HYDERABAD: There is more to tea in Hyderabad than Irani Chai, and ‘Chintu Chai’ wants to bring the myriad fragrances of different tea flavours to every street in the city. Satwik Reddy, who founded the store in Tarnaka, believes that everyone should get the opportunity to have that perfect cuppa every day. The joint not only offers variants like ginger, pepper, cardamom tea, but filter coffee and milkshakes too. “A conversation with my wife, Mounika, made me think how a good cup of tea can make or break someone’s day. The idea stuck to me, and I eventually decided to start ‘Chintu Chai’, a place one can come for a quick cup of her favourite beverage. We also have accompaniments like biscuits and samosas,” says Satwik, aka Chintu.
Though the Covid-19 pandemic threw a spanner into expansion plans, Satwik hopes that he will have stores running in AS Rao Nagar and Sainikpuri by next year. “Before the pandemic, we were selling 700-800 cups of tea, and had four employees. Now, my wife and I are managing the store, and sales are slowly picking up. We are now selling over 350 cups. I have regular customers who know that we are taking all safety precautions.”
Opening a tea store, however, was not on the cards for this entrepreneur three years ago. An MBA graduate, Satwik was working in corporate companies. After working for some time, he realised that he did not want to work for anyone. Those working years gave him the chance to learn skills like planning and managing businesses from his bosses. “I am a first-generation entrepreneur. My parents were teachers, and there is no businessman in my wife’s family too,” adds Satwik.
Besides beverages, the start-up also offers tea leaves from different parts of India. It also sells spices to business enterprises. “We make every order fresh on an induction stove. Soon, we will also have herbal teas and protein bars. I am not planning to open any store in Hi-Tec city area now, as most of the employees will continue to work from home. However, our AS Rao Nagar branch should come up soon.”
— Kakoli Mukherjee