The ThickShake Factory to Open 75 Outlets in 2017
In case you’re looking for quick summer stops for the season and craving for a triple choco-chip milkshake blended with vanilla ice cream, you are surely in to slurp up a decadent concoction of creamy, thick and yummy shake.
Check out an impressive lineup of the menu at The ThickShake Factory that consists of about 40 shakes and the famous Shape your Shake feature where customers can choose what they want from over 30 varieties of toppings.
Founded by two Hyderabad-based brothers, Yeshwanth Nag Mocherla and Ashwin Ananth Nag Mocherla, on December 20, 2013, The ThickShake Factory is the first premium shake brand present in seven cities in India and soon to enter the international market by June, 2017. In an exclusive interview with the founders Yeshwanth Nag Mocherla and Ashwin Ananth Nag Mocherla, we speak about their future expansion plans.
Tell us about the inception of the brand?
We founded The ThickShake Factory on December 20, 2013 and wanted to be identified as a speciality premium thick shake brand. We have focussed on one particular product and taken especially thick milkshakes, present in the menu of almost every eatery in the country, and specialised in it. We want to create a long lasting impression on the minds of our customers. So if you think of coffee, you think of Starbucks, for pizza it is Dominos and for burgers it is McDonalds and when you crave for a milkshake, one should think of The ThickShake Factory.
What are the unique key points of your company?
We believe in quality, consistency and taste. As a brand we use custom-made super premium ice creams to prepare our shakes. The customer will have the same experience and taste in every outlet. One of the USP is ‘Shape your Shake’ where you can choose from over 30 varieties of toppings. All this in less than 2 minutes from your order time.
How is the experience of the brand different from the existing ones?
The common perception of a milkshake is that of a flavoured milk. Thick shakes in India are still unexplored unlike the West. Choosing this dairy product and building a premium brand around it by offering the best quality and taste makes us very unique from the existing ones. We have been the category creators in this field by offering premium thick shakes at an affordable pricing. Our backward integration of manufacturing ice creams help us in achieving economies of scales and this helps us to price the product at a very affordable rate.
We essentially do 5 major things:
a) We focus on the main product in our portfolio which is a thick shake.
b) We offer a wide variety of flavours and mix-and-match combinations of thick shakes.
c) We ensure consistency in every shake that is made to provide the customers the same experience across all the outlets.
d) We have a strong supply chain.
e) We have processes in place and that combined with the strong supply chain helps in scaling-up faster.
What are your future expansion plans?
The vision is to have 1000+ outlets pan India and a global presence. By 2018, the plan is to reach the milestone of 200 outlets. We are already present in 7 cities in India and have signed up outlets in different parts of the country. We will soon enter the international market by having our presence in North America by June, 2017.
How are you different from the existing competitors?
We have been the category creators of premium thick shakes and the main differentiation is the category itself. Most of the existing competitors serve flavoured milk whereas we serve premium shakes blended with premium ice creams. The quality, consistency, taste and pricing sets us apart from the other players.
What is the funding status and monetisation model?
We are self-funded. Our monetisation model depends on the combination of company owned outlets and franchises. We generate revenues from outlets and fee from the franchises.
What challenges are you facing in running your business?
The main challenges in this industry are to attain consistency in a product and skilled labour. We have been working to manufacture our own super premium ice creams which deliver the taste and quality for the shakes. The staff at the outlet needs to follow the set processes to ensure the consistency. As the ice creams play a major role in the taste of the product, we do not need skilled chefs in the outlet. Any person with around 2 weeks of training would be able to make the shakes which would taste exactly in every outlet of our company.
Tell us about your traction details?
We started with one outlet in the first year and scaled upto nine by the end of the second year. Currently, we have 26 outlets. Our initial scaling up was slow as we were the category creators and needed to take into account the learning curve of the customers to be accustomed to this new product offering. We sell close to around 200 shakes on an average per outlet.
How do you look at expansion?
We plan to operate around 75 outlets by the end of this year and are targeting to reach around 300 outlets by the end of 2018. We will also enter the international market by having our presence in North America by June, 2017. The vision is to have 1000+ stores pan India.
What is the market size and opportunity?
The market size of flavoured milk and ice creams combined is more than Rs 5,000 cr and the expected growth rate is around 30% CAGR which is phenomenal. Retailing in different formats such as thick shake parlours, retail shops and supermarkets, presence in malls and multiplexes, etc promises a tremendous potential and opportunity to our brand.