Inspiration in a tea cup: The journey of Senso Foods

In this inaugural interview under the Food Frontiers series, India Business & Trade engages with Nauman and Yatin Charaniya, two enterprising brothers who have turned tea, India’s favorite beverage into an instant premix available worldwide with Senso Foods. 

The journey of Senso Foods commenced when the brothers discovered a critical gap in the market – while people were craving the taste of Indian tea, the existing premix options lacked authenticity. Through an unwavering focus on product quality, consistency and taste, the two brothers have developed Senso Foods into a global brand. To cater to health conscious customers,  they have also successfully launched a series of  innovative products like turmeric latte, vegan beetroot latte, and other vegan lattes. In fact, their vegan beetroot latte was the winning entry at the recently concluded Indus Innovation awards, organised on the sidelines of Indusfood 2024.

Instant tea Senso - tpci

IBT: Please provide an overview of your journey as the CEO and founder of Senso Foods, from researching trends in the beverage market, to taking on the Senso Brand name in 2013, to entering the international market in 2015 and becoming a successful global brand today?

Nauman Charaniya: As the founder and managing director of Senso Foods, my journey began with a vision to bring the much-loved, authentic taste of Chai (tea) to the masses in a convenient, instant form. We noticed that while people craved the traditional taste of Chai, instant tea options lacked authenticity. To fill this gap, we created Senso Tea premixes and launched Senso Foods Pvt Ltd.

Our research highlighted a demand for convenient yet authentic tea. This insight drove our mission to innovate products that offered traditional flavours in an easy-to-prepare format.

By 2015, we expanded internationally, after market research and local partnerships. This strategic move helped us to introduce our authentic tea premixes to a global audience.

Today, Senso Foods is available in over 25 countries and is doing amazingly well.

IBT: What are the core strengths of Senso as a brand today that set it apart from the competition in the category?

Yatin Charaniya: Authentic Taste in an Instant Form: Our ability to deliver the traditional, beloved taste of Chai in a convenient, instant form is a primary strength. We ensure that our products capture the authentic flavours that consumers crave, making it easy for them to enjoy a quality cup of Chai anytime, anywhere.

Variety of Flavours: We offer a diverse range of flavours, including masala, cardamom, and ginger. Additionally, we have developed innovative products like turmeric latte, vegan beetroot latte, and other vegan lattes. These offerings not only cater to traditional tastes but also to contemporary, health-conscious preferences. Our innovative products have been recognised and awarded at prestigious events like Gulfood and Indusfood.

Consistent Quality: Maintaining high and consistent quality across all our products is crucial. Our commitment to quality ensures that every cup of Senso Tea delivers the same delightful experience, building trust and loyalty among our customers.

IBT: Can you provide insights into the current international market landscape and trends in your industry, and how Senso Foods is positioning itself to navigate and leverage these trends?

Nauman Charaniya: In today’s fast-paced world, everyone is constantly on the move, leaving little time for traditional beverage preparation. At Senso Foods, we cater to this need for convenience by offering high-quality, instant solutions. Our instant Chai premixes, turmeric lattes, and vegan lattes deliver authentic taste and health benefits without the hassle.

We understand that people crave the comfort of traditional flavors, even with busy schedules, and our products just fit into their hectic routines. Senso Foods blends tradition with convenience, ensuring that everyone can enjoy their favorite drinks quickly and effortlessly.

IBT: Looking ahead, what are the primary strategies Senso Foods is employing to sustain and expand its presence in both domestic and international markets?

Yatin Charaniya: The primary strategies we are leveraging for our business expansion are as follows:

Product Innovation: We continue to innovate by developing new products that meet evolving consumer preferences.

Market Expansion: We are actively exploring new markets and increasing our global footprint.

Distribution Network Expansion: Expanding their distribution channels to ensure wider availability of their products. This includes partnering with more retailers and exploring e-commerce platforms to reach a broader audience in India as well as outside India.

Marketing and Branding: Strengthening marketing efforts to increase brand awareness and attract new customers. This includes digital marketing, social media campaigns, and collaborations with influencers.

Quality Assurance: Maintaining high standards of quality and consistency in our tea premix  to build trust and loyalty among consumers. 

IBT: As a leader in the food industry, what do you envision as the next frontier or opportunity for Senso Foods, and how do you plan to capitalize on it to drive future growth and innovation?           

Nauman Charaniya: There are some very prominent trends in the food and beverage industry that indicate frontiers of opportunity in the future:

Health and Wellness Focus: The demand for health-focused products continues to rise. We will expand our range of functional beverages, incorporating superfoods, and other health-boosting ingredients. This focus on wellness will cater to the growing consumer segment seeking products that support a healthy lifestyle.

Global Market Expansion: We will continue to explore and enter new international markets.  Our award-winning products and commitment to quality will be key selling points in these expansions.

Personalization and Customization: We offer personalized beverage taste, allowing distributors to customize tea premixes according to their dietary preferences and health needs of a particular country

IBT: How does Senso Foods view India’s current competitive position in the tea premix segment today? What are the major opportunities and challenges for this business?

Nauman Charaniya: Senso Foods believes that India’s role in the tea premix market is growing. More people are looking for quick and easy drink options. Even though India was slower to start using tea premixes compared to other areas, the demand is now growing fast because busy people want instant products.

The key challenges that we need to address are as below:

Market Penetration: Despite the growing demand, tea premixes are still relatively new in India compared to traditional tea consumption, posing a challenge for market penetration and consumer acceptance.

Competition: The tea premix segment is becoming increasingly competitive with both established players and new entrants competing for market share, making it crucial in International market.

Supply Chain Management: Supply Chain Management: Ensuring a reliable supply is maintained as per demand involves challenges like customs regulations and compliance, which can cause delays. Maintaining product quality during long transit times and through different climates requires stringent quality control. Currency fluctuations and documentation requirements further complicate the process. Additionally, transportation time, communication barriers, and cultural differences add layers of complexity to international trade.

Consumer Education: Educating consumers about the benefits and convenience of tea premixes is essential for driving adoption, requiring sustained marketing and promotional efforts.

Price Sensitivity: Many consumers in India and as well as other countries are price-sensitive, which means Senso Foods needs to balance affordability with quality to attract and retain customers.

Nauman Charaniya and Yatin Charaniya are two extraordinary entrepreneurs who have turned tea, India’s favorite beverage into an instant premix available worldwide with Senso Foods. Over time, the company has expanded its product range to a number of interesting beverage categories, which are now being exported all over the world.

Nauman Charaniya, the founder and Managing Director of Senso Foods, dreamt of sharing the authentic taste of Indian beverages with the world in a quick and easy form. His vision and passion have driven the company’s growth.

Yatin Charaniya, the Executive Director of Senso Foods, handles execution and operations, ensuring that the products are of the highest quality and reach people everywhere.

These two brothers have built Senso Foods into a successful company, making customers happy with their tasty and convenient instant beverage mixes. Their teamwork and dedication continue to bring their products to a global audience.

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