It’s been four months since the new ‘Made in TN’ beverage venture of India’s e-commerce pioneer K Vaitheeswaran entered the Bengaluru market.
With marquee brands – like Pepsi and Coke, showing degrowth, Vaitheeswaran spotted an opportunity in the beverage space, when his friend and co-founder Sundeep Thakran approached him to start a new enterprise. The duo launched the beverage in low-fat milk drink and drinking yoghurt variants, at a time when the health and wellness industry has caught the attention of entrepreneurs.
He tells us that the manufacturing unit for the drink in Kancheepuram, has been set up in partnership with Quality Milk Farm, on the Chennai-Bengaluru highway. The other third-party manufacturer is Nilgiris Dairy Farm in Bengaluru. “We have ticked all the boxes – be it on the refrigeration or cold chain or chiller front. It has a 90-day shelf life, and we say there is no other beverage like this so far in the world that has a natural content in its entirety. Most drinks come with sugar or preservatives,” he says, adding the venture is targeting 1 mn bottles in a year. “It is fine even if we have a shortfall of 20 per cent as our ambition is to come close to the target and not beat it,” he shares.
Buoyed by the “remarkable” response to the newly launched product that has fired the spirit of the city-schooled entrepreneur, he said the start-up is preparing to raise $1-2 million in funding.
“We are talking to two potential investors, including a foreign entity,” Vaitheeswaran tells DTNext. On the USP of the drink, he says, “Again Drink offers a combo that includes five major food groups classified as a balanced diet by the US Department of Agriculture – dairy, fruits, veggies, proteins and grains. It has no sugar, preservatives or artificial flavours.” The beverage, which has a provisional patent clearance pending, “can be consumed without an iota of guilt,” he remarks.