When was the last time you came across a vending machine that proudly bore the logo of Nestle or even that of Georgia (from the house of Coca-Cola)? Perhaps, recently. But think about this – when was the last time you caught sight of a coffee vending machine whose trademark read Cafe Desire? Hard to recollect, isn’t it? But all that is set to change, with Cafe Desire (a brand of Radiant Consumer Appliances Pvt. Ltd.) determined to change the way vending machines treat consumers. It offers state-of-the-art vending machines and the products too – from tea and coffee to health beverages. And the brand has managed to run quite a distance over a decade. But that doesn’t satisfy Ghouise Mohiuddin, MD of Hyderabad-based Radiant Consumer Appliances Pvt. Ltd., who believes that much work remains to be completed, before Cafe Desire’s competitors really start feeling the heat.

How has the journey for Cafe Desire been so far?
It has been both an interesting and a challenging journey so far. We started with a simple idea that has developed over time. When I started offering hot beverage solutions, I had hoped that it becomes a success – all I needed to do was to empathise with our potential customers, address their wants and solve the problem with some simple offerings. Our business is straight and simple – it’s all about offering hot and cold beverage solutions (primarily tea and coffee) at the work place through our range of vending machines. We realised that there was a huge demand for uninterrupted supply of tea and coffee in many offices. Product quality and superior service is what the employees desired the most. And that was precisely the gap, which we went about filling. Honestly, we thought if we could solve this issue, we had a big market potential to address. We invested all our energies to become the most trusted vendor-company in the country. And looking back at the past few years, I can produly state this the rest is history. Our efforts worked wonders.

Cafe Desire is one of the fastest growing companies, with high customer retention levels, providing unmatched and proven services. But there is no denying that you had to convince the customers that your brand was far more reliable than the Nestles and the Coca-colas of the world in terms of hot and cold beverages. How big was this a challenge?
Honestly, the biggest challenge we faced was to break the mind-set of customers. We had to prove to them that we were superior to the big multinational brands like Nestle, Unilever, Coca-cola’s Georgia and others. Somehow, there was no room for any small new company, because all the corporates and even individuals obviously preferred to invest in some multinational brand. For this, what we did is that we tool trial contracts and proved ourselves first to our potential customers. Only then did we sign a final contract. Yes, it was indeed a risky and a tedious process, but what makes me most happy is that we became successful at the end of the day and started growing an extremely rapid pace.

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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2011.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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