Roastea: A brewing success story by lawyer brothers turned entrepreneurs 

The Bhamidipaty brothers cater to diverse client demands across various industries by providing a wide range of beverage options through their vending machines.  

   
Roastea-A brewing success story by lawyer brothers turned entrepreneurs

There are stories that inspire in the domain of entrepreneurship, demonstrating the indomitable spirit of individuals who dare to disrupt the status quo. Meet Anurag and Chaitanya Bhamidipaty, two brothers who transformed themselves from successful lawyers to self-made entrepreneurs.

They set out to build something extraordinary in an industry dominated by giants, motivated by their desire to succeed as self-made entrepreneurs. The end result! Roastea, an Ahmedabad-based revolutionary brand that was bootstrapped with Rs 4-5 lakhs of their own money and family loans. It caters to both coffee and tea enthusiasts, while also offering a wide variety of flagship beverages. Let’s delve into these business brothers’ revolutionary path.

From lawyers to entrepreneurs 

Prior to entering the beverage sector, Anurag and Chaitanya worked as capital market lawyers, assisting firms with initial public offerings, private equity investments, and merger and acquisition transactions.

Telling us about metamorphosis, “As Capital Market Lawyers, we assisted numerous companies in going public, PE investments, and M&A transactions, thereby indirectly creating wealth. This inspired us to establish valuable publicly listed companies and our own brand,” the founding brothers explain.

Their legal backgrounds were crucial in establishing their success as businesses. Time management, perfectionism, negotiating, and team management skills gained in their legal practise effortlessly flowed into the commercial sphere. In addition, the brothers stated, “Having identified the endless and vast market for this beverage area, we worked passionately to deliver a solution. Thus began our transformation from lawyers to entrepreneurs.”

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Motivated to make difference 

While contemplating their entrepreneurial route, Anurag and Chaitanya recognised a big void in the Indian beverage industry. “Pre-mix machines were disliked, typical dispensers lacked freshness, no genuine homemade options, inconsistent taste, limited varieties, and prohibitive costs for quality choices,” they said.

“As a result of these issues, many people were dissatisfied with the offerings at various office pantries. These unfilled gaps motivated us to launch Roastea,” the brothers continued.

They did substantial R&D to ensure that our vending machines constantly provided fresh milk brewed through automatic machinery with the least amount of human intervention, giving higher quality and a variety of tastes. “We wanted to combine flavour and technology to offer a wide selection of beverages from the same machines, catering to both coffee and tea lovers,” the Bhamidipaty brothers explained.

A unique offering 

Roastea’s distinctness stems from its ability to cater to both coffee and tea enthusiasts while offering a variety of flagship beverages. They offer fresh milk-based tea and coffee under one banner as India’s first omnichannel beverage brand.

“Our brewing technology ensures that customers get authentic, freshly brewed tea with no premixes, satisfying the Indian culture’s desire for ‘Ghar wali chai,'” the brewing brothers explained.

Their vending machines are technologically advanced, with automatic brewing, cleaning, and remotely controlled via IoT, ensuring continuous dispensing 24X7. Brother duo claims, with their ‘Superior Brewing Technology,’ customers experience authentic, freshly made tea and coffee which adds a homely touch to every cup.

“Our USP is that we address the limitations of traditional options by offering superior-quality beverages in one brand. We successfully resolved the issue of limited access to well-brewed kadak chai, typically found in homemade settings or Tapris,” the brothers claimed.   

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Presence of Roastea kiosks  

2019 born beverage startup Roastea, currently holds a strong presence in Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities across India. “Our focus is on serving the B2B2C segment, which includes institutional sales to corporations through our vending machines, as well as B2C customers through our outlets, cafes, and kiosks,” recounted the lawyer brothers.   

The brother duo informs us that Roastea machines are made in-house by dedicated contract manufacturers solely for them, all of which are Made-in-India. “Additionally, we cater to direct-to-customer sales through our online platform. We currently have over 140 corporate offices in India, with over 1000 machines deployed.”

Brewing big numbers 

Initially Roastea is a bootstrapped company for almost three years and invested up to Rs 10 crores from our money. But lately they have raised money. Speaking of the investments, they told, “In 2022-23, we raised equity at a valuation of Rs 117 crores for HNI friends, a discounted valuation to what we got of Rs 167 crores.”  

As for its revenue structure, instead of selling the machines, Roastea charges a maintenance cost based on each machine’s usage. They explained, “Our main source of revenue comes from the consumables like coffee and tea that our customers purchase and subscribe to on a monthly basis.” 

Carving a niche amid challenges 

Starting a business from scratch is never easy, especially when the vending machine culture is still niche in India. While beverage industry is a crowded industry. Nonetheless, Anurag and Chaitanya’s resolve to succeed, as well as their inventive strategy, enabled them to successfully enter the beverage sector.

According to the founders, convincing people to “unlearn” the unsatisfactory experiences with competitors’ machines and try Roastea was the first hurdle. “Standing out in an established market and addressing billing and inconsistency issues demanded hard work,” they said.

However, with time, their dedication to consistently provide high-quality tea and coffee won consumers over, and Roastea carved its niche. “To tackle taste and variety challenges, we have heavily invested in research and development. By leveraging Automation and IoT, we scaled the demand for ‘Ghar wali chai.’ Our ‘Superior Brewing Technology’ ensured consistent, high-quality freshly brewed tea and coffee, delighting consumers throughout the day.” 

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Aiming for a bright future 

As Roastea continues its remarkable growth, Anurag and Chaitanya envision expanding to more cities, serving a larger customer base with their vending machines and cafes.  

“Currently, we have more than 1000 vending machines and 12 outlets in various cities across India. By the end of FY24, we aim to expand further and have around 2500 machines and 25 kiosks/cafes, in several new cities, multiplying our income by 3 to 4 times compared to FY23,” proclaimed the Bhamidipaty brothers.  

They say they are committed to contributing to Aatmanirbhar Bharat and continue serving our customers with the best quality, freshly brewed tea and coffee. 

Overall, the journey of Roastea and its founders, Anurag and Chaitanya Bhamidipaty, serves as an inspiring testament to the power of determination, innovation, and the pursuit of excellence. They have carved a niche for themselves in the highly competitive beverage industry, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of tea and coffee enthusiasts across the country. 

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