The Man behind the Perfectly Brewed Cuppa – Chatting up with Sahil of The Coffee Coach
Each one of us likes a good brewed cuppa early morning. But we’d rather walk in to a Barista or a CCD or pick up a Nescafe for the home. Though passionate about our coffee, we haven’t had the chance to explore the love with other coffee lovers or seek guidance about the same. It’s difficult in a country in love with its tea!
And that’s exactly what Sahil Jatana wanted to change. For everything coffee,
his startup The Coffee Coach is the place to land up at – from workshops to French presses! He has it all. Now getting your perfect brew wouldn’t be such a task every morning.
1. What is your brand all about and what do you sell?
The Coffee Coach is a one stop shop for all things coffee. We sell coffee powders, beans, accessories and coffee related equipment.
2. When and how did Coffee Coach start out? How long did you play with the idea before you started out?
The Coffee Coach started out in July 2011. I was working a regular corporate job, was working with a startup, then in April 2011, the company shut shop and I was hunting for a new job. That was the time when I thought it was time to start out on my own. Coffee had always been a passion, so a café was the first choice. I did some number crunching and analysis for the capital investment required for a café, and it was just too much. So I thought of starting a set of workshops to help people brew their coffee better. Hence the name “The Coffee Coach”, a person people can rely on for all their coffee needs. From the workshops there were many outcomes, one of which was that people didn’t have enough options / places to by coffee and related equipment, hence started the idea of an online store.
3. What was the one major challenge you overcame since you started out?
India is a tea drinking country, hence coffee is a very alien concept, however, with the number of cafés and coffee shops springing up, my job became a tad bit easier. Still people think of coffee as an aspirational and cool thing, and their consumption of coffee is limited to either instant coffee at home or what they have at cafes, getting them to brew their own coffee at home takes a lot of convincing.
4. What was Coffee Coach’s first product and what is the story behind it?
The first product was a pack of coffee selected, roasted and ground as per my specifications, that was sold at my workshops as an experiment to test if people would be interested in buying the coffee I retail/recommend. It was a good decision, because that was the foundation for setting up my own online store.
5. How have your audiences received your brand? Which is your best selling product?
The brand has done decently well for something that went online just over a month ago. The bestselling product has been the 2 cup moka pot.
6. Apart from your online store, what are some of your other point of sales? Say, exhibitions, retail outlets, etc. Which one has worked best for you?
Right now, the concept of an online coffee store is very new for people. Other than the store, a lot of people have visited the office to discuss what they should buy and then buy it directly. But that is only 10% of the sales.
7. What was the one thing that pushed you to start selling online? And how has the whole experience of setting up your own online store been?
The convenience and the reach that an online store has is a big driving factor. Plus the kind of audience I cater to, is the urban youth, they are well versed with the ecommerce space, hence it’s a direct fit. I think, Zepo is a great enabler. Setting up an online store is as easy as ABC.. it’s just simple, efficient and quick.
8. What is the one activity that has worked best for you in online marketing? Any marketing tips for our entrepreneurs and artists?
I have used social media only. It’s a great driver. I guess it also depends on the kind of product you are selling. Tips for entrepreneurs and artists is simple – stay at it. Marketing isn’t a one off. It needs constant and a daily push.
That was the story about your brand. But now talking on a more personal note, here are a few questions about your journey as an entrepreneur.
1. How do you define success?
Success for me is satisfaction and happiness. If you are happy, you have succeeded. It cannot be about profits and money.
2. Keeping the same levels of enthusiasm every day is not easy. What keeps you inspired and motivated every day?
The motivation right now is simple, those emails that you get every day which say “You have a new order on your store” that does it.
3. What are some of the decisions that have worked best for you?
Setting up this online store.
4. What is the one big mistake that you made as an entrepreneur?
Being an entrepreneur is a learning process. You learn every day, it’s not about the mistakes that you make. It’s about the learning that you generate.
5. What has been your proudest moment as an entrepreneur?
Sending out the first communication to announce to the world that “The Coffee Coach Online Store is Now LIVE”
6. If you could give one piece of advice to would-be entrepreneurs, looking to follow in your footsteps, what would it be?
Don’t take your customers for granted. Don’t treat them as someone who doesn’t know anything. Be true. Be true to yourself.
7. Where all can our readers connect with your brand?
Feeling inspired? Do you have a passion for some product which you would like to share with the world? Well, give Zepo a try and start your online store in the next 5 mins.