How Zepo is helping get Bombay’s cutting chai online via ChotuChaiWala

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Zepo allows businesses to setup stores online. Founded by Nitin Purswani in 2011, Zepo is a Morpheus Gang company and has been growing steadily over the last few years with more than 1200 e-commerce stores running on Zepo at the moment.

Competing with the likes of Buildabazaar and Martjaack, Zepo has been able to stand its ground and has kept up the tempo by regularly coming up with new campaigns and adding interesting product maker to its portfolio. The latest in this line? Zepo’s ChotuChaiWala.

ChotuChaiWala.com is an effort to get Bombay’s famous chaiwalas (tea sellers) online. Mumbai, with its population of 12 million, savours its chai (of course, alongside the vada pav). “We’ve always been fascinated by the organized nature of the chaiwalas. From sunrise to sunset, they cater to hundreds of customers every day. In addition, they also follow a strict timetable of tea deliveries to offices and residences in their locality. Their discipline was the inspiration behind the conception of ChotuChaiWala.com,” writes Nitin on their blog about the idea behind ChotuChaiWala.

Inspired by the idea, the team at Zepo got to work and started talking to chaiwalas so that they can sell their chai online via a subscription model. “We picked Bandra as our first destination to start out from, simply because it is one of the biggest business centers in Mumbai,” says Nitin. Within a few days, four tea vendors agreed to pull in and buy an online store which Zepo helped setup. Their photos were clicked, price plans were decided and the online store was ready within a day. “We also provided them with customized T Shirts and paper cups to help them market their online store to their customers,” says Nitin.

It has been close to three weeks since the site was made live and more than 50 orders have already been registered. ChotuChaiWala has subscriptions starting from INR 70 for one week (chai is delivered at the doorstep 5 times a week). There is also a two-week and one-month subscription. At present, only available in Bandra, Mumbai, this will only pave way for more such developments. “Once we cover Bandra, we plan to expand further in Mumbai. In the coming few weeks, we aim to include chaiwalas in South and North Mumbai in the frame as well,” says Nitin.

The word has spread via social media and is a great move by Zepo as well — apart from being one more customer for them, such an initiative will also get them a lot more eyeballs. Zepo is a team of 30 with offices in Bangalore and Mumbai and is also in talks with investors to close their next round of funding to scale more rapidly.

Website: Zepo | ChotuChaiWala


Jubin Mehta

Jubin Mehta

Jubin is an old timer at YourStory. Deeply entrenched in the Indian startup ecosystem, he has written about more than 1000 startups. With an engineering background and a keen interest in data analysis, his passion for writing and entrepreneurship makes him a perfect match for Yourstory. He operates from the mountains in Dharamshala where he also runs a hackbase. He can be reached on Twitter @jub_in and on mail at jubin@yourstory.com