Infusion Beverages plans to take on biggies in beverages space
Mark Twain said age is an issue of mind over matter- if you don't mind, it doesn't matter. Twain’s dictum came true in a delightful reality when three class ten students from Rajasthan grabbed a funding of Rs 3 crore for their startup producing health drinks made of fresh water without preservatives and added sugar.
Chetanya Golechha, Utsav and Mrigank Gujjar are shinning beacons of hope for the nascent eco system of Indian startup. Here is a sparky narrative of their journey as shared by Golechha with Baishali Mukherjee.
Being from Rajasthan, the hot desert of India, I know the bliss of a refreshing drink since early childhood. From kids to adults, a glass of cold flavoured water is just the thing one fancies, after coming back home from the day’s work. A trip to Europe first planted the idea of making drinks with natural water instead of the one produced with preservatives and added sugar. The welcome drink on board gave me such a rejuvenating experience that I started thinking of replicating it and shared the idea with my friend Utsav and Mrigank Gujjar after coming home.
The first attempt
What followed was a rigorous online research on preparing drinks with fresh water and after watching more than 20 videos for three long days Mrigank Gujjar and I made our first attempt at making our first drink. Experimentation continued and we tried innovating with the product. The science fest at Neerja Modi School was around the corner and we tried our luck there, but were rejected in the first round itself. But the good thing was that we got an order of 150 bottles after the fest.
To take the idea forward we participated in the entrepreneurship competitions at renowned colleges and received incredible admiration from the judges and students. However, a major impetus arrived when in April 2016 Malaviya National Institute of Technology of Jaipur initiated to incubate our venture, which also assisted us in filing a patent for our innovation.
Getting down to business
The next few months were really demanding as we had to run around obtaining license, approvals and permissions from Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). Filing for the patent and launching the company, Infusion Beverages, completed we participated and won entrepreneurship fests at IIT Kanpur, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, and Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT). The prize money was then invested in developing the product. Finally at IIM Indore, we had a one-on-one conversation with the investors, and one of them fixed a meeting for further implementation. In the very first hour of the meeting a fund of Rs 3 crore was granted to us and the agreement said that we now had the responsibility of marketing and research and the plant would be based in Indore. However, the plant was later shifted to Dudu, in Ajmer district of Rajasthan.
Dreams taking shape
Today Infusion Beverages has been successful in selling 8000 units which are available in three different flavours – rose, kewra and bel. We are aware of competitions but have a strong belief that our systematic pricing and customer validation will help our product gain market soon. We will be manufacturing beverage at Rs 20 and are already prepared to bulwark us from the giants in the industry. I am doing a product research for constant update about the market while Gujjar does marketing and Utsav is on the operations front. The 1.5 crore plant at Dudu is fast taking shape and will start operations from September. We have hired consultants, CAs and have invited consultants from Netherlands as we aspire to work on international standards. Out of the 270 recruitments so far, 200 are labours from adjoining areas.
I am always very keen on grabbing opportunities and do not believe in waiting for the right time. Right time is NOW!! To dream big in such a short life one has to start early and move ahead fast and furious.
What has your experience been with Indian beverages (aerated and non-aerated)? Please put in your comments.