Is Anubhav Dubey Just Another Chaiwala? Startup Story of Chai Sutta Bar

Anubhav Dubey is an entrepreneur who is best known for being the founder of Chai Sutta Bar, one of the largest and fastest-growing tea chains in India. Born and brought up in Madhya Pradesh, he has a B.Com degree in Tax Law/Taxation from Renaissance College of Commerce and Management. 

Anubhav failed his CA examination which left him disheartened, and finding hope seemed near impossible. It felt as if all the goodness in the world had been destroyed. But Anubhav wasn’t one to give up just like that.

He then started preparing for the UPSC exam. While doing so, he couldn’t stop pondering over the idea of owning a successful business. As they say, there’s always something greater out there for you, his dream future certainly did have a different, better plan set aside for him.

He always wanted to do something big, something truly no one would even think of doing. Hence, he dared to cut ties with UPSC and now, you know him as the founder of Chai Sutta Bar (CSB). 

Why Chai/Tea?

You wake up, you need tea. You come home exhausted from work, you’re in desperate need of tea. From the fanciest of restaurants to the littlest of dhabas, chai is everywhere.

Anubhav and his friend-turned-business partner decided to take advantage of this fact. After exploring potentially lucrative business ideas which also needed lesser initial capital, tea was what stood out to them most.

Anubhav was freshly graduated, just 22 years old, when he started this chai business along with his friend, Anand Nayak.

In 2016, with an initial capital of 3 lakh rupees that he earned from a prior business, they set up a tea stall in Indore without any team; just the two of them striving and serving delicious tea to the locals. And today, they have more than 1,500 employees all over India.

Coming from a narrow-minded environment, he initially faced opposition from his parents, but they eventually came around when they understood his business model and when CSB became a huge success.

What’s Special about Chai Sutta Bar?

Chai Sutta Bar is not your ordinary tea stall, as you can probably already tell from the name. Chai isn’t served to you at a stall, but rather at a bar-like setup inside a cafe.

Another thing that adds to their originality is that they make use of a special vessel called ‘kulhad’ [a clay cup] which is used to drink tea from and this also adds to their authenticity. With a beautiful and comforting ambience where customers are known to have heartfelt conversations, their outlets are truly unparalleled.

Another aspect of CSB that we can’t help but highlight is their brand logo design, which is equally pleasing to the eyes as it is to our taste buds.

In 2016, they started with just three outlets in Indore, and today, they have more than 450 outlets in more than 195 cities in India, with outlets in Nepal as well as the UAE.

Starting with just him and his partner serving tea to hiring over 1,500 employees all over India, they’ve managed to come a long, long way with Chai Sutta Bar. 

Providing employment to the underprivileged

One of the many goals for CSB that Anubhav has is being able to provide employment to the underprivileged population.

In an interview with Curly Tales, he narrates the story of their first-ever employee who was an orphan, and how they turned his life around by providing this little child with much-needed employment. And today, he has his own apartment and even afford to travel by air.

Anubhav opens many people up with great opportunities and says that CSB especially hires orphans, disabled people and people who are financially disadvantaged. More than 300 underprivileged families are now lucky enough to be working at Chai Sutta Bar.

Learnings from Entrepreneurship

The most important thing that he’s learnt so far from his failures is that if something doesn’t work out, something bigger is out there waiting for you, and he says this from his own ‘anubhav’ (experience).

‘Incapable’ was the word they used to call him but now, leaving the past behind for good, he’s out there winning in life, with Chai Sutta Bar speaking for itself. Today, more than 3 lakh people head over to CSB every single day to devour the exotic kulhad tea, as they simply just can’t get enough. 

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