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The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf CEO Sanjiv Razdan on Mentoring New Business Leaders Interview with Sanjiv Razdan about making the most of nontraditional opportunities, brewing customer curiosity, capitalizing on user-generated content, and inspiring industry leaders with the nonprofit GLEAM Network.

By Shawn P. Walchef

Key Takeaways

  • Nontraditional Opportunities - Sanjiv Razdan understands that expansion into nontraditional spaces requires a product that is loved by the masses. Luckily, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf provides that in spades.
  • Brewing Consumer Curiosity - Sanjiv Razdan takes pride in The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf allowing customers to experience flavors from around the world and "brew" the curiosity of their customer base.
  • Authentic User-Generated Content - Content always has been king. In today's social media driven society, Sanjiv Razdan is aware of the authenticity and connectivity that their consumers provide via content they create on their own.
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Sanjiv Razdan, president and CEO of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, provides a global experience in a mug.

"We're a company that brings flavors from around the world to consumers to tickle their curiosity, to whet the appetite and expose them to adventures and experiences from around the world." says Sanjiv Razdan on the Restaurant Influencers podcast hosted by Shawn P. Walchef of CaliBBQ Media.

With over 1,100 locations worldwide, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf inspires consumers far and wide with flavors that originate in places like the African continent to Thailand and beyond.

The name they have built has opened doors for the coffee and tea company to make headway in nontraditional avenues, such as airports, college campuses, and hospitals. According to Razdan, however, the expansion is not possible without a product that has universal appeal.

"When you think about the coffee bean and tea leaf, people want to have their favorite beverage," says Sanjiv Razdan. "And they have broad consumer appeal, which is why these locations do incredibly well for us."

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf takes the broad opportunities they have to "brew curiosity". Meaning, the company has a breadth of products and flavors that take consumers on a journey with every sip.

Understanding that traveling to various countries and corners of the world is a privilege not afforded to most, The Coffee Bean CEO takes great pride in bringing that experience to consumers and allowing them to express their satisfaction with the products without being prompted to do so.

"We live in a world today where our consumers are putting Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in the middle of their lives and they're taking pictures and putting hashtags and essentially creating the content," expresses Sanjiv Razdan.

As his products generate income for him here in the United States, he uses his nonprofit GLEAM Network of volunteer mentors to pay it forward and pour back into underserved communities. The GLEAM Network provides mentorship and leadership development to the restaurant and foodservice industry.

Whether it's coffee beans, tea leaves, or mentoring new leaders, or The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf locations and reach, Razdan has a keen interest in progress.

Service and growth. That is what Sanjiv Razdan and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf are all about.


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Shawn P. Walchef

Founder of Cali BBQ Media

“Be the show, not the commercial.”

Cali BBQ Media Founder Shawn Walchef helps brands and leaders leverage the new Business Creator Economy with strategic Smartphone Storytelling and Digital Hospitality.

His Cali BBQ restaurant company has generated more than $35 million since opening in 2008. They operate numerous locations in San Diego and beyond.

Shawn’s weekly video series Restaurant Influencers (published by Entrepreneur Media and produced by Cali BBQ Media) has been seen by over 25 million people.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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