From putting his only house on mortgage to starting a 35-outlet café chain- Rahul Singh spills the beans on TheBeer Café
Entrepreneur Rahul Singh, while running his venture GOLFWORX, had a strong realisation. Rahul noticed that when he would call people to play golf, they would back out at the last moment. But when he'd call them for the launch of a particular alcoholic beverage, people would throng the place, and invite their friends along too.
[caption id="attachment_185347" align="aligncenter" width="799"]
The Beer Cafe[/caption]
GOLFWORX, Rahul's indoor golf lounge lets patrons enjoy indoor golfing and also offered dining options. The interest he saw among his clientele in alcoholic beverages led him to start an all-day beer-focussed dining destination called The Beer Café in April 2012.
But beer and café, how do the two fit together? Rahul, former CEO of Indian operations of golf brand, Greg Norman, explains,
“Every now and then, a new fad comes in the form of discotheques, night clubs and lounge bars. But cafes remain consistent with their offerings. Socialising is now an inescapable phenomenon and these cafes serve as a perfect meeting place for neighbourhoods of urban consumers. We saw a white space there and filled it by merging the two: beer and café.”
From his house to an outlet
Today, the firm has 35 outlets in over 10 cities, including names like Amritsar, Ludhiana, Mohali and Chandigarh, Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Thane, Pune and Bengaluru. Further, Delhi-NCR alone has 17 outlets, with the founder still feeling the need to add more.
But that wasn't always the case.
Initially, Rahul had mortgaged his house and took a bank loan of Rs 4 crore, which would see him through phase one.
And funding knocked on the doors soon. In May 2013, The Beer Café raised Rs 25 crore from venture capital firm Mayfield and in December 2014 went on to raise Rs 30 crore from Mayfield, Granite Hill Capital Partners as well as from Harsh Mariwala, Chairman- Marico, who invested in his personal capacity.
Brewing the future
The Beer Café is planning to add 20 more outlets by next year. The venture is also planning to expand into retail merchandising with its new line of utility products called 'Beerosphere'. The range comprises décor items, glassware, gadgets games and office utilities.
As of now, being a daytime spot, The Beer Cafe gets 37 percent of sales before 7 PM. Getting their millionth customer in November 2015, the chain is visited by close to 3,000 customers every day, and one lakh every month.
Functioning with a philosophy that sets them apart, we caught up with Rahul Singh to explore what really goes into maintaining this mega outlet brand. Take a look below:
(With inputs from Tausif Alam)
Camera Person: Rukmangada Raja & Manoj Upadhyaya
Video Editor: Anand