Startup City Magazine
A monthly magazine for business startups and young entrepreneurs.

COFFEEZA, UTMOST QUALITY OF TASTE AND CONVENIENCE WITH THE FINEST COFFEE CAPSULES AND MACHINES

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COFFEEZA, UTMOST QUALITY OF TASTE AND CONVENIENCE WITH THE FINEST COFFEE CAPSULES AND MACHINES

Giving the word on great-tasting coffee, that’s easy to prepare, is Coffeeza, a brand of imported coffee capsules and machines. 

The company, Cravium Foods offers a premium range thanks to its exclusive partnerships with select international coffee companies and appliance manufacturers, with whom they work closely to bring the finest range of coffee capsules and machines to the Indian market.

Rahul Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, Coffeeza (Cravium Foods) is the able mind behind the idea that placed its founding stone in January 2018 and commenced the sales in November 2018 with a dynamic group of likeminded young professionals who managed the day to day operations meticulously, then and now. The company is looking forward to leaving a mark in the F&B sector in India with its highly innovative products and are working towards a change in the way coffee lovers prepare and enjoy great-tasting coffee in India. 

THE MAN WHO MADE YOUR COFFEE EXPERIENCE BETTER

Rahul Aggarwal, after completing his Undergraduate studies in Industrial Management from Purdue University (USA) in 2008 and his MBA from Babson College (USA) in 2011 immediately joined his family business where he gained exposure till 2017 in a selection of cross-functional roles. He has always had the itch to launch his venture, hence in 2017, he moved out of the family business to start looking for business ideas.

Rahul recollected, “It was kind of scary at the time. My daughter had just turned 2 years old and I was told by many that it was a foolish move to leave behind a comfortable well-settled life for a life of struggle as an entrepreneur. Nevertheless, I went ahead anyway and launched Coffeeza in 2018.”

In an exhilarating conversation with The Startup City magazine, Rahul talks about his venture, the idea, plans, hiccups, business model and more; 

TSC: How did the idea for your business come about? Can you tell us a bit about it?  

Rahul: I was always a very passionate coffee drinker. My brother had bought a capsule coffee machine from Dubai on his travels, and we both got hooked onto the coffee. He would keep a huge assortment of imported coffee capsules and every day we found ourselves trying different blends and flavours. We loved the convenience of preparing coffee and having a variety of choices.

Around the same time, I was looking to start a business, particularly in the F&B sector. I had evaluated a couple of ideas and ended up rejecting them after my research. Having travelled around the world and observed the coffee trends, combined with my passion for coffee, I decided to launch Coffeeza in 2018.

TSC: What are your major offerings?  

Rahul: Currently, we have 2 blends of coffee capsules (with 3 more getting launched soon): Classico (medium-intensity blend), Intenso (high-intensity blend) and soon to-be launched Decaf, Chocolate, and Hazelnut.

Furthermore, we offer 2 types of coffee machines: Lattisso that can prepare cappuccino, latte and espresso; it contains an attached milk frother, extracts coffee using superior 19 bar pressure and is ideal for milk-based coffee lovers, home use, and office use. The other one is Finero which can prepare espresso and lungo; it also extracts coffee using superior 19 bar pressure and is ideal for black coffee lovers, home use, office use, and hotel rooms.

TSC: What were the most significant challenges you face at the initial phase of your entrepreneurial career? How did you resolve them?

Rahul: We spent a considerable amount of time testing a lot of different coffee and appliances from around the world. It was challenging to find coffee blends that appeal to the Indian palette. Similarly, it was challenging to find coffee machines that promised performance and reliability. We could have launched our brand much sooner, but we kept delaying the process due to our high-quality expectations.

Secondly, being bootstrapped from the beginning, the other challenge was trying to think of ways to reach our target audience most cost-effectively. As a result, we ended up starting with the e-commerce model instead of the more expensive retail model.

TSC: What is your current business model and what is the nature of clients you serve?

Rahul: Our products are available for sale through our website, Amazon, Flipkart and also all the Foodhall stores (part of Future Retail). We ship pan-India from our Goa base. We are targeting consumers and businesses who are looking for an easier way to enjoy and serve premium barista-style coffee beverages (like Cappuccino, Latte, Espresso, etc). We focus on certain aspects to build a strong customer base like ensuring the consistency in offering highest quality of products, investing in the right ways of marketing and most importantly learning to be patient.

TSC: In one line, describe your life as an entrepreneur. 

Rahul: Choosing the path of entrepreneurship was one of the best decisions I’ve taken. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner. My journey as an entrepreneur has just begun and hopefully will last long. We continually strive to leave a mark in the F&B sector in India by our products that are highly innovative. We want to change the way coffee lovers prepare and enjoy great-tasting coffee in India.

TSC: Who is your inspiration and how has the journey been so far?

Rahul: I cannot narrow down on a single person who inspired me. I love to read and listen to stories of entrepreneurs who struggled against all odds and came out victorious. I’d say, that I find my inspiration in all such stories that I read. The journey has been ecstatic. There’s been a lot of learning along the way as well. It has evolved me as a person and as an entrepreneur. When one is launching a new brand, it takes time to win people’s trust. We feel lucky to have achieved that milestone.

TSC: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

Rahul: I hope to scale-up Coffeeza to become an established brand with a loyal fan following. Furthermore, we hope to create a multi-channel presence across both digital and retail platforms. There is a lot for us to achieve in the coming years, we still are new in our journey progressing towards a brighter and successful tomorrow.

TSC: If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about starting a business, what would it be?

Rahul: Jumping into a start-up, many entrepreneurs tend to spend way too much time doing research and frankly speaking, keep looking for reasons to not do it. My suggestion is that once you have a good gut-feel, just dive right in and try making a sale. You’ll know much more clearly if the business model is right or if it needs tweaking. Lastly, in the end, you just have to make it work.

The Coffeeza capsules offer their customers coffee that is sourced from around the world and then roasted and blended to perfection in Europe. Each capsule that they offer contains the exact amount of coffee that’s needed to make a perfect cup. And its innovative design guarantees that the coffee inside remains fresh for a very long time. But, don’t just take their word for it, try it for yourself.

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