Revan Shinde of Pune started selling tea, coffee and hot milk in Pimpri Chinchwad. Today, he uses his profits to help students in rural Maharashtra with accommodation and food expenses
Have you ever longed for a steaming, hot cup of ginger tea brought to your bedside, no muss, no fuss? Well, this Pune-based tea-delivery startup promises to do exactly that. Abhimanyu, started by Revan Shinde, will bring you freshly brewed chai to your doorstep and is just one phone call away.
And if you are a first-time customer, the tea is free!
Started in June 2020, Abhimanyu, which earns a profit of Rs 50,000 a month, now has five employees who deliver nearly 700 cups of tea in a day.
But this 28-year-old’s admits that he never wanted to be an entrepreneur. His journey of achievements is an inspiring one — where he made the best of what he had.
Brewing my cup of success
“I am only a Class 12 graduate,” begins Revan. “About six years ago, I came to Pune along with my siblings in search of work and bagged a job as a security guard in a logistics company in Pimpri-Chinchwad, with a salary of just Rs 12,000 a month.”
However, in December 2019, the company shut down its operations and Revan lost his job. “I took up odd jobs like working at a snacks centre. Then on March 15, I rented a place and started my own snack and tea corner in Pimpri,” he says.
Little did Revan know that a week later, the nation would go into a strict lockdown owing to the coronavirus pandemic. With the unexpected turn in events, the new entrepreneur lost all the savings he had invested in his business.
Somehow dragging through the months, in June, Revan saw an opportunity to get back on his feet. “Around that time, the city started to open up slowly and people came back to work in small numbers. But still, due to health concerns, employees in the industrial and banking sectors were apprehensive of approaching their nearest tea vendors,” he says.
The other problem, Revan says, was that the tea was parcelled in plastic bags, which was unhealthy and not preferred by the customers. With safety becoming a priority, he decided to make it his selling point. “I started reaching out to potential customers with a thermos and paper cups — directly in their offices. The first serving was offered free as I wanted them to give it a try,” he adds.
This was how Revan created a demand for his tea.
A beeline for the tea
He continuing the exercise of providing free tea for a period of two months. He was distributing tea among bank employees and in industrial and commercial areas. After some time, the customers began calling him up for orders. Along with ginger tea, the startup offers coffee and hot milk as well. A small cup of tea is sold at Rs 6, while a big cup is priced at Rs 10.
“A majority of the potential customers who tried my tea were happy about the hygienic and safe beverage being delivered to their desks without the fear of risking their health at a tea stall,” Revan adds.
Six months after the operations, about 700 cups were served across Pimpri-Chinchwad, and Revan’s venture earned daily profits of Rs 2,000. “The monthly business has scaled to Rs 2 lakh a month out of which about Rs 50,000 are profits,” he shares.
Speaking to The Better India, Revan shares, he has now employed five people to match the demand for tea delivery. “Tea is made at a central kitchen, and five people from a village in Solapur, a couple of whom are students, have joined the business,” he adds.
Of service to others
The entrepreneur says that though his financial condition has improved, as compared to a year ago, it wouldn’t have been possible without his elder brother. “My family lost confidence in me after my first business failed. My elder brother Sidharam, who works as a delivery partner, encouraged me through these hard times,” he recalls.
Asked what his family now thinks of his success, Revan replies, “People are always around you and wish you well during good times, but during times of trouble, you have to bear it all alone. Today, my family admires my effort and is supportive.”
Revan has also started helping students from his village. He adds, “Many students, who are poor, move here to study. I have arranged a room on rent to take care of their accommodation and food expenses,” he says, adding, “I can only afford to accommodate five students right now and will reach out to more, as my finances permit. All the students undergo a background check to ensure they genuinely require help.”
And now, the young entrepreneur is all set to expand his services. “Currently, we only serve tea in the Pimpri-Chinchwad area. I now plan to employ more workforce to sell tea in the Pune municipal region and other areas as well. I also plan to offer some quality snacks to my customers who often make such requests,” Revan signs off.
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)