Af­ter Cola & Cof­fee, It’s Tea for RJ Corp

Ravi Jaipuria-owned com­pany inks pact with TWG Tea for lux­ury tea lounges

The Economic Times - - Brands: Creating Desire - Ratna.Bhushan @times­group.com

New Delhi: RJ Corp, the com­pany pro­moted by se­rial en­tre­pre­neur and Pep­siCo’s big­gest bot­tler Ravi Jaipuria, has en­tered into an exclusive pact Sin­ga­pore-based TWG Tea to set up up­scale tea lounges in In­dia. TWG Tea is one of the world’s largest lux­ury tea lounge chains.

Con­firm­ing the de­vel­op­ment, Jaipuria said: “We will set up pre­mium tea par­lours start­ing around the third quar­ter of this year. This deal com­ple­ments our ex­ist­ing port­fo­lio of brands across food and bev­er­ages and we will lever­age our ex­ist­ing strengths to take this as­so­ci­a­tion for­ward.”

RJ Corp has an ex­ist­ing agree­ment with Bri­tish cafe chain Costa Cof­fee.

The av­er­age cost of set­ting up an out­let would be .₹ 10 crore, Jaipuria said. RJ Corp will be­gin with Delhi and Mum­bai, and sell pack­aged TWG tea at ho­tels and up­scale re­tail stores, Jaipuria said.

Ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion avail­able on its web­site, TWG Tea, which stands for The Well­be­ing Group, was co-founded by Taha Bouqdib, Maranda Barnes and Rith Aum-Stieve­nard in the year 2008 as a lux­ury con­cept to set up re­tail out­lets and up­scale tea rooms. Cur­rently TWG has lounges in 15 coun­tries in­clud­ing Ja­pan, Morocco, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thai­land, Tai­wan, China, the United Arab Emi­rates, the Philip­pines, In­done­sia, South Korea, UK, USA and Aus­tralia, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany web­site said.

While cof­fee chains are the more vis­i­ble for­mat among cafes, tea sa­lons are gain­ing trac­tion too, in­dus­try ob­servers said. Other names in­clude Chaayos and Ben­galuru-based start-up Chai Point which claims to be clock­ing a daily av­er­age of 90,000 cups of tea. Anand Ra­manathan, di­rec­tor at con­sul­tancy firm KPMG said: “Tea is con­sumed more than cof­fee in the country and as a cafe con­cept, both tea and cof­fee­based food ser­vice for­mats are scal­able. The chal­lenge will be how to build a food propo­si­tion and cre­ate consumer around tea. Ticket sizes should jus­tify rentals.”

Ac­cord­ing to es­ti­mates by con­sult­ing firm Technopak, the or­gan­ised cafe mar­ket is es­ti­mated to grow to .₹ 15,100 crore by 2020, grow­ing at a rate of 15%.

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