Indulge Beverages aims to create their own niche in the high-end coffee space

A
passion for high-end coffee can be a difficult habit to indulge. But
there is reason to cheer as a New Delhi-based startup attempts to meet
the needs. Indulge Beverages, a two-year-old startup founded by an
ex-merchant banker, Kunal Bhagat, 37, and a former PepsiCo executive,
Tuhin Jain, 32, have developed their own brand of coffee pods/capsules,
along the lines of global FMCG giant Nestle’s iconic Nespresso, and are
looking to create their own market in a country dominated by generic
instant coffee

“The
Nespresso culture is really catching on in India, and along with a
steady rise in disposable income, there is a market here for the
product, and we’re looking to be the first movers,” said Bhagat.

Indulge Beverages’ coffee pods, which are sold under the brand name
Bonhomia, are roasted, ground and encapsulated in less than 24 hours
with each capsule being nitrogen flushed and sealed for freshness. The
company sources its coffee from a number of estates in South India.

“I
don’t think coffee can be considered to be in the premium segment any
longer. One could call it affordable luxury,” said Bhagat. The company
is also retailing its coffee through all the major e-commerce chains,
such as eBay, Snapdeal and FabMart. A box, which contains 10 coffee
pods, retails for about Rs 350. The duo’s buoyancy is amplified by the
success Nestle, the world’s largest food company, has had with Nespresso
globally.

Nespresso,
according to industry reports, owns a third of the global market, which
is estimated at $10 billion (Rs 60,000 crore), and contributes about 8%
of the company’s operating profit. “As with the rest of the globe,
consumer choices are changing rapidly in India as well, and that’s where
the opportunities lay,” said Jain

However,
the promoters aren’t just stopping at coffee. They have also launched
their brand of teas, for which the B-2-B launch has been completed. Both
Bhagat and Jain started the venture with seed capital of Rs 30 lakh,
most of which came from their savings and contributions from INSEAD
alumni, Bhagat’s alma mater.

The
company’s production facility, which currently has manufacturing
capacity of a million pods, will soon ramp the same up to 15 to 20
million pods by October later this year. “People ask us why coffee? We
say, it’s legitimate and is the world’s largest addiction,” Bhagat said.

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