At Yewale Amruttulya, Success Tastes Like Tea

At Yewale Amruttulya, Success Tastes Like Tea

If you’re a Maharashtrian and someone who relies on a cup of ‘Chaha’ to break the monotony at the office, you must be a regular at Yewale Amruttulya. One of the most loved tea stalls in Maharashtra with branches across India. It’s not just a place to rewind after a long day of work, but also to catch up with friends, just scroll through the newspaper, or discuss everything under the sun from politics to cinema. If rumors are to be believed, Yewale will soon be opening branches in Bangkok, Dubai, and Paris, taking India’s tea tradition to the global market.

At Yewale Amruttulya, Success Tastes Like Tea on india's no 1 startup magazine - founders magazine

Amruttulyas are a common sight in Maharashtra. The word translates to ‘comparable to nectar’. The tens of hundreds of chai brewed at Yewale outlets every day stand true to the word. While chic tea outlets are popping up in each nook and corner of cities with a cup priced at anywhere from 50 to 250, at Yewale, you can enjoy a thick garam cup of tea starting at just Rs 10. The success story of Yewale has as much to do with principles and authenticity as taste.

Let’s step back a little and take a look at how it all began. 

From Purandar to Pune

The Yewale family hails from Askarwadi village in Purandar district. Back in the time, the village was often famine-stricken. One had to go through an endless number of hurdles to make both ends meet. Unforeseen incidents like environmental disasters or sickness were enough to push one into a vicious cycle of debt. To help his family get out of it, Dashrath Yewale set out to Pune in the hope of finding a job. However, due to his lack of education, he couldn’t find any good opportunities. The conditions in the city were not particularly better for someone like him from a poor background. But he was not ready to give up yet. He knocked on all doors and was finally hired as a laborer in an Amruttulya near the old Lakshmi Narayan Talkies. 

Two years passed by. Dashrath was able to save a bit from the meager income he was earning every month and sent it to his family back in Purandar. They were able to pay off the debts and get back into shape. Meanwhile, Dashrath was also doing other jobs to improve his financial situation. While selling tea in the village, it occurred to him that a milk supply business would yield good profit. He also learned that pure, fresh milk had a huge market among tea vendors. He had experience in tea selling, he knew the ins and outs of the industry, and he knew where to source good quality milk. Dashrath decided to turn to entrepreneurship full time and took a small space for rent in the Camp area of Pune with one of his friends.

In 1983, the same year India won the Cricket World Cup, Dashrath Yewale took over the partnership, laying foundations of the humble venture that would spread India’s heritage and warmth across the world. Of course, it was not a smooth ride. There were many ups and downs, but the Yewale family fought them together with resilience.  When Dashrath decided to start a tea shop of his own at Camp, he didn’t have a lot of money to embark on the venture. Mrs. Yewale stepped in and sold her jewelry to fund the initial capital. During times of crisis, friends, family, and relatives pooled in money and gave a helping hand to Dashrath. 

The word about the tasty Chaha in the Camp area got around and the place soon became a hub for groups of people to hang out and chit chat over a cup of ‘nectar-like’. As the outlet grew, Dashrath introduced new snacks to the menu like Vada Pav and Pohe. More outlets were opened near Bharati Vidyapeeth in Dhankawadi and Appa Balwant Chowk in Pune.

However, tragedy befell the Yewale family when Dashrath passed away in 2001. It came as a shock to his near and dear ones along with his thousands of customers across Pune. But it was not in the Yewale blood to give up. Dashrath’s sons took over the family business under the leadership of Navnath Yewale. They started by solely focusing on tea. Since the growth of the business had much to do with the goodwill earned by Dashrath, they decided to take it forward by following in his footsteps. For this, they needed to ensure that the tea sold at all outlets had the same taste, consistency, and smell. Tea that would win the market head over heels. An intensive period of research and development soon ensued to standardize the preparation of tea sold at Yewale’s. 

Today, tea at all Yewale branches is prepared with the same proportion of milk, tea, and sugar. The tea is boiled for 7 minutes before it is mixed with thick creamy milk and sugar. If you have been wondering, there is no secret ingredient. The milk, boiled twice before mixing, makes all the difference.

Under the leadership of Navnath Yewale, significant administrative and operational changes were brought into the business. They continued on the expansion goals by purchasing goods on credit and taking loans from time to time. The plan was to reinvest capital into business till the enterprise attained stability. In a short space of time, the strategy proved to be efficient. 

Taking India’s Chai to the World

Ever since the management announced the plan to open 100 branches in the city along with a few international outlets, they have received hundreds of calls for franchises. The simple fact that this unpretentious tea shop enterprise clocks 1.2 million per month is enough to lure in investors. The number of Yewale outlets in and around Maharashtra has grown over time reminding entrepreneurs everywhere how far hard work and resilience can take one. 

No matter how poor your educational or financial background is, with the right vision and right methodologies, even a small cup of tea can bring you a fortune!

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