A fast-emerging alternative to soft drinks. Soda hub, a now successful venture started with the aim of quenching people’s thirst economically. Nanda Srinivas, managing director of Soda hub shares his journey with usBhavneet Singh and Sneha Mashetty email@example.com
How did the idea for Soda Hub come about ?
I’ve known Sitaramiah L, my partner in this business for the past 30 years, and the idea of Soda hub, was originally his. We started off in January 2011 by establishing a base of dealers across the state with a capital of Rs.10 lakh. Now we have over 775 outlets across Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
How did you start off?
If anyone comes up with a new idea, it is discouraged. Same was the case with our idea. People criticised us for this move but we held on and implemented it. Our first outlet was set up in Narayanguda. After that it took us nearly three months to come up with our second outlet which was opened in Siddipet.
What were the challenges that you faced during these three months?
These three month were very tough. We had hired a person to take care of our outlet and we used to just stand by as onlookers. We spoke to people who came to have the soda. We saw their reactions, understood their needs and finally came up with the taste that suited them. It was a tough climb but now, looks like it has paid off well!
What was the competition like in the market?
As soon as people saw our idea had become a hit, many people came up and copied our idea. So immediately, we registered ourselves as a trademark and got the rights for our eco-friendly paper glasses. In our first summer we had about 40 competitors but now, there are only two left, and I am sure, they wouldn’t last after this summer. So we take this as a mark of success as all of them have shut down.
From a small capital of Rs.10 lakh, what is the current turnover of the company?
The current turnover of our company is around `18 crore and we are pretty much happy with it. We are looking forward to develop further.
What do you think is the reason for the success?
I think that it is because of our approach to the market. Our motto was not to sell outlets, instead it was to create a brand which I believe we have successfully done here. We never compromised on the quality of our product. And most importantly, we gave the people something to drink at a very reasonable rate, and this I believe is the reason for our success.
What about rumours that it is unhygienic?
They are just rumours. We use only mineral water in the soda, even the glasses we use are not plastic ones, they are made of paper. So there is no chance of it being unhealthy. After the rumour though, all our outlets were sealed by the government and the samples were collected. We remained shut for two days and the reports of the soda being hygienic came out. And we haven’t looked back since then.
How can something healthy be given in Rs.5 ?
This is one question that everyone asks me. The total production cost of per glass which includes mineral water, paper glass, CO2 and the flavour comes up to `2.10. and thus we are able to give people quality at such low rates.
What are your future plans for the company?
We do not believe in advertising. Our customers are more than enough to advertise our product. In fact, most of our publicity has been through word of mouth. We are planning to get into Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh. And we already have a few South African countries like Uganda approaching us and Thailand is also on the cards, so we will be looking to expand.