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The Story of Phalbee

March 28, 2018
- Dhawal Pagay

Before any further questions, can you tell us more about Phalbee and what drove you to its conceptualisation?

Yashwant Singh: At Phalbee, we are essentially trying to capture the culture of smoothies and juices that is already prevalent in the West, by adapting it to the Indian context. The shift in the mindsets of the society to adopt a healthier lifestyle is trying to be harnessed by the whole concept of Phalbee.
Ashish Kaushik: As a first yearite at college, I used to miss various meals which had repercussions like ill-health, fatigue and a drastic loss in weight. Since the canteens weren’t up to the mark, the only option I was left with was to head outside campus and eat at the roadside vendors. During this process, I realised that not only was it unhealthy, it was unhygienic as well, and that was the driving force behind Phalbee- to create a brand that catered healthy alternatives, particularly fruit smoothies and juices to the public.

Having measured the initial responses, what is going to be Phalbee’s further methodology of working? Is this venture going to be localised to Roorkee or will we see Phalbee branching out in the coming months?

Yashwant Singh: The initial responses have been tremendous, surpassing everyone’s expectations. Initially, we will try to cater the students at IITR, and if everything pans out as per schedule, the first Phalbee outlet will be set up here in the campus itself in the following weeks and in the longer run, we hope to establish a chain of outlets pan-India.
Ashish Kaushik: Our major focus is to build the brand of Phalbee initially, so that it becomes a part of people’s daily life. Another aspect that we’re focusing on is that we want to ensure that quality is not compromised for quantity, which we lay emphasis on. Acting on this philosophy, we procure fruits from various fruit capitals of the country, so as to provide a wider array of the best products that are available from the different parts of the country.


What is the USP that sets Phalbee apart from its competitors?

Rajat Jain: We are building the Café Coffee Day of fruit juices and smoothies, a brand which people can trust. Our USPs are freshly made juices and smoothies, sourcing fruits from fruit capitals of the country, and building the culture of juices and smoothies through hundreds of varieties. We are not categorically seeking out to gain customers, rather, we are trying to introduce the culture of smoothies and juices into our society, thereby revolutionizing it.

In this field, there are already various companies that have gained a lot of name and reputation. How do you plan to hold fort against these giants?

Bibhudatta Sa: Actually, there are only 3-4 startups in this fresh juices and smoothies industry. This industry is 75% unorganized and there lies huge potential of growth. India is a developing country and more and more people are becoming health conscious. So, there is need of a brand which can cater to the demand of these people, who would enjoy such smoothies and juices.

Rajat Jain: I personally think that the diversity and flexibility in the menu that we have to offer shall eventually be positively received by the customer, which in turn would stimulate the ingress of others into our doors.


What advice would you like to give other aspiring entrepreneurs on campus?

Yashwant Singh: I feel that as a student one should try and question everything, not only that, one should constantly try and come up with both rational and innovative solutions. Once this habit is developed, the student will naturally incline towards an analytical solution, ultimately reaching the ‘sweet spot’.
Rajat Jain: One misconception that I would like to clear is that the chances of the occurrence of an ‘Eureka’ moment are slim and as aspiring entrepreneurs, we should definitely refrain from indulging in such follies. The development of the idea is gradual, building upon continual trial and errors and input from real life scenarios. Bibhudatta Sa: So to sum up, the student must not be disheartened by the initial failure of his idea and should keep in mind that the best startups arise from the most number of interventions and refining measures.

How do you think that the administration can help promote entrepreneurship on campus?

Ashish Kaushik: The major problem that we faced was to receive funding from the various business incubators on campus, particularly Tides, since it majorly supports startups that have their roots in the technological or software industry. However, student based communities like EDC helped us a lot in connecting to various people. We are now operational at Sattviko Idea Cafe only with the help of our alumni, Mr. Prasoon Gupta.
Yashwant Singh: A suggestion which I would like to pitch in is that there should be a central fund allocated towards startups of all kinds. The funds which are now reserved towards the development of technologies like the ‘Tinkering Lab’ or the 3-D printers, which aren’t excessively used by the students on campus, those can be redirected towards this cause and in the future I feel that this could benefit students who are aspiring entrepreneurs.