Keventers is a piece of Delhi’s history. One hears its name and is attacked by nostalgia. Flavors and taste of some really awesome and refreshing milkshakes starts invading one’s mind and tongue.
Agastya Mihir R. Dalmia, third generation scion of the Dalmia family, Aman Arora and Sohrab Sitaram got together to bring this iconic brand back again in 2015.
Keventers brings alive the signature flavors that made it a favorite for its rich milkshakes, among the young and old alike. Keeping alive the vintage flavor, Keventers brings its Classic Milkshakes in glass bottles. Apart from Classic Shakes, we have also introduced Thick Shakes and Hot Beverages.
Keventers low initial investment and ability to fit into small and unusual spaces and reasons for their success. Without the need for heavy equipment for restaurant is the perfect business for the small spaces and tight real estate of metropolitan cities New Delhi. India is currently wide open for development. As brand awareness grows in India, more and more people are becoming aware of Keventers as the top option for milkshakes and also as a great way to start their own business within their community.
Keventers opened its first company owned outlet earlier in March 2015 at Select Citywalk, New Delhi. Currently it has 6 company owned outlets operating across Delhi & NCR in the following locations:
- High Street Select Citywalk, Saket
- My Square, Select Citywalk, Saket
- DLF Promenade, Vasant Kunj
- DLF Mall of India, Noida
- DLF Cyber Hub, Gurgaon
So here, we are in conversation with Mr. Aman Arora who is one of the directors of keventers. Keventers re launched themselves in 2015 not only to bring back old sweet memories but also to add volumes to the taste, flavor and have a fabulous experience at Keventers.
- Keventers is a brand which speaks for itself. But I would like to know from the director himself about the vision of Mr. Keventer’s behind starting up the brand Keventers.
Ans. *smiles* we have a long history and you can ask your questions in between.
The brand was established by Edward Keventers in 1925 who was a Swedish entrepreneur. He came to India in early 1892 but he started his company in 1925. That was our establishment.
In 1925 we were basically manufacturers. Our main product line was milk, condensed milk, butter etc. and we had a lot of factories. We had factories in Kanpur, Karachi, Darjeeling, Calcutta, Delhi etc. So Keventer’s was quite a sensation.
But when Mr. Keventers passed away (towards Indian Independence) it was passed on to Indian person called Mr. Ram Krishan Dalmiya.
We used to have our factories at Malcha, Delhi where milkshakes were made and supplied to our 48 outlets. We had one factory and we were not the retailers of the product. Unfortunately, Malcha Marg became a diplomatic zone and our factories had to shut down. Since we were not retailers many started misusing our name.
- Any plans to open store nationally or internationally?
We are soon opening outlets in Chandni Chowk, Pacific Mall, Epicuria etc. in Delhi. We are planning to open outlets in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
- Cool! Your classic milkshakes are still tempting and delicious like always. How do you manage to maintain your quality?
We have operations and audit team that takes care of it. They do their regular checkups and the products are really simple that is one of our advantage. We are dealing with a few limited ingredients or something.
- Have you tied up with some milk cooperative or do you buy milk locally?
We are locally procuring milk.
- People who lately visited Keventers at the Palate fest and Comic con were not satisfied by the quality of your product. Please give your thoughts to it.
What may have happened is that consistency had gone wrong. If you look at our reviews on Zomato, the reviews are very good.
- I have read the reviews over Zomato and I read that some people find your shakes to be over priced. Please comment.
I keep a check on these pages regularly. *opens Zomato and checks*
See, the rentals are high in premium mall locations. Hence the shakes are priced at 150+ onwards. One needs to understand that our quantity is also 500ml.
However, we plan to bring down our price outside the malls by introducing 300ml quantity milkshakes
But in order to reach out masses we will reduce the quantity up to 330ml which is also good enough so the price will naturally come down.
- Keventers has something to offer to everyone. Classic shakes for the old, thick shakes for the new generation but what do you have in store for people with special needs like the diabetics, the lactose intolerant people?
At the moment we don’t have anything to offer. But it is in our pipeline. We will add sugar free shakes for the diabetic and also some food items. But not right now as our focus is on the current shakes. But we are in a process.
Great idea, but suppose I am intolerant to lactose but I want to have a Keventers milkshake. How will you serve me one?
How will I serve you? *smiles and laughs*
You have to try our black coffee!
By you, I mean your company. Are you looking forward to some milk variants like soya milk and such stuff?
No! We are having our core product that is the regular classic milkshakes. Thick shakes are little different from classic ones as we add ice creams and some very good natural flavours, not the synthetic ones.
The idea is very simple; it is to make your core product standardized. Once it is done we can move on to the next product.
- What is your marketing strategy?
We are active on social media, we do print ads too. We have also moved to the radios. Local traditional marketing is always happening. That is the basic marketing that we do. No campaigns as such but we will do it pretty soon.
- When will I be able to locate Keventers near my house?
We are opening outlets all over the country. We’re targeting high footfall locations in the most popular locations in the country. A roadmap has been prepared and we’re looking to open 50 outlets by end of this year
- Are your new thick shakes dominated by the success of classic milkshakes?
Classics are still the favorite. But thick shakes are also picking up! Some of our thick shakes are selling more than classics. However, cold coffee and butterscotch remain on the top.
- This brings me to the question; do you drink milkshakes?
*Shyly laughs* Yes I do sometimes, but they are too heavy for me. I have to drink milkshakes when we have trials.
- Which one is your favorite milkshake?
My favorite in classic shakes is Butterscotch and peanut butter in thick shakes.
- India is a country where milk is still a luxury to many. Do you plan to reach and serve your milkshakes to such people? If yes, then what are your plans?
We are introducing flavored milk. It has low cost and it is something that we are considering.
- How did the idea of re launching the old and famous Keventers strike your mind?
There are 5 people in the Board of Directors – Agastya Dalmia, Gun Nidhi Dalmia, Manju Kapur Dalmia, Sohrab Sitaram and I.
Agastya and I decided to relaunch the brand soon after passing out from college. He have known each other from college and we’ve had a good working relationship. Before Keventers, we were partners in launching Delhi Street Football – 5-a-side football league that was launched in Delhi in 2009 and it was quite a rage back in the days.
We have also worked with Sohrab Sitaram. He started as a consultant with us but due to our excellent rapport with him, he offered him to join in as partner. He is now the CEO of the company.
- Was this re launch preplanned or it just came up?
It just came up.
- What are the day to day difficulties that you face and how do you cope up with them?
We did face a couple of difficulties in the start such as HR. The attrition rates are quite high in this industry. Issues of milk consistency were also there. These problems existed in the initial months but not anymore
- In the industry, whom do you see as your competitors?
Right now, I see no competitors. You only tell me if you know any other milkshake brand? *smiles*
I don’t know any other milkshake brand as such. But years back Keventers was a sensation because it was the only shop in Delhi that sold milkshakes. But these days each and every eating outlet is serving milkshakes.
Our core product is milkshake whereas it is a side product for the other outlets. For us, I don’t see a competition right now.
- Are you into co branding and collaborations?
Not looking at co-branding with any other brand at this point. We only do collaborations for marketing.
- Aman, people of your age (25 years) are still trying to figure out their lives. I would like to ask you some personal questions.
- A) Apart from working hard, what are your hobbies?
Hobbies..? *smiles* I am really into sports. I keep switching sports. Few months I’d do boxing, few months’ gym or swimming. But I don’t get time. Other than that I want to travel.
- B) What is your success mantra?
I believe in working hard. I have given a lot of time to work. There is no particular mantra for me.
- C) Any message to the youth?
*shyly laughs* let us get to this question later as I will have to think about it.
- D) Who is your role model?
No role model as such but I do emulate things from experienced people. My father is definitely one of those people who inspires me on a daily basis. Apart from this, I take inspiration from my co-workers Agastya and Sohrab.
- E) How do you cope up with stress?
Our work environment is very friendly.
- F) Coming back to the question, what message would you give to the youth?
*laughs* I am still young.. So I feel..
*interrupts* Okay, Message to your peers would be?
People are rushing into things but sometimes it is not a wise decision. One must have some experience before getting up into startups.
I had couple of mentors. *smiles and giggles*
- G) Suppose it is me and I want to gain experience in the field of dairy. Is your company willing to provide people some experience? Are you open to college internships?
Absolutely! We are.
- H) Any New Year resolutions?
I was figuring out as I don’t have any resolutions. Maybe it would be spending some more time with family and friends.
(From left- Aman Arora, Agastiya Dalmia and Sorabh Sitaram)
(Aman Arora and Agastiya Dalmia )
An interview by – Shrestha Saxena ( Gourmand from Delhi)