working with this company called opera solutions based out of Delhi but had a lot of travel involved. So I ended up traveling to the U.S. quite a bit. Worked in like three months out of your first three months into your first job. And you get to visit New York. You get to work with American Express and FedEx and all Yeah. Completely fancy life and you know you’re living on client expenses and—


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 09:20

So maybe business class on a few times, no?


Raghav Verma 09:26

No, not that level [chuckles]. But like service apartments. You get to eat… You get to eat at all the fancy places. I think lots to learn and, and a great life. And you know, I had this thought that if I was to do a regular job, then I would want to live in a city like New York because there’s just so much to do and, you know, be it music or food or museum’s culture. But somewhere, you know, a year and a half into this. There was a realization that there’s a complacency coming in. And, you know, you were, I was hearing at that point of time say, you know, Zomato was coming up. Flipkart was coming—


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 10:49

I think 2008 Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal launched Flipkart I think right after, or one or two years after quitting their job. Then Deepinder Goyal started, right? So I think entrepreneurship would have been the buzz at least for your batch?


Raghav Verma 11:08

Yes, correct, correct. So all of these people are like, one or two batches, one or two batches senior to me. So I think, at that point of time, there was that realization that, you know, I’m getting complacent. If there’s any good time for me to actually do this, there could not be a better time than now. Lesser responsibilities. I’ve got some learning out of my first job. I was 24 at that time, yeah. So I got some good learnings out of my first job. Have this exposure. And, you know, it was, at least I had that comfort that, you know, even if I was to do something, and it doesn’t work out, I can always get back to this life.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 11:49

But your parents come from a government background, right? So they would have to preferred you to stay in a job, at least—


Raghav Verma 11:55

Absolutely but parents were very supportive—


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 11:58

What was your father saying at that point in time?


Raghav Verma 12:01

I think they were very supportive. The first time they were like, ‘It’s fine, you have to own your decisions. So we actually quit our jobs like me, and three other friends. We quit our jobs. We didn’t have anything in hand. We didn’t even have an idea because it was impossible to do the office job. And consulting is crazy hours. We said we’ll figure it out. So we were meeting a lot of people. Ended up realizing that, you know, people are so open when you are an entrepreneur, and even at that time when you know, startups weren’t that big. Any big company CEO, anybody is willing to like make time for you that ‘Oh, you’re a young entrepreneur.’ And I think the ecosystem is really nice that way. It’s become even better now with the kind of ecosystem the way it’s grown.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 12:56

Back then getting time off Deepinder Goyal or Sachin, Binny Bansal would not have been very difficult. Did you meet them?


Raghav Verma 13:01

[chuckles] No, no, I actually didn’t meet either of them. But, you know, we were, we used to visit some startup events and you know, had connected with some entrepreneurs. Ended up going and meeting them—


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 13:13

And your base was Delhi?


Raghav Verma 13:15

Delhi only yes.


Raghav Verma 13:17

No, no. My parents had actually moved to Delhi at that time so I was at home. Yeah. So we started to look around, you know, exploring different areas. So we were visiting some, some conference, some day meeting up. Reading up a lot. And we realized, so the motivation for us was that we want to create impact, and we want to do something that’s big. And education seemed like a very interesting space for us—


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 13:49

Ed tech was I think just coming up—


Raghav Verma 13:51

Yeah, so there was Educomp at that time, that was the only ed tech. So we were researching what is happening in the US and all that, you know, there was a lot of adaptive learning happening. Lot of of video content. Coursera and all were coming up at that point of time. So we said look, there is something interesting, which can be made in the education space, and this is a very big space. So I started to build for that. We picked up… We kind of aligned our vision with you know, democratizing good quality of education. Giving access to the best teachers, and we said that a good starting point would be, you know, an IIT or JEE which is something we understand. That’d be a good starting point. So we started to partner with teachers, you know, working on like revenue sharing arrangements with them. Built a pretty decent product, went to market and then realized that, you know, we’re just a little too ahead of our time right now. So we made a pretty fundamental mistake in which we said that, you know, the customer is paying two lakh rupees for an offline coaching class, but they’re not getting personalized attention here. So we will try to create that personalized attention through technology. And we will give a great pricing so it’s a no brainer for a customer to come, right? You built a great product. So we priced our product at about 5000 rupees for a pretty big library of different kinds of tests. And the pitch was that you are already going to your coaching class. You come back and this is like your testing platform, which helps you identify your gaps. Realized that it’s not the student who actually makes that decision. It’s the parent. That’s number one. The second thing is it’s not the money that matters, it is the reputation of the brand that you have created. Because for us, it was like it is just 5000 rupees, but for that parent and for the student, it is every hour that is most critical. That ‘Am I investing it into the right resources with the right brand.’ So realize that, you know, it is it is going to take a bit of time for a technology-based approach to actually—


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 16:06

Maybe you were ahead of your time—


Raghav Verma 16:07

Yes, yes and at that point of time, there was also a very big mistrust with anything on technology. So ‘My kid is sitting on the computer. He must be doing something wrong.’ so that’s where we realized that, you know, we’re a little ahead of our time. Difficult decision, you know, because when you start something and you believe in it—


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 16:34

You get attached. Super emotionally attached.


Raghav Verma 16:36

The world is telling you that this is not going to work and you’re convincing everybody that yeah, it is going to work. So taking that decision that you know, this is not going to work out and I can actually take a call to shut this. It’s pretty difficult. So it took us about three, four months of debating it out, trying to figure it out, whether we can do this or not. And then finally we realized that, you know, maybe it’s not the right time for this and we took that call to shut Prep Square.

Siddhartha Ahluwalia 16:37

And then how did you and Nitin meet?


Raghav Verma 16:51

So me and Nitin used to work together at Opera. We were pretty much acquaintances—


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 17:14

Was he at the office as well when you shut down at ed tech?


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 17:16

It was called Chaayos?


Raghav Verma 17:16

Yes so he had moved on from Opera by then. We got talking and in fact, like, it was a little bit of serendipity. Because a common friend of ours was visiting and he had gone to meet Nitin in the morning and then he came to meet me in the evening. And that’s the day we actually took that call to shut prep square and then he was saying that I met Nitin also. He’s selling chai and poha. So Nitin had already started the first Chaayos cafe by then.


Raghav Verma 17:16

Yes Chaayos.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 17:21

And where was this?


Raghav Verma 17:23

So this was building number five, Cybercity. Yeah Gurgaon only. So at that point of time, I was wrapping up there. And I went to meet Nitin saying that I want to do something and, you know, I had always been very interested in food. I felt that as a consumer, I understand it. I am pretty interested and excited about cooking, also cooking and baking. So I felt like we could do something in the food industry. And I got in touch with Nitin, we spoke for a few months, and then I joined him in… yeah that was the first store only.

Siddhartha Ahluwalia 18:26

And was the chai and poha Chaayos the same as today or it was different? [chuckles]

Raghav Verma 18:34

So actually pretty interesting, right? When Nitin was doing those initial customer conversations, there was an overwhelming you know, the industry experts and the investors who were at that point of time, they were saying that, you know, chai is something which is such a commodity. Chai is something which is available for free inside office, why would somebody come down? Like, people said that, you know, the chai in the tapris is for six rupees only. Why would anybody pay 35-40 rupees? That’s what it was back then. So why would somebody pay that kind of money to get a cup of chai? And when we went and spoke to potential consumers, what they told us is that it is, you know, ‘My ideal chai if I get that in the right ambience, then I would definitely come for it.’ But what most people who had started up in chai at that point of time, were looking at chai as a commodity only. We were possibly the first ones who said that, look, chai does not have to be a commodity. Chai does not have to be sold from a small kiosk. Chai can have an experience around it as well. And when we went and spoke to a lot of customers, those initial customer conversations, one of the biggest things that we wanted to understand from customers is what is your ideal cup of chai look like? And the response was pretty surprising for us because every customer had their own definition of an ideal chai.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 20:10

And by that time the chai outlet was running—


Raghav Verma 20:14

No, no. So, this is this is pre pre work that that doesn’t get done. Right. So talking to customers and asking them so you know, someone would say ‘I like milk tea more.’ Someone would say ‘I want a kadak chai’. Someone would say ‘I want ginger and basil tea.’ Someone would say ‘I want cardamom without sugar.” So, there was no one size fits all chai which, which everybody loved. So, we said that, that personalization of chai has to be the core of what we create. So that ‘My type of chai’ being the core USP of Chaayos, which is actually quite orthogonal to the the way that QSRs operate, right? Most QSRs will have a standard 10-15 item menu. They don’t tamper with the menu. The same standards and it is what is carried on for a long time. For us, the point was that we did not want to have only five variants or 10 variants of chai. We said that if we want to make a chai concept that would work outside of home, it has to give the customer what they want. So that maybe ‘My type of chai’ being the core of it has also been our biggest problem statement. because now how do I ensure that in Bangalore when you’re going to get that cup of chai it is it is that right same exact chai? How can I get that consistently to you? So in that way, that was the core fundamental with which we started. That is still the core fundamental today. And that’s kind of the… We are we are possibly the only brand who’s actually giving that to our customers that consistently giving you your ‘My type of chai’.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 22:00

Does any other brand, food brand, have 8000 varieties of the same product as you have?


Raghav Verma 22:05

Not really. Not really.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 22:07

8000 is not the number, 80,000 is the number!


Ram Seshadri 22:08

Yea, 80,000 is the number. [chuckles] So, six different milk levels, three different kinds of chai leaves, 15 add ons, sugar, no sugar. So yeah, all of those permutation combinations from there


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 22:22

Only I can imagine a mathematical brain could build those permutations and combinations. [chuckles]


Raghav Verma 22:31

Yeah… Second interesting thing that was part of the early days of conceptualizing Chaayos was that there is… Culturally, chai is always consumed with some food in the country. Now, every region has their own kind of chai snacks—


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 22:50

If you go in MP, it’s purely poha—


Raghav Verma 22:52

Poha, jalebi [laughs]


Raghav Verma 22:55

Correct. Correct. In the South it’s something else and in the East it’s also something else. So there are so many types of chai snacks, different kinds of pakoras or toast or just a bun or biscuit. So, we said that, you know, it is going to be about chai and snacks, it is not just about the chai, because that is… The customer will come for the chai and they will for the entire chai plus snack experience. So that fresh food being an integral part of the menu, that has been the thing from day one. And that’s still very core to us. It’s almost like half our revenues come from food—


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 22:55



Raghav Verma 23:33

Bun muska, vada pav, palak crispy leaves is another top seller as well, samosa peas chaat so we’ve got a very simple lens. Anything that goes great with a cup of chai is going to be on our menu. And that’s we innovate—


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 23:33

Bun muska might be the most popular one—

Siddhartha Ahluwalia 23:50

And you guys have been innovating over a period of time. Recently I believe you launched almond chai which became my favourite. And my wife and mother used to ask me, ‘ Who puts almonds in chai and drinks it?’ [chuckles] See I like it so I drink it and these guys are giving it so how did you get this insight to make an almond chai?


Raghav Verma 24:08

So almond chai came from a very you know we wanted to create something indulgent for the winters and it was kind of inspired from a rich indulgent thick Chai with that you know winter’s dry fruits, you feel like having that so we keep trying out a lot of crazy combinations. One of our craziest ones and this is one of my favourite chai is green chillies chai!


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 24:33

Green chilli, wow. It is part of the permutations right—


Raghav Verma 24:33

It is but it is something that not a lot of people try out but those who try it out they actually end up loving it because it’s got that real nice punch of the green chilli that comes at the end.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 24:37

So this started right, the first outlet got started and you would have got your customer validation and did the first outlet also had all these 80,000 varieties?


Raghav Verma 24:57

So at that point of time we had 12,000 varieties. We’ve increased that to 80,000


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 25:03

But, at what point of time, right? You said your first startup had just shut down, right? You have been in some self doubt, whether I’m a good entrepreneur, or whether the market is bad timing right from self taught for video. So how did you overcome the self that will this venture work?


Raghav Verma 25:29

Honestly, at that point of time, there was, I would say, looking back now, I would say I was a little bit more naive and I’m happy that I was a little bit more naive. In my mind, it was very clear. I have given one shot to starting up. I have one more shot that I want to give. And if this doesn’t work out, we’ll give it a year. We’ll give it two years. If it doesn’t work out, we’ll get back to corporate life, go for an MBA. So I think that comfort was always there that, you know, what, what’s the worst case scenario. The worst case scenario is this. I will learn a lot of things, I will get a lot of exposure, which will help me a lot in life. If it doesn’t work out, maybe then I will work for a few years, and then I will again come back to it. So yeah, that they’re there. Thankfully, now that I look back, there was not that much of self doubt at that point of time. It was actioned into look, this is the second time and I have a few months to prove to myself that either this is going to work or or then then I will be been in that. I will conclude that right now. I’m not ready to be an entrepreneur and I’ll come back to it later.

Siddhartha Ahluwalia 26:50

And what was your lowest moment and because it’s been a 10 year long journey, what has been your lowest moment in Chaayos?


Raghav Verma 26:59

There have been a couple of times where we have been, we have been very close to, to not having money to pay the next payroll. I think those kinds of situations happened once in 2016. That happened once in 2018. I think where you are fighting for pure survival. And there’s a chance that you know what you’ve spent so many years building up. There’s a chance that I could not survive. You know, that very thought is so scary and so jarring. When that happened that would be the lowest point because you know, everything else… I think I think it just becomes part of the game that you know, there will be people will leave, things will not work, businesses will like parts of the business will fail. But when you’re talking about your stories, which are down all of all of that is all of that is kind of you get accustomed to it that they are there, there will be setbacks. But when you’re talking about the actual survival of something that you have built with your own hands, it is actually pretty scary to see that.

Siddhartha Ahluwalia 28:10

I think COVID would not have been so difficult because till the time COVID hit, your online ordering system became so powerful. The stores got shut down, they got converted into where people can order on Swiggy and Zomato—.


Raghav Verma 28:23

No, no COVID was actually quite difficult. So we went down to about nine-10% of our revenues in the first few months. I think that happened with everybody. What happened during COVID was that a lot of… we as a cuisine took a little bit longer time to get our revenues back. Because at that point of time, if you remember, everybody had become a home chef and home baker [chuckles]. So people were like ‘We’ll make chai on our own. We’ll order those things that can’t be found at home. But yeah, we did a lot of work on the contactless piece, creating awareness around child delivery because child delivery was also still small pre-COVID but it’s massively ramped up over the last two years. We’ve seen great traction and, you know, we hear from Zomato and swiggy that the kind of repeat behaviours and retentions that we have for this business is pretty much unheard of, in any kind of delivery space. Because chai is… Once you get used to that comfort of you know, I can get that piping hot chai to me, within 20 minutes that will be delivered to me. You can’t let go of that comfort then.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 29:34

And people because they’re cooking throughout the day right? Around 200-250 rupees maximum. At least it was the case for us while sitting in Bangalore in lockdown. We can’t work. We used to order chai every fourth or fifth day because to speak to ourselves the entire family of four to five correct small curves and it’s a good experience getting something from outside. [chuckles] There was nothing else to expense on during that time, but you said, COVID, you suffered for the first few months, and then for a period of time, you got back—


Raghav Verma 30:13

The first year, year and a half of COVID was very difficult. Now, because we were primarily an offline business. All the malls shut down. People stopped going outside. Cafes, again, is a very social use case, right? You go with people, so, you know, more than 70% of our business was coming from an offline space. So, you know, we had to be very, very clear and very, very action oriented when it came to, you know, how, how we go about it, because we did not want to lay off anybody. And that’s a decision that we took when COVID happened within the first month that we’re not going to do any layoffs.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 30:54

And you have enough money back then.


Raghav Verma 30:57

So, yeah, thankfully, we had raised around a few months before COVID happened. So, that little bit of comfort was there, but at the same time, you know, with going from 100 rupees revenue to 25-30 rupees revenue and then having the same cost base which was anyway there. So a lot of good work happened by the teams and like maintaining costs. A lot of our team took, you know, salary cuts for the first few months. Just to help with that survival. And we got a lot of support from all our landlords who said that ‘Okay you give me a revenue share for some time, or you work with the reduced rental.’ So a lot of support. I think the entire ecosystem got together and understood that, you know, we have to, we have to support each other. And—

Siddhartha Ahluwalia 31:48

If you go back in time, right, you guys till your 5th store, you had only raised friends and family money. Right? And then Lee Fixel from Tiger read out to you. So how did you sell chai to an investor? That’s an interesting story. [chuckles]


Raghav Verma 32:05

Yeah, and actually, the interesting part of it is that at that point of time, Tiger’s globally one of the first offline investments. They had done completely internet investments right. And we actually after the entire fundraise process was done, we actually asked Lee that you know, we get asked this a lot, why did Tiger invest? Why did you invest? And his response was that you know, ‘I spent enough time in India over the last five to 10 years and what chai is to India is what coffee is to the west. So, if there ever is to become a Starbucks like brand in the country, it would have to be around chai.’ So, that was the hypothesis that he had that you know, if there has to be a Starbucks of India, it will have to be around a chai brand.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 32:55

So, within two calls the funding Tiger happened?


Raghav Verma 33:00

Yeah, it was actually two Skype calls. And yeah, they move fast.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 33:06

And it was like five outlets that you had?—


Raghav Verma 33:09

We were seven at that time. Yeah.




Siddhartha Ahluwalia 33:11

But seven were built with your money and then friends and family. So, you never had a proper angel round?

Siddhartha Ahluwalia 33:11

But seven were built with your money and then friends and family. So, you never had a proper angel round?


Raghav Verma 33:18

No, we did. So we had Powai Lake Ventures come in. Zishaan was leading Powai Lake Ventures. So, we did a couple of small rounds with them. And that was how we got to the seven stores. For us, you know, that there was always that question of proof of concept. Because everybody had seen coffee brands outside. Everybody had seen CCD, Barista, you know, it was very normal activity to go out and hang out over a cup of coffee or like go on a coffee date. So, that question that you know, but ‘It’s just chai right?’, you know, creating that right niche and that right experience, where anywhere you can drink chai outside your house can a Chaayos work in that context from, you know, a customer point of view, from a unit economics point of view. To prove that was like the first seven stores for us. And we literally ran those stores ourselves like Nitin was the cafe manager of the first store. I was the cafe manager of the second store. Used to come in the morning and open the shutters. Interacted with every single so we used to be those cafe managers who used to interact with every customer. To our surprise, we saw that you know, there were customers who were coming to us three-four times in the same day, because they got so addicted to the chai. That’s when we knew that the repeat behaviour in a chai kind of use case is going to be very big. And that’s why we went very deep into that we won’t go to too many cities. We don’t want to open 20 cities. We would rather be in Delhi NCR and continuously penetrate. So Cyber City only has like five Chaayos, right? So that that just kind of gave us that confidence that yes, this is a, this is a high frequency use case. It’s a high density use case. Wherever a cup of chai can be served outside of home, we can be present there.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 35:18

And tell me this right? You went really deep into seven cities. The first three were Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore rather than spreading wide. So which kind of brands in your opinion should go deep and which should go wide. You’re talking about offline, kind of—


Raghav Verma 35:36

I think if there is a possibility to go deep, you should only go deep. Like I was telling a friend of mine, he used to lead marketing for us. He’s actually running a startup, which is in like a domestic health space. I told him if it’s possible for you to just pick Golf Course Road, as your catchment, and then just make sure that every single house you’re able to penetrate that. You will get much better unit economics. You will get much better network effect. Everything becomes better when you’re going deep. Right. So proving a concept at a particular space, if there is enough customer base relevant for you and if it’s a high enough frequency occasion, you don’t have to go broader than that. The only place where that doesn’t work is where you are talking about about being in a space where it is kind of the winner takes the market. Right? So for example, an e commerce cannot work like that. A Flipkart could not have said that look, I’m only going to deliver to Bangalore, because that’s by nature, it is a business which requires you to deliver everywhere. So I think as far as possible, picking one small market to prove whether it works for you, or that doesn’t work for you. And it should be a very simple captive market. For us that first market was building five Cyber City. It is a set of 3000 people who are in that building. Who are coming daily. You know, it’s not that, did I do the right marketing? Did I pick the right location? None of that matters. It is just on the basis of product that the customer will either accept it, or they will reject it. And they accepted it. And we saw that, you know. We started to see see crazy high frequencies in that one store. We realised that yeah, we are onto something now.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 37:21

And what advantage because the hypothesis can also be reversed. Right? If I have to play devil’s advocate, that by opening a new store in a new locality or a new city, you could tap into a much larger audience. Here if you keep on opening one store within the same set of 3000 audience, you are only tapping into those 3000—


Raghav Verma 37:39

See, it is always pragmatic that you don’t want to over penetrate. Yeah, and that completely depends on the kind of customer model you have. Right? If that customer model is a very big 5000 square foot store, then possibly you can’t make 5000 square foot stores in you know, you can’t have 10 such stores in Gurgaon. Yeah. So it’s actually like the business model is the number of customers multiplied by the frequency multiplied by their average order value, which is the kind of business that you’re going to get in a year. If that works at a unit economics level, then you can decide how many stores are relevant for it. The idea is how many customers can you reach within that particular space and what kind of frequencies can you get from that customers.

Siddhartha Ahluwalia 38:33

So, India loves Chai, right? That is the thesis that you started on. Right? We have been primarily a chai country throughout India, right from north to south. So, what are your other insights on what India loves?


Raghav Verma 38:48

So, I think the biggest insight that we have realised over the last few years is that two things, right. One is that India as a country is becoming more and more aspirational. We now have exposure to you know a lot of things through social media, what is happening globally, what is trending. We aspire to a better lifestyle. We aspire to prove ourselves right? The kind of level of hardware that you see in the Indian context versus say a developed economy, I can safely say that compared to my time in the US also, people work much harder. People have much, much higher aspirations. So that aspiration, to experience new things, to travel more, to live a better lifestyle. That is definitely a trend that is definitely showing in the consumer space. The second interesting thing is that, as a country, we are way more confident about ourselves today, then we would have been 20 years ago. You know, 20 years ago, if someone had said that, you know, I will go out and I’d sit in a cafe and drink chai. Maybe that would not have even been like, like something that people would have thought about it. It would have been that ‘Oh, you know, coffee is cool right now.’—


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 40:19

Let’s say somebody is drinking a chai, a 100 rupees chai in a cafe.


Raghav Verma 40:24

Yeah. But I think there is now a lot of confidence in our culture and that’s clearly reflecting the kind of growth that we are doing as a country and our own confidence in our culture. It is something that these are two trends that are really important from a consumer brand point of view, be it an offline brand or be it an online brand.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 40:53

So just repeating. The first you said as India is becoming more and more aspirational every year and how do you summarise the second one?


Raghav Verma 41:00

Second one is that there is a lot more self confidence in Indian culture. So there is a lot more confidence in being Indian. In wearing that on your sleeve then there was maybe 20 years back when we were more aping the Western. We were saying that look, ‘This is cool here so I just want to copy what the West is doing’—


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 41:22

That’s why people are comfortable drinking Kulhad Chai.


Raghav Verma 41:26

Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah, we are getting more comfortable with our own roots and that now shows—


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 41:34

And people are comfortable having business meetings in Chaayos. They would have demarcated for business meetings it’s Starbucks and for personal meetings it’s Chaayos but that’s not the case, right? They’re having business meetings. They’re going with their laptops with their colleagues, sitting out of Chaayos. That’s fantastic. What are other things that you think right, the Indian customer like you talked about are aspirational? What are the other things they’re aspirational for? Like, for example, consumers saying ‘I want a better lifestyle. A better car. Right? I want a better house. Right? So you must be building your product. You must be planning based on more of such insights.


Raghav Verma 42:17

Yeah. I think like you said, right, these are the most obvious ones. Car, home, people want to travel a lot more. People want to experience a lot more. You know what they see on the internet, or they see on social media. They want to travel a lot more within the country and outside of the country. So more experiences you know, kind of, we’ve done a small research and, you know, it came out that the current generation is a generation of maximizers, right? They want to maximise every moment that they are living. So when you talk about that, like YOLO is the word for it. So you know you want to really maximise each day. You want to get the most out of every moment. That kind of translates into you know, that, how can I give an experience that you would want to talk about. That you would take back with you. That you would remember that it’s not just about that one cup of chai. It is about everything around it. And one other trend that I’ve seen personally, that COVID and a lot of work from home has made us very comfortable with ordering food at home, or just being comfortable being at home. And I think the number of times that we used to go out before versus what we do now, has definitely come down. So I think what are people actually coming out of home for? People are coming for those experiences. They’re coming for those things that cannot be replicated with just a home delivery, right? So, say if you look at it in a retail context, you know people will come to a mall because they want to touch and feel those clothes whereas a lot of them would be available on a Myntra or somewhere else but what is the touch and feel experience that you can create? And especially in the context of a cafe how how can you how can you create the entire ambience and the vibe and you know how can you create that service and the connect with the customer that people will say that look, I felt really happy and relaxed after coming here and they take back more than just the transactional. Had chai and ate some pakoda but that’s not just it (SPEAKS HINDI). It is much more.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 44:38

I remember while growing up, right. I’m talking about let’s say 20 years ago. As a family, we used to travel once a month, let’s say to eat outside. And that was such a big thing. Eating outside right? And today it’s become very normal like we eat outside maybe once or twice a week.


Raghav Verma 44:58



Siddhartha Ahluwalia 44:58

So the way that India has changed, and that’s why we have seen like plethora of consumer, f&b and retail brands, like making their presence. The experience that they want to provide to Indians now is nothing less than in developed markets. And Starbucks charges the same in India, as they do in any other geography. Like it’s $5 in the US and 400 rupees in India. So, that means the paying capacity is still there in India. People want to experience the best and they don’t shy away from paying the price for it. And there was this initial notion, right, which VCs had a bias for. I remember that Indian consumers don’t invest in buying many things so you can’t charge them for X, Y, which all myths are getting broken down (SPEAKS HINDI).


Raghav Verma 44:58



Raghav Verma 45:58

Absolutely, absolutely. I think that the most easy approach to take is to make it cheap, right? Give a discounted rate and give 50% off offers or you know, we’ve also of course, you know, been in this space. Being in Chai. It’s a natural question that we get asked also and we asked ourselves, that are we able to deliver the right value for money at the price we are charging? Or would we become much bigger if we were… Would we become more relevant for a lot more people if we were priced cheaper than this, but at the end of the day, now, I think it has to be looked at as the entire experience. It has to be about the value. So like you’re saying that, you know, people are willing to pay the money for the experience. That’s very true and for the younger generation is actually even more true that when they’re in college they will want to go out that one time to the best bar or the the most happening bar and they will spend money there and then maybe some of the other meals they would end up ordering things which are much more economical or going to a food court. So, I think that balance is there.

Siddhartha Ahluwalia 47:16

So when you started Chaayos, right, were you worried that people will term you guys as “Chaiwala”.


Raghav Verma 47:22



Siddhartha Ahluwalia 47:22

When you started Chaayos, were you worried that ‘I’ve studied from IIT and worked in consulting’ only for people to think of you more as a “Chaiwala” than an entrepreneur?


Raghav Verma 47:33

No, no not at all. I think that there is absolutely no disrespect in that. For us again, you know, like I said the ability to create impact is the reason that both me and Nitin had from day one we were like, if a big pizza brand or a big coffee brand can be at 1500 to 2000 stores, chai should be much much more.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 47:59

So, you had this aspiration always from the first store that—


Raghav Verma 48:01

From the first conversation that we had that you know if we are not able to get to this kind of number, we are not doing justice to a product like chai. And we are also very clear that it is very difficult for an Indian brand that is selling a Western food or a Western beverage. For an Indian brand, it is much easier to go outside of the country also. Why should a Chaayos not exist in London or Dubai or Singapore or New York right? Because there is so much acceptability of tea, Chai culture. A lot of acceptability of Indian foods, Indian snacks, but no brand has really been able to do justice to that. So we felt that we had a shot at doing that. We still do.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 48:01

So one thing which is very difficult to scale: you have 200 stores right now right? Whenever a customer enters every store, the entire staff says Welcome to Chaayos. How did you replicate that right? It’s very hard to build.


Raghav Verma 49:02

I don’t think it’s a silver bullet. For anything it is just culture and just doing it day in day out. Just our training team invests a lot of their energy. Our operations team is actually called as our brilliant customer experience team. We actually call them as BCX. We don’t call them operations so they know that is why they exist. Yeah, it’s just a lot of operational hard work and just day in day out building those cultures, building those processes.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 49:34

And how big is the team which sits out of HQ and which is at the store?


Raghav Verma 49:37

We have about 150 people here and overall we are 2000 plus people now.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 49:42

And they are all fully employed?


Raghav Verma 49:44

Yes, fully employed.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 49:46

Wow, that’s quite a lot of rigour that you have to drive.


Raghav Verma 49:49

Absolutely. Absolutely. And attrition is very high in this industry. At the bottom of the pyramid you know people just quit for—


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 50:00

Being a server you are aspirational right? Young India wants to have a better lifestyle.


Raghav Verma 50:07

Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. So being able to connect their aspirations, their growth journey, and the personal connect with the brand, that’s something that we work on. And you know, the longer a team member actually spends in our system, the better they get culturally integrated. So when that person becomes a manager of a store, they know like, you know, they’ve done that work with their own hands. So that growth from from the lowest level team member to the manager and area manager. We really believe in an internal growth pipeline. Majority of the people who are in our system, in fact, like we do this, this cafe managers conference every quarter. And I think about 70-80% of people who are part of that actually come from within the system, which is something that we are very proud of.

Siddhartha Ahluwalia 51:02

And your customer loyalty is pretty high, right? What you did innovation on, which was not needed, right? Like placing a tablet, where people place their order, and there is no other way to place our order. And every sixth chai is free, I believe today. So that’s amazing, right? Because even as a customer, I get the same respect when I go for a free chai. Like the staff doesn’t think ‘Oh this guy has paid zero’, correct? Correct. It’s tough to build, that I have not seen it anywhere. So you are, I believe innovating on small, small things a lot, right?


Raghav Verma 51:40

It is a lot of small, small things. It is a lot of rigour in these things are not. It’s not about process, it’s not about that, you know, I just created a strategy once and then everything will happen automatically. One of our biggest realisations when we were scaling up initially, even when 2015 we were at seven stores, we realised that, you know, while we had an aspiration and we saw enough demand potential to go up to say, you know, from seven to 50, but what we realised was that when we started to ramp up our number of stores, this is a very offline store by store people business. And the kind of culture that is needed to be able to run a new store, you can’t do that, you can’t just buy that culture, you can’t just get a completely new team and then expect them to behave like that. So that cultural integration was something that we realised is very, very important. We now actually have a Chaayos academy also. So new team members who come in, they spend seven days and the primary objective is that how do you get culturally integrated into what Chaayos is all about and what the Chaayos way of customer experience really means—

Siddhartha Ahluwalia 52:54

Which are the brands in India that you look up to right because Indian brands have captured Indian consumers by emotion rather than any other right for example at Maggi it was ‘My Maggi’, right? Cadbury’s dairy milk ‘Let’s have something sweet’. With these brands are not doing Nestle is not doing anywhere like this kind of campaign. So which are the brands you see and why do you look up to them?


Raghav Verma 53:22

So one brand I really look up to is Lenskart. I think it is a phenomenal, phenomenal brand. Have been able to create something which was just a mere prescription product into a fashion product. And people now buy multiple frames a year. It’s almost like a shoe or a t- shirt, right? You change your frames. And the kind of scale that they’ve done and the kind of experience and you know, back end integration, I think really, really phenomenal work done by Amit and Peyush. They are also good friends. Second brand that I really look up to is I think Cult has done something which is really, really good. Been able to own a lot of that, that entire fitness space. And when it came up, it was almost like you know, there was no real integrated brand around fitness. They’ve been able to do a really good job of that. I really look up to people who are able to create something which which you know, is which kind of creates a new culture which creates a new way of consumers—


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 54:38

Which is not even tapping into their existing habits. They are creating new habits


Raghav Verma 54:42

Yeah, creating new habits and building brands from scratch where customers feel like they’re part of a community. There are brands like Royal Enfield that is literally like it’s a tribe, right?


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 54:57

It’s a very proud owner.


Raghav Verma 54:59

So, so I think if a customer feels that yeah, I would love to say that I am associated with this brand. I think then you’ve done a good job of it


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 55:10

Among these brands right? Is there a common secret recipe of how they did it? Can you share it in your understanding?


Raghav Verma 55:18

My understanding of it, I think it’s based on a few fundamental customer insights and you know, how the Indian market also works. So, like I said, right like an Indian customer is aspirational. So say if I talk about a Lenskart and again this is coming from my understanding, it could have just been another set of spectacles right but with the kind of range that they have, the way they communicate the way they make their stores. It is cool right and that’s why the youth is more attracted towards it and the entire you know, buy one get one free makes you try out new frames. Makes you makes you create that kind of—


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 56:05

One frame for the office and one for home.


Raghav Verma 56:07

Yeah, yeah. And, then you know, those kinds of giving the right value for money while making it aspirational, because you know, when you went to that value for money route, you can say that, a great example is airlines right? There were a bunch of low cost carriers before who did such barebone stuff it would have been like, you know, you don’t feel proud to be associated with that brand. And then Indigo came in and Indigo just kind of changed the game they made it such a cool brand. Such a cool experience. And like efficiently very good with the job and yet cheap, right. So I think value for money with the right aspiration. That’s the key to India, right? There is no other way to scale. Either if you’re too expensive, and you’re aspirational, then you will be catering to a niche set of customers. If you’re too… If you’re value for money, but you don’t have that aspirational quotient or that cool quotient. I mean, somebody cooler will come along and then will end up taking that market.

Siddhartha Ahluwalia 57:09

You are an avid reader, right? So how many books would you have in your library at home?


Raghav Verma 57:15

In my library, I would have about 200 to 300 odd.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 57:20

So I would have 500 [chuckles]. But it’s been collected for the last 10-15 years. So I had a simple rule. My first job was 28,000 rupees. So 2000 rupees from that back in 2011. I was working in Gurgaon in Amdocs. 2000 rupees from that had to be for books, even if I don’t read them. And then a simple rule that if I’m buying 10 books, and I read only one then the buying is justified. That is the explanation that I give to myself spending on books. So how has your journey been with the books and how have the books shaped you as a better founder?


Raghav Verma 57:56

Yeah, I think earlier, I used to read a lot more of fiction, you know, pre-starting. Now over the last few years, I’ve been reading primarily two genres. One is one is biographies, okay. So say, from a Warren Buffett to a Jack Ma, or say, you know, I recently read the biography of Genghis Khan that was so mind blowing that in that era, how how like, a lot of the systems and culture and you know, legal, politics, how that is actually descended from there. So that gives you perspective, you know, but I’d rather read about people than read advice about what to do. Like more or more of self help. The second thing, which I really like reading about is consumer behaviour. Okay, so there’s a book called “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman, very good insights on how people behave. And then there was another book by Daniel Kahneman called “Noise”. There’s a book called “Thinking in Bets” by Annie Duke, and a very interesting perspective on how people make decisions and, you know, how life is actually more like a poker game. So I think as a founder, it is all about understanding people, which is either understanding consumers or understanding your own team better. So I really like reading on, on consumer behaviour—


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 59:31

But even understanding yourself. Why you are taking what decision you are taking, right and which side of you is it coming from. Yeah, absolutely. Is it emotional? Is it logical? Because as a founder, you’re taking so many decisions, right? And sometimes you don’t have anybody to question to you. And right now, which would be your favourite book, let’s say if somebody wants to build a D2C brand, or a favourite set of books. What would you advise them to first go through?


Raghav Verma 1:00:01

I think Ben Horowitz “The hard thing about hard things”. I think that’s a game changer book. Yeah, very, very hard hitting and just tells it like it is. I think it’s important for anybody who’s getting into the startup world that it’s a tough life boss. It is not an easy life. And it’s a commitment that you are making to yourself that if you want to create something valuable, it is going to take maybe 10 to 20 years of your life—


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 1:00:26

Especially in India, right? I think that was written in an American context, but more applicable to Indian contexts, because as the founder you subject yourself to a pressure cooker. Right? You yourself, willingly put yourself in a pressure cooker and you don’t know, right when it will end. People see all the glamour, funding, and news.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 1:00:49

Nobody knows. Right? What’s going on in that pressure.


Raghav Verma 1:00:52

Very true. Very true. And I think a lot of people get into startups thinking that I want to be my own boss. And it will be a great thing I will work according to my own time. I’m anyways working so much in my life. But it takes a different level of resilience to be able to get through this and it is not a one year, two year journey. That is something that people should be very clear about, in fact, I just tell everybody who I end up meeting, young entrepreneurs. I’m like, you know, you take the leap. Be very clear that this is going to be a 10 year journey to create something valuable. And 10 years might be like the minimum. I don’t think anybody has gotten into a startup three, four years ago, built something and, you know, walked off into the sunset, I don’t think it works that way.

Siddhartha Ahluwalia 1:01:52

What would be things that you regret, during the Chaayos journey?


Raghav Verma 1:01:57

I think we did a lot of things ahead of time. We could have been more focused. The right focus on doing lesser things, and just doing those more and more.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 1:02:12

Can you share some examples?


Raghav Verma 1:02:13

So for example, we had developed our chai bots, chai monk, right? Before we rolled it out to our stores, we said that look, this is a great business model that can go into offices also. So we started to set it up in offices but this was not an automated machine. Right? It was a man plus machine. So we had to set up a kiosk and there used to be a person there who used to serve it. Unit economics never worked out. So we could have deployed chai monk at each of our stores. We delayed that by a year and a half. Because we saw another revenue opportunity. And unfortunately, you know that that revenue opportunity didn’t pan out really. But then what the core business was that actually suffered because if that energy had been put in there would have been much easier to do that. That’s one example. There are other examples also. So I think we’ve been distracted by some opportunity more easily than what we should have been and it’s a learning experience. I would not say it’s a regret, regret. But yeah, more focused on those right things would have definitely helped.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 1:03:27

Because if you don’t do it, right, that’ll always be that shiny thing that hangs and you will always say even why I should not not do it, right now rather than two years later,


Raghav Verma 1:03:36

Correct. Correct At that point of time, it’s always that FOMO that, wow, this could be the biggest thing ever. And this could change the game for us.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 1:03:45

This could expand the TAM, total addressable market by 2x


Raghav Verma 1:03:47

Absolutely. Absolutely. And an idea on paper always looks more amazing than an idea once you’ve actually executed it [chuckles]. I think that’s a learning that I’ve had. You know, the thing you’re working on will always look more difficult. No, the thing you’re working on right now, which is the current business, will always look more difficult because you can see those challenges on ground. Something on paper, which could be a new business, you will never see the challenges. You will always see the upside of it.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 1:04:18

For example, today, you know, all the challenges of starting and scaling Chaayos? 10 years back, if somebody would have come and told you ‘See this is all that you’re going to go through.’ I would have started another tech company, maybe.


Raghav Verma 1:04:31

I don’t know. Like you can never see those salaries.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 1:04:35

Yeah you can never see those challenges right! Especially right, as I say for tech companies, you don’t know that, like any entrepreneur sees tech. Right? They only see the shiny things.


Raghav Verma 1:04:44

Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. Like you said , I would start a company. I think that company would have its own set of challenges. Four years, five years into building that I’ll be like ‘Okay this is now done.’ but you know, maybe profitability is more of a concern or maybe a lot of competition for the same customer is a concern I don’t know


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 1:05:03

But thank you so much Raghav. It’s been a pleasure talking to you and thank you so much for so many insights.


Raghav Verma 1:05:09

Thank you so much for having me. I had a lot of fun.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 1:05:12

Same here.


Raghav Verma 1:05:12

Thank you

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