The Mixologist We piloted our products in September 2019 because we wanted to gauge consumer reaction and receive feedback before going live: Ankur Bhatia

By Punita Sabharwal

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Jimmy's Cocktails
Ankur Bhatia, founder & CEO, Jimmy’s Cocktails

On a monsoon night in 2018, Ankur was bar hopping in Mumbai, enjoying fancy cocktails with his friends. After the bars closed, they moved to his friend's place and some of them tried to recreate the same cocktails with the help of cocktail recipes available online and using whatever ingredients they could get their hands on, however, could not match the flavours they had in the bars earlier.

That night, Ankur had a eureka moment: given his close to decade long experience in the spirits category, he realized that this could be a very large opportunity. That's when he decided to launch a brand that makes world-class bar-quality cocktails more accessible and convenient for everyone. A year later, Jimmy's Cocktails was born.

Sharing the growth journey, Ankur Bhatia, founder & CEO, Jimmy's Cocktails says, "We piloted our products in September 2019 because we wanted to gauge consumer reaction and receive feedback before going live. According to our research, approximately 95 percent of beverage sales in India occur in brick-and-mortar retail stores; thus, we wanted the brand to be off-line and retail-first, and a six-month pilot was conducted in and around Gurugram. The official launch was scheduled for March 2020, but by then, the pandemic had struck, and a series of lockdowns made it difficult to implement the offline strategy."

In sync with the new normal, they morphed into an online-first direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand almost overnight and officially launched the brand in July 2020. They noticed that the brand was selling quite well through their own website jimmyscocktails.com, which was delivering across 400 locations in India, far exceeding the initial target for offline presence. The pandemic not only increased online sales but also allowed the brand to expand beyond Tier 1 markets rapidly, as planned.

During Covid times when all the bars were shut, they came out with a digital ad campaign that showcased to people how they could make a cocktail at home in three simple steps — ice it, spike it, Jimmy it! The same campaign urged consumers to "bring the bar home'.

Jimmy's Cocktails operate in the new and emerging Mixers category in India, which is expected grow to be a 7000Cr over this decade. As per the International Wine & Spirits report, 80% of alcohol consumption in India takes place at home, balance at bars.

Currently, the brand is available across all major e-commerce platforms, quick commerce stores and an offline presence across 50 cities in 6,000 retail outlets. Their D2C platform enables discovery and access to consumers across 400+ cities across the country.

Factsheet

  • Total SKUs:

7 (Whiskey Sour, Cosmopolitan, Mango Chilli Mojito, Sex on the Beach, Margarita, Bloody Mary and Gin Cherry Sour)

  • Team size:

About 100 (50 on rolls, 50 on third party rolls)

  • Repeat customer ratio:

35% on website, repeats are much higher in retail given that we are an impulse buy category product

  • Online platform resulting in maximum revenue:

Quick Commerce Platform Swiggy Instamart

  • Turnover for FY 2021-22:

Closed the FY 2021-22 with ₹22 crore in revenue

  • Split between offline and online sales:

65:35 Retail vs. Online (Own website, Amazon, Quick Commerce channels)

Punita Sabharwal

Entrepreneur Staff

Deputy Editor, Entrepreneur India Magazine

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