Interview of Samrat Reddy (SR) , Founder, Drunken Monkey with Deepak Khattar,Bureau Chief
BS. How did the idea of starting a smoothie chain across India strike you?
SR. I personally do not consume tea or coffee. So as a teenager it used to puzzle me that there were so many cafes serving just different blends of coffee and nothing else. Smoothies and fruit juices were something I always liked and I always believed that if I was a customer for the same, there would be many like me. So during my MBA, I even chose to study the smoothie market as my project. After that my goal was to start a smoothie chain in India with the vision of bringing in a smoothie culture in the country. What Starbucks did to coffee in the 80’s and 90’s inspired me, so why not smoothies in this new age.
BS.What’s the history of your organization? How much investment did you start from? What’s the current investment?
SR. My research in the field helped me with getting an idea about the potential of the smoothie industry and exploring it further. The enthusiasm I built for this market eventually led me to lay the foundation of Drunken Monkey. I founded Drunken Monkey as a bootstrapped company in December 2015 and operations started in February 2016 with an investment of INR 4 crore— spread over a year—put in by me and my family. The brand generated Rs 60 crore revenue in 2022- 23.
BS .How many flavors are Smoothies available in? Are your smoothies Organic? Are they made up of natural fruit? What certifications do you have to prove authenticity?
SR. Drunken Monkey offers over 200 types of Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls made from specially blended combinations of fruits like fresh tropical watermelon to exotic dragon fruits, from healthy green spinach to juicy kiwis, from dry fruits like figs, dates to nuts like cashews, almonds and hazelnuts. We are one of the fast-growing smoothie chains of India that delivers the best blended natural-fruit smoothies, smoothie bowls and juices in over 200 special combinations, ranging from all-natural detox smoothies, meal smoothies, fruit shakes, and also a range of smoothies to cure a hangover.
BS. How many Franchisees are you having currently and how many are you targeting in the next 2 yrs.
SR.At present, we have more than 120+ stores across 45+ Indian cities. And we are targeting to close 250+ outlets in the next 2 years across the world.
BS.How are you promoting Good Health and Wellness through your Beverage?
SR.Rather than health, what we promote is a lifestyle. A lifestyle of getting naturally high. Smoothies are just one way of having a naturally high lifestyle, but as a brand we believe life to be more than just consuming healthy food and staying fit. Staying 100 percent alive and high in every moment is what Drunken Monkey stands for. The monkey is our ambassador and monkeys manage to stay high and happy always. Surrounded by nature, a monkey is always high ala, drunk happy high. We humans are supposed to be advanced forms of our ancestral apes. So we better be advanced in all ways.
BS.What’s the U.S.P of your Smoothies which makes you stand apart from others?
SR. We have never promoted being healthy. I believe people are intelligent and they can decide what is healthy and not. Starting from our bottle design to the logo, we wanted to attract customers with our unique USP — away from ‘healthy and boring’ that people normally connect health drinks to. This made us form a rapport amongst our customers and reach this point of growth and success.
BS.How much percentage of your turnover are you exporting and which countries are you targeting to Export?
SR.Currently, we have our business only in india. We have also started looking for moving globally in countries like the USA, UK, Australia, Europe and Asia. By spreading our mantra of staying Naturally High.
BS. How many Stores are you planning to open in Delhi-NCR and Mumbai in the current financial year 2022-2023?
SR.We are planning to open 50+ plus outlets combining both the cities in this financial year.
BS.What’s the mission of establishing the Drunken Monkey Foundation?
SR.The smoothie brand thrives to get its customers closer to nature and enjoy beverages in the ‘most elementary form’ — using fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Which are totally natural and where we don’t add sugar or any artificial flavors.
BS. What will be the Current Turnover for the Financial year ending March 2022 and Target for turnover for next 2 years?
SR.Drunken monkey has clocked a turnover of 60 crores in the previous year and is planning to double the amount in next 2 years.
BS.What do you think you will attribute your Grand Success to? Hard work, Team Work or perhaps God’s Grace?
SR.I personally feel we have a long way to go. For us, our success or failure is not defined by how well we do in the market compared to others. We are still a distance to go in getting about a smoothie culture in the country. Drunken monkey s mission has always been a long term one, and we aim to achieve it in the next 3 to 5 years. For that of course we would be putting in all the hard work and do absolutely everything necessary.
BS. Any message to the new Aspiring Young entrepreneurs.
SR.Stop thinking about what can go wrong and just get going. As entrepreneurs our skill is on how well we can manage things on the go, and have clarity through the chaos. A long termstrong vision would make sure that everyday problems are always seen in perspective and will never hamper your spirits. As long as your heart is in the right place, you would find a way around every obstacle.