Giving theword on great-tasting coffee, that's easy to prepare, is Coffeeza, a brand ofimported coffee capsules and machines. 

Thecompany, Cravium Foods offers a premium range thanks to its exclusivepartnerships with select international coffee companies and appliancemanufacturers, with whom they work closely to bring the finest range of coffeecapsules and machines to the Indian market.

RahulAggarwal, Founder & CEO, Coffeeza (Cravium Foods) is the able mind behindthe idea that placed its founding stone in January 2018 and commenced the salesin November 2018 with a dynamic group of likeminded young professionals whomanaged the day to day operations meticulously, then and now. The company islooking forward to leaving a mark in the F&B sector in India with itshighly innovative products and are working towards a change in the way coffeelovers prepare and enjoy great-tasting coffee in India. 


Rahul Aggarwal, after completing his Undergraduate studies in IndustrialManagement from Purdue University (USA) in 2008 and his MBA from Babson College(USA) in 2011 immediately joined his family business where he gained exposuretill 2017 in a selection of cross-functional roles. He has always had the itchto launch his venture, hence in 2017, he moved out of the family business tostart looking for business ideas.

Rahul recollected, "It was kind of scary at the time. My daughter hadjust turned 2 years old and I was told by many that it was a foolish move toleave behind a comfortable well-settled life for a life of struggle as anentrepreneur. Nevertheless, I went ahead anyway and launched Coffeeza in 2018."

In anexhilarating conversation with The Startup City magazine, Rahul talks about hisventure, the idea, plans, hiccups, business model and more; 

TSC: How did the idea for your business comeabout? Can you tell us a bit about it?  

Rahul: I was always a very passionate coffeedrinker. My brother had bought a capsule coffee machine from Dubai on histravels, and we both got hooked onto the coffee. He would keep a hugeassortment of imported coffee capsules and every day we found ourselves tryingdifferent blends and flavours. We loved the convenience of preparing coffee andhaving a variety of choices.

Around thesame time, I was looking to start a business, particularly in the F&Bsector. I had evaluated a couple of ideas and ended up rejecting them after myresearch. Having travelled around the world and observed the coffee trends,combined with my passion for coffee, I decided to launch Coffeeza in 2018.

TSC: What are your major offerings?  

Rahul: Currently, we have 2 blends of coffee capsules(with 3 more getting launched soon): Classico (medium-intensity blend), Intenso(high-intensity blend) and soon to-be launched Decaf, Chocolate, and Hazelnut.

Furthermore,we offer 2 types of coffee machines: Lattisso that can prepare cappuccino, latteand espresso; it contains an attached milk frother, extracts coffee usingsuperior 19 bar pressure and is ideal for milk-based coffee lovers, home use,and office use. The other one is Finero which can prepare espresso and lungo;it also extracts coffee using superior 19 bar pressure and is ideal for blackcoffee lovers, home use, office use, and hotel rooms.

TSC: What were the most significant challenges youface at the initial phase of your entrepreneurial career? How did you resolvethem?

Rahul: We spent a considerable amount of timetesting a lot of different coffee and appliances from around the world. It waschallenging to find coffee blends that appeal to the Indian palette. Similarly,it was challenging to find coffee machines that promised performance andreliability. We could have launched our brand much sooner, but we kept delayingthe process due to our high-quality expectations.

Secondly,being bootstrapped from the beginning, the other challenge was trying to thinkof ways to reach our target audience most cost-effectively. As a result, weended up starting with the e-commerce model instead of the more expensiveretail model.

TSC: What is your current business model and whatis the nature of clients you serve?

Rahul: Our products are available for sale throughour website, Amazon, Flipkart and also all the Foodhall stores (part of FutureRetail). We ship pan-India from our Goa base. We are targeting consumers andbusinesses who are looking for an easier way to enjoy and serve premium barista-stylecoffee beverages (like Cappuccino, Latte, Espresso, etc). We focus on certainaspects to build a strong customer base like ensuring the consistency inoffering highest quality of products, investing in the right ways of marketingand most importantly learning to be patient.

TSC: In one line, describe your life as anentrepreneur. 

Rahul: Choosing the path of entrepreneurship was oneof the best decisions I've taken. My only regret is that I didn't do it sooner.My journey as an entrepreneur has just begun and hopefully will last long. Wecontinually strive to leave a mark in the F&B sector in India by ourproducts that are highly innovative. We want to change the way coffee loversprepare and enjoy great-tasting coffee in India.

TSC: Who is your inspiration and how has thejourney been so far?

Rahul: I cannot narrow down on a single person whoinspired me. I love to read and listen to stories of entrepreneurs whostruggled against all odds and came out victorious. I'd say, that I find myinspiration in all such stories that I read. The journey has been ecstatic.There's been a lot of learning along the way as well. It has evolved me as aperson and as an entrepreneur. When one is launching a new brand, it takes timeto win people's trust. We feel lucky to have achieved that milestone.

TSC: Where do you see yourself in the next 5years?

Rahul: I hope to scale-up Coffeeza to become anestablished brand with a loyal fan following. Furthermore, we hope to create amulti-channel presence across both digital and retail platforms. There is a lotfor us to achieve in the coming years, we still are new in our journeyprogressing towards a brighter and successful tomorrow.

TSC: If you could give one piece of advice tosomeone thinking about starting a business, what would it be?

Rahul: Jumping into a start-up, many entrepreneurstend to spend way too much time doing research and frankly speaking, keeplooking for reasons to not do it. My suggestion is that once you have a goodgut-feel, just dive right in and try making a sale. You'll know much moreclearly if the business model is right or if it needs tweaking. Lastly, in theend, you just have to make it work.

The Coffeezacapsules offer their customers coffee that is sourced from around the world andthen roasted and blended to perfection in Europe. Each capsule that they offercontains the exact amount of coffee that's needed to make a perfect cup. Andits innovative design guarantees that the coffee inside remains fresh for avery long time. But, don't just take their word for it, try it for yourself.

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