When YuSung and SuAh came to India, they decided to travel around a little, reconnecting with some of their friends from school and also doing market research. The city they knew the most was Delhi, so they started from there. They reconnected with some other Woodstockers who had set up a business in Delhi, to understand how the city is for a new business.
The two people they met were Ariella Blank of Atmosphere Kombucha, who was a year younger to us in school, and Ajai Thandi of Sleepy Owl, who was two years our senior. Both of them advised YuSung and SuAh to start in Delhi, and said the market here was ready for their venture (and not saturated, yet).
YuSung and SuAh with ex-Woodstockers, including Ajai Thandi of Sleepy Owl
But SuAh and YuSung were diligent businessmen, and decided to still do more homework and actually visit other cities to get a sense for themselves. This was especially important to YuSung and SuAh, since they had not really been to southern India (since most of their visits in India were limited to Mussoorie and Delhi).
They went to Mumbai and met Armaan there, who was working in Mumbai at the time. They discussed at length where the business should be started. Though Armaan was living in Mumbai, he was originally from Delhi, so either of the locations worked for him. It was up to YuSung and SuAh then, to figure out what they preferred.
YuSung and SuAh travelling by train
So YuSung and SuAh came back to Delhi, and called up Jo, wanting to just catch up. They had not really been in contact with Jo, and had not met him since graduation in 2011. YuSung and SuAh weren’t expecting much out of meeting Jo on the business side – they just wanted to reconnect socially.
But when the three of them met, there was an instant connection. YuSung started telling Jo about the business they were hoping to launch soon, and he was convinced – he wanted to get on board and be a part of the team. YuSung still isn’t sure what it was that convinced Jo, because at that point there wasn’t much of a business plan – just a vague vision.
Now, Jo was from Delhi, and had stayed on in Delhi after graduating from high school. In the 10 years since graduation, he had built his life in Delhi, also building extensive networks, essential for any new business venture. Jo also already had a film production house in Delhi, so he also knew some of the intricacies of setting up a venture. This also showed his entrepreneurial side, something which all the co-founders had in common.
Hence, it was decided – they would start their business in Delhi! All co-founders were happy with this decision. And while Armaan was still in Mumbai, Jo was crucial in helping YuSung and SuAh navigate this city, which, though they had visited often, they had never really spent much time in – and anyone who knows this city knows just how hard living here is.
This journal is an ongoing series tracing the story of Got Tea, the latest bubble tea store launched in India, located in South Delhi. Want to know what happens next? Stay tuned – new episodes come out every week!