Developing The Strategy

Part Three (3)

When dealing with the Indian market it’s important to note that cultural sensitivity, including Bollywood and cricket is never to be ignored. In fact, it is important to incorporate it into your plans at some level. Being from Mumbai naturally made me culturally adept, as Mumbai truly is a cosmopolitan city of India.

Continuing on from my previous blog An Idea is Born, the group of investors I worked with, researched every way we could introduce coffee to the eager population of India. One of the tactics we looked at for exposure was how we could associate cricket with our coffee brand, after all it is very well known how much Indians love cricket. But, in the end we found better success by creating association with Bollywood (another favourite love). In fact, it would become crucial for this business.

Strategically, the first coffee shop that we ended up opening was in a place called Lokhandwala, Andheri. A large majority of aspiring actors and the coveted film fraternity lived in that area. We knew it was a matter of time until someone would enter the shop to buy or pick-up a complimentary cup of coffee that we were offering. And when they finally did, the tabloid newspapers would be quick to report it.

Believe it or not that was the strategy.

Okay, so it wasn’t airtight and there was a lot of ‘luck’ that had to play into it. But, believe it or not, not only did it happen but most mid-day tabloid newspapers were practically camped outside our store as they learnt they could rely on the regular sighting of someone famous at the store and reporting a story around it.

Later, a very famous Bollywood couple (not naming names) had a big fight in the shop and that misery of theirs went on to become a great success story for the coffee shop.

A very well executed strategy I must say.

Someone with time, energy and patience could end up writing a thesis on executing successful businesses in Mumbai India. I will not go to that extent now, but I will provide a brief explanation of how this turned into our further success in my next blog.

Amjad Khanche shares his adventures within business. His Being Entrepreneurial Series starts with his first venture converting the traditionally tea drinking society of India to espresso coffee drinking cosmopolitans. Read Part 1 Being Entrepreneurial followed by Part 2 An Idea is born.