Chai is one of the most traditional drinks of India and Pakistan. If you go out and ask a person if he will have a fizzy drink, he may decline the offer. But if you offer him chai, there are huge chances that he will be the best of your friends in the future.
On the search of finding the best Chai in Pakistan, we came across the Chai Junction. To our surprise, it wasn’t your regular ‘Chai ki dukaan.’ Instead, it had quite an upbeat, casual atmosphere. A perfect place to take ‘Chai ki chuski’ and talk to your friends and family in a comfortable environment.
What’s the best part is that it is not at all heavy on pockets. We decided to ask them about how they came to this idea. And this is how it went.
What was the idea or philosophy behind ‘Chai junction’?
The basic idea was conceived from our travels abroad especially to Europe. In Europe, people have a culture to socialize over a cup of coffee. We wanted to come up with a place where people can socialize over a cup of tea, or Chai as we like to say it. Chai is a Sine Qua Non in our gatherings, so we thought why not make the whole place revolve around it. So the idea flourished that let’s offer people something as beautiful as Chai in a nice casual atmosphere and let people enjoy it.
Share with us the journey you had, to make Chai Junction from just an idea to what is now a marvelous place people know?
We would say every business has a story to tell. Same is true in our case as well. Our beginning was humble. We started at a very small scale. We were ardent enough to make it big. Many hurdles came, but we found solutions to them. We paid special focus on building a strong team and maintaining an excellent service and product quality standard. In short, we followed the basics but followed them religiously and it worked.
How does Chai Junction serve differently from any other ‘Chai’ cafeteria? What makes you stand out among others?
It is very important to take into consideration that you need to provide options to your valued customers so that different taste buds can be catered at the same time. We feel that our competitors limited themselves to Chai & Paratha concept only, whereas our idea revolved around offering snacks that would complement the idea of socializing over the cup of tea. The way we engineered the menu, gradually adding and improvising things is what made us stand out among others. We are proud to say that we don’t just serve quality tea only, but we have worked hard to add mouthwatering snacks to our menu. This is our unique selling point.
Chai is one of the most traditional drinks of sub-continent. People here don’t imagine their life without chai. Do you innovate anything in the traditional recipe? And do you think that it will make any difference for the love of chai?
Chai is something which we believe is the mood-setter while socialization, so it’s a risky proposition to offer something that is way off the traditional recipe. However, we do infuse in flavors to the original recipe to offer variety and cater to a wider audience. Recently we have come up with Matka Chai. And oh God we must take the liberty to say that it is a piece of art.
Reasonable rates are one thing, what else is there that attracts the youth towards Chai junction?
The most important thing is that youth associates itself with our joint. The ambiance is so chilled out that anybody can feel comfortable as soon as entering our courtyard. Then we have board games and then we let the youth support their favorite sports teams with our live screening of matches. Since we are not that old, so the youth has an association that somebody of our age is catering us. And we are thankful that they support us and we are glad that we are serving them.
What are the challenges that you face each day running a place dedicated to Chai?
Ensuring that every cup of tea which leaves our kitchen meets the expectation of our guests is the biggest challenge. The guest is there to enjoy the perfect blend. So a place dedicated to chai such as ours has to make sure that they enjoy that cup of tea and the first sip that they take they should be like, that is my cup of tea. Since we have certain procedures in place we are trying our level best to overcome this challenge.
Do you remember any funny or interesting incident that occurred at your workplace at Chai Junction?
We were at Coke Festival and people had many options to choose from. To stand out we recorded a small voice message and started playing it on a loudspeaker. The message was an imitation as a hawker would try to sell Chai in a crowded bazaar or a railway station. People were intrigued that where is this voice coming from. It helped us to stand out and we attracted very good crowds. So this was a funny yet interesting incident that we remember.
As an entrepreneur yourself, do you believe that advertising helps people to better acknowledge your business?
Advertising plays a huge role. You need to understand that reaching your target audience is of supreme importance. If you won’t reach them with an effective message your voice would be lost in a din. Define your target market, chose a medium and keep sending your message to them.
You have executed quite a remarkable idea successfully and remarkably. What would you advise to someone who wishes to become a successful entrepreneur?
We would say challenges would come your way. There would be a time when things would look a bit dark. All you have to do is believe in yourself, stay persistent and keep striving for your goals. You would achieve them one day.
What else to expect from you in the near future?
We are in expansion mode. We are trying to cater more and more people. We are looking for spots in Islamabad region. The main philosophy is to find spots that go with our idea. Create the same chilled out atmosphere as we have at your flagship outlet. We just want to assure our guests that we would work hard to make that perfect cup of chai that they all crave for. Chai is love. In a nutshell, we would open more branches very soon.
Source Images: www.facebook.com/ChaiJunctionBahria