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Episode 22: The investors

While we were all sipping on our Got Tea bubble teas as the summer scorched on, some exciting things have been happening at the company. In August, Got Tea got two investors on board! Jagrato Roy and Rishabh Bhasin were both our seniors from school – while Jagrato graduated from Woodstock in 2009, Rishabh graduated in 2010. So they have known the Got Tea founders for a long time (about 16 years!)

But what convinced the two to actually invest their money in the company? 

The tenacity of Got Tea

Jag had been talking to YuSung and SuAh when Got Tea was just an idea that was brewing in their heads. When the two had visited India at the beginning of 2020, Jag had helped them out in many different ways – he set up a meeting with Ajai Thandi, another Woodstocker who had started Sleepy Owl coffee, helped them form connections in the city and gave them some ideas on setting up an F&B business in Delhi. 

When he spoke to them next, it was March 2020, and they were moving along quickly. And then the pandemic hit. Yet, Got Tea continued its journey, and Jag was impressed. It wasn’t just the product that sold him on investing in Got Tea, it was the grit, determination, and tenacity of the founders in braving to start a business in India which convinced him that this was going to go somewhere. As Jag says, he isn’t investing in the product here – he is investing in the people. 

A passion investment

This same belief in the people of Got Tea is what convinced Rishabh to invest in the company as well. He had visited Got Tea when they had set up a stall at Sundar Nursery in early 2020, to support the team. He stayed in touch with the team on and off during the first wave of the pandemic – once, YuSung contacted Rishabh for some assistance in helping get a deposit refund on an event that was cancelled, mistakenly thinking that “Deposit Returns Specialist” meant he had experience in the legal aspects of contracts (it is actually a term in the environmental business). But, Rishabh used his contacts to help the team out, and for him, that was the turning point in his relationship with Got Tea.  

When Got Tea got back on their feet after the pandemic subsided, Rishabh took his whole family with him to Got Tea’s café in Safdarjung market. His family was impressed, and his dad told him that if Got Tea were looking for investors, they should consider supporting the venture. 

The soul of Got Tea

Rishabh notes that the team has gone about setting up their venture in the perfect way – they have a solid vision and a solid product, and they have marketed these two to their target customer base very well. 

And the results are there for all to see! As Jag points out, the brand has been received very well – while most brands dish out money to promote their product, the reverse is true for Got Tea, which is being approached by influencers. 

Both Rishabh and Jag agree that the team has inculcated a great and loyal customer base and atmosphere at their store – in a short period of time, they’ve gained unbelievable traction across the board. This proves that their product is good, of high quality, and that the customer experience, which is an integral part of the Got Tea vision, is positive. For both of them, this soul of the brand is essential and must be retained and replicated when the brand decides to expand. 

The future of the business

And expansion is definitely on the charts for the company. Jag, who has been a mentor to the Got Tea team, says that the team must capitalize on their first mover advantage, as the first specialist boba tea company in India, to expand not only into other metros, but also into satellite cities in the country. Rishabh agrees – expansion is the way forward, and the team is already building on it. 

The future in flavours

While they both have their favourite drinks from the current menu – Rishabh loves the Taro Purple and Jag is partial towards Caramel Brown – they are also excited for the new flavours that Got Tea will come up with in the future! 

And they’ve got some flavour ideas for the team! Jag loves the different iterations of caramel and would love to see a dulce de leche or toffee flavoured drink on the menu. Or, if the team wants something different, he suggests something like a banana pudding flavour. 

Rishabh would like to see the team come up with a flavour that reminds him of Woodstock and the hills – he wants the drink to evoke a nostalgia about the mountains. But what flavours does this nostalgia entail? He leaves that to the team – after all, the founders share the same nostalgia for the mountains as him!  

This journal is an ongoing series tracing the story of Got Tea, the latest bubble tea store launched in India, located in South Delhi, now available on Zomato and Swiggy. Want to know what happens next? Stay tuned!