The one thing that shone through London Bubble Co.’s pitch in Shark Tank India was their excellent pivot from serving waffles and pancakes in cafes to selling products like premixes, waffle chips, and spreads.
During the 1st covid wave when their 126 outlets had to shut down because of the lockdown, They were left with 30K flour and 8K dark chocolate. Instead of being disheartened, like a true entrepreneurs, they converted this roadblock into a stepping stone.
They made a massive turnaround in their business operations, reinvented their brand, and came up with London Bubble Co. 2.0 version.
With so much stock of flour and chocolate left, they asked their media team to make good packaging, luckily packaging was included in the essential category and they were able to run their operations. Within 25 days the packets were ready. They hired people on daily wages to pack waffles and pancake premixes and sold them to modern retailers (supermarkets, hypermarkets, mini-markets).
Vineeta Singh pointed out that, in lockdown when not even 1% of the cafes were able to recover it is impressive that they make such an amazing turnaround.
London Bubble Co.
Their products are available in 4 cities, 800 stores, marketplaces, and their E-Commerce website.
The vision is to be the biggest company in the sweet and savory category.
- CHOCO LAVA BAKING MIX
- PANCAKE & WAFFLE PREMIX
- SPREADS (8 Flavors)
- WAFFLE CHIPS (5 Flavors)
London Bubble Co. started as a cafe in 2013, they had 129 outlets, during the lockdown when all their cafes were shut, they had to let go of 292 employees. The rents were too high and the landlords were not willing to reduce. They had to close down all their franchises.
This is when they decided to sell premixes and spreads through online and retail stores.
London Bubble Co. Founder
Mustakeen Sheikh and Darshan Shetty are the founders of this brand. They were childhood friends and were brought up together in the same chawl.
Mustakeen Sheikh did his MBA from Cardiff University in the UK. There he would visit Oxford street and noticed that people would binge eat waffles as snacks and they both were very passionate about food. This is how they got the idea to start the cafe in 2013.
Mustakee’s father would tell him that a rocket goes up only when it is set on fire. This gave him the motivation or rather fire to skyrocket his business and be successful.
London Bubble Co. Shark Tank
The founders had asked for ₹75 lakhs for 5% equity.
The sharks were disappointed with their sales which were ₹11 lakhs in August 2022 despite being available in 800 stores.
They resonated that they were focusing on increasing their production because they were not able to meet the demand of the retailers. Earlier they would produce 2K packets per day, now they can produce 45K packets.
When Peyush Bansal asked how they plan to increase their sales from ₹ 1 crore in one year to ₹10 crores. Mustakken Sheikh the founder replied that if gets the money, he can do it tomorrow.
Aman Gupta wanted to know how would he accomplish that. The founder replied that he needs money for listing fees (the amount of money a company pays a retailer to appear on the shelves). This is when Aman Gupta explained that they should focus on their consumers and not retailers because even if they manage to sell to the retailers if the consumers would not buy then all their stock would come back. If their consumers would demand that they want London bubble Co. products then the retailers would also cut down on the listing fees.
Vineeta Singh did not invest because she thought that the pitch had too much storytelling and not enough transparency. Aman thought that he cannot envision their products replacing the traditional Indian breakfast.
Namita Thapar gave the offer of ₹75 lakhs at 5% equity, for the sake of her kids Jay and Veeru who loves to eat pancakes and waffles for breakfast on Sundays.
Anupam Mittal backed out because he felt that they are in this bussiness for a long time and did not make anything big out of it for 9 years.
Peyush Bansal loved everything about the entrepreneurs but he would not be able to match the valuation of Namita Thapar and pulled out.
The founders had requested Namaita Thapar to give additional debt so that they can expand to other cities too. Namita said that she will help them get loans from banks and the deal was secured.
Where To Find
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Such entrepreneurs are an inspiration, they teach us that whenever you face drawbacks in your business, don’t be disappointed, rather choose to take it positively and try to make them your stepping stones.
It does not matter whether you are born in a chawl, village, or a big city, what matters is your hard work, determination to succeed in life, and of course fire in your belly. If you have these three things sorted then no drawback can stop you from achieving your dreams.
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