Samrat Reddy, Founder and Managing Director of Drunken Monkey grew up in Chennai where he was a frequent visitor to a local juice and smoothie shop in the neighborhood. Not an avid consumer of tea/ coffee, he gravitated towards smoothies. During his stay in Australia and UK, he observed that the sheer number of places or cafes that serve coffee is far greater than places that serve smoothies. He felt if given a chance to experience smoothies, a huge number of people would turnover and incorporate them into their lifestyle.
Looking to fill this huge gap in the market and inspired from his own experience, he conducted some extensive research on the potential of the smoothie market and subsequently came up with a business plan to implement it. After coming back to India, with more patient groundwork and comprehensive research, hefinally started the first outlet in February 2016.
“I wanted to do to smoothies what Starbucks did to coffee. The new generation, the millennials want to be catered to and are more willing than ever to experiment with new brands. People want a space to create meaningful social connections without restricting themselves to the regular coffee and chai outlets. Smoothies are the new social lubricant in town,” says Reddy.
The journey has been challenging so as to build a new market for smoothies rather than feeding to an existing market of milkshakes, coffee, ice creams etc. Logistics of highly perishable products like fruits is another challenge that I faced in this journey. As a result, a scalable and sustainable business model has come out as a learning.
“Our operating model is mostly FOFO – franchise owned and franchise operated. The training, supply or raw materials and back-end support are taken care of by the brand, the front-end operations are taken care of by the franchise. However, there is a small percentage of outlets which are COCO – company owned and company operated,” he adds.
Drunken Monkey currently has 60 outlets in 16 Indian cities like Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Pune, Vijayawada, Indore, Kolkata, Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Guntur, Jalandhar, Chandigarh, Surat, Thane, Vellore, and Kakinada.
“We operate out of a cafe sit in the model (600 to 1,300 sq.ft) or a kiosk take-away model (100 to 200 sq.ft). These are located on the high-streets of the city and in malls,” says Reddy.
What’s There To Offer?
Drunken Monkey offers over 170 types of smoothies made from locally sourced, natural ingredients, ranging from indulgence to detox, and more. The brand uses pure natural fresh fruit, no artificial flavours, no added sugar, preservatives or concentrates.
It ensures that the customer is spoilt for choices. There is something for every palette and every mood — from all natural fresh fruit shakes to decadently indulgent smoothies, from detox smoothies to protein smoothies, even a range of smoothies to cure hangovers!
According to Reddy, “The Fresh Fruit smoothies and shakes are 100 percent natural, without any artificial flavors, preservatives or even ice. The functional range includes Meal Smoothies – wholesome, satisfying blends that keep you going all day, Protein Smoothies – blends of protein and fresh ingredients for a quick pick-me-up, and Hydrator Smoothies that are just perfect for summertime.”
The brand is unfazed by the competition and believes that they do not have any direct competition in the category.
“There are a few smoothie players, but they are restricted to limited regions. While, in India, we do not have any competition, internationally we have big players in the market such as Jamba Juice, Booster Juice. However, the product range built by our RnD team is way ahead of any competition and it would take a lot of effort and time for any player to match it. Apart from that the market for smoothies is a hugely untapped market and the potential for growth is so immense that Drunken Monkey has a great first mover’s advantage by being the pioneers in the smoothie industry in India,” says Reddy.
The marketing strategy of Drunken Monkey is aimed at doing to smoothies what Starbucks did to coffee. Four decades ago coffee was not a culture, Starbucks made it what it is now. People want a space to create meaningful social connections without restricting themselves to the regular coffee and chai outlets. Smoothies are the new social lubricant in town.
“Our vision is to inspire people to feel beautiful, young and full of energy by living naturally high! When people discover and pursue their natural highs, they are more positively engaged, their stress levels are lower and they are able to actively help make communities better!” reveals Reddy.
Drunken Monkey is eyeing rapid expansion over the coming years. It is looking to expand to 150 smoothie bars in 2019; by 2021, spread across 5 countries with over 500 smoothie bars and by 2025 – 10,000 smoothie bars.
Elaborating more on the expansion plans, Reddy says, “Apart from expansion, we plan to reach out to people in different ways through different distribution models. For example – we can get into supermarkets or places where people can pick up smoothies by themselves. So, eventually, we will release a few smoothies with better shelf life, where they can be kept fresh for more time. Apart from this, with fresh fruits, we can do more (apart from smoothies). So, there are more products we can give out in our outlets – expanding our portfolio without leaving our base which is fresh fruits.”
The brand, which is eyeing Rs 115 crore revenue this fiscal, is planning to spend Rs 50 crore to aid the expansion plans.
“We are totally self-funded; our initial capital was also self-funded. We will be looking for one round of funding after we reach 200 outlets in India, this funding will help us reach the 500 mark in quick time. Post which we will have another round of funding when we go for abroad expansion and look at expanding our product category and reach,” concludes Reddy.