Sunday, December 28, 2008

missed call for your hot cuppa

A missed call for your hot cuppa

Manjunath Tea Stall in Chikpet takes 2000 orders for tea and coffee each day. Guess how the orders are placed ...

Sameer Ranjan Bakshi
Posted On Sunday, December 28, 2008 at 01:19:21 AM
Freakin' Awesome! Freakin' Awesome! Freakin' Awesome! Freakin' Awesome! Freakin' Awesome!

Manjunath has more than 1,000 contact numbers on his cell phone. A little unusual perhaps for someone who owns a small unpretentious shop in Chikpet, but certainly nothing remarkable. But what he does with those contacts is indeed something that should figure among the 10 Most Innovative Business Models.

Manjunath at work, taking orders on his mobile
On an average, Manjunath sells about 2,000 cups of tea and coffee every day. Like in most business districts and shopping complexes, the beverages are delivered to the offices and shops, except that in his case the orders are placed in a unique way.

Anyone who wants a tea or coffee delivered to his office gives a missed call to Manjunath and soon enough, one his boys comes in with a large flask apiece of tea and coffee and a stack of styrofoam cups to pour in the required number.


Manjunath used to run an electrical shop on the third floor in DK Lane in Chikpet. To order a cup of tea, he used to send his office boy to the ground floor, and more often than not, three times before the tea arrived. One fine day, he decided to get rid of this problem by setting up his own tea shop. He then purchased four mobile phones and started asking prospective clients their phone numbers. His USP was “give a missed call and get tea or coffee at your desk”.

He found legions of takers for the idea. He stored their numbers and started his business after winding up his electrical shop. Within three months, his initiative became a huge success story and people started calling his shop Mobile Tea Shop instead of Manjunath Tea Shop. When the profits started coming in, he gave mobile phones to some of his delivery boys to speed up his service. He now employs 12 boys to prepare and serve tea and coffee. “Earlier, people used to orally place orders, sometimes even clap or whistle at the tea supplier. But with this tea ‘revolution’, everybody does it Manjunath’s way,” said Padam Jain, who owns a business close by.


In case Manjunath is running short of tea he switches off his mobile
From Juma Masjid area to Iyengar Road, he caters to most of the establishments. He has a chain of mobile phones strung around his neck. As soon as he receives a phone call, he gives directions to his delivery boys. The uniqueness here is that the cost of calling him is free. He gets a call and doesn’t pick up the phone, thus saving his customer’s money. If he is busy or is running short of tea, he switches off the phone for a while.

“They are doing wonders in the tea business. I just give a missed call and get a cup of tea at Rs 4.50. Just like every normal business, his business also shoots up on Saturdays. It’s because more customers come to buy things on Saturday and Sunday. When there are more customers, he will get more missed calls. In summer, he also supplies butter milk and lemon juice in the afternoon,” said another customer M Nirmal.

In a way, Manjunath’s business is also recession-proof. “One drinks tea irrespective of moods or of financial fluctuations,” Manjunath said. Of course, that’s irrefutable logic.


At Tuesday, December 30, 2008 at 1:40:00 PM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is wonderful.
My regards to Manjunath

At Tuesday, December 30, 2008 at 2:22:00 PM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Innovation at the bottom of the pyramid


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