How this British 'Chaiwalla' plans to Expand in Asia

Social media has a lot to do with it, says the director of Chaiiwala

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Three years ago, the next generation of a chaiwala (tea-maker) family in Delhi decided to take the family recipe and open a store in Leicester in the UK. Today, the brand, Chaiiwala, has over 20 shops in the region and its founders want to expand it to India and beyond.

The success of the brand has been the staple Indian food it offers and, of course, chai, that is brewed from Assam tea leaves. The menu includes masala chips, chilli paneer, Bombay sandwich (grilled potato sandwich with coriander-mint chutney), as well as paranthas and rotis, including butter chicken roti. Alongside, there are specialist teas, with the most distinctive being the Karak Chaii, a strong tea that blends together black tea, milk, sugar and spices. There are also cold drinks such as the Ice Chai and Rose Falooda.

We asked the director of Chaiiwalla, Mohamed Sohail Alimohamed, the strategies the brand plans to follow in a bid to expand in India and other regions. Here's what he said.

Product placement

You need to associate your product with things that are successful. Riding on the social media wave is extremely important, he says. "The famous Youtubers, the popular bloggers, those who are famous on the Internet, who are influencers, people who are up and coming, people who are famous, those are the people who are going to be on our ads and part of our marketing campaign."

Consistent branding

"The difference between a regular cup of tea and a Chaiiwalla cup in the UK is that carrying the latter is a fashion statement. If you come to college carrying a Chaiiwalla cup, you are the cool one, because people associate you with few of the popular bloggers, sportspeople."


Being technologically advanced is extremely important. "Our loyalty programs are ad-based and we collect a lot of data through our app to ensure that customers get special offers on their birthdays and festivals," he says. "Being technologically-driven is one of the biggest advantages in today's age."