KOCHI: "When you want to meet someone for anything besides lunchtime, what do you say? 'Let's meet for a coffee.' I wanted to change that." This was the idea behind the successful chain of smoothie bars, Drunken Monkey founded by Samrat Reddy. Currently flaunting 50 stores across the country in not just cities but also Tier 2 towns like Guntur and Rajahmundry, Drunken Monkey has established a name in just a span of two years. Announcing that they plan on expanding overseas by the end of this year, Samrat Reddy got talking about the journey of his startup.
An MBA who studied in Scotland, Samrat even before he launched the brand had the idea to bring about a smoothie lifestyle in India. "Three years ago I set aside everything I was doing -I was a part of my family business - and researched the prospects of a smoothie bar. A year after that we launched our first store in Madhapur, Hyderabad and there is no going back since," shares Samrat.
The biggest challenge according to the founder is the inventory. "We have to source fresh fruits for the smoothies and they have a lesser shelf life. I was advised by my mentors to not go down this road as I will be dealing depleting resources. But I had made up my mind about introducing an option besides coffee or tea," says Samrat.
Samrat Reddy laughs as he explains why he named the chain Drunken Monkey. "I always wanted my brand to have a visual cropping up in the mind when thought of a character. And I didn't want to emulate a preachy 'healthy drinks' message. I wanted people to be high on smoothies and hence Drunken Monkey," says the youngster.
While Samrat invested Rs 5 crores for launching the brand, he admits that they mostly rotate the revenue as investments. "When we have to open in a new town, we have to put in about Rs 1 crore, to begin with. Now, however, with the number of stores we already have and the franchises coming in, we might not have to put in any more investment until we launch aborad," he shares.
Drunken Monkey which started off with four stores in Hyderabad now has 50 stores all over the country. While earlier Samrat owned over 15 stores and franchised the rest of them, he intends to increase the number of franchised stores as the brand grows. He says "I don't want to be sitting in a store managing it. I want to manage my brand and the R&D."
Drunken Monkey is now planning on increasing their stores to 150 in the country and will be expanding soon to Belgium, USA, Canada and Singapore.
Drunken Monkey, a smoothie bar was established two years ago by Samrat Reddy
With an initial investment of Rs 5 crores, the brand rotates the revenue
They have to invest around a crore everytime they open in a new city
While earlier they franchised 15 of their 50 stores, they plan on increasing the number
By the end of the year, Drunken Monkey will be launched overseas