Amid Uncertain H-1B Visas, This Indo-American Startup Is Inspiring Fellow Entrepreneurs To Follow Their Indian Dream
The bubble tea market was valued at $2.4 billion in 2019 and is estimated to reach $4.3 billion by 2027, according to reports.
Hyderabad, Telangana —
“You are supposed to hold the glass at a 45-degree angle and drink without stirring so you can taste all the layers effectively”, says Abhishek Madugula, Founder, MAD & Co, an Authentic Bubble tea brand, interacting with customers outside his store. Abhishek, along with his wife Shruti, joined the group of entrepreneur NRIs who turned their back on the American Dream. Their quest for happiness has led them to convert their passion into joining the burgeoning F&B start-up ecosystem.
On asking how the journey unfolded, Abhishek said, “While working for IBM, we always spoke about the uncertainty of life on H-1B. The Transfer – Extension process and the wait time for Green Card which ultimately lead to thoughts of finding a new land of opportunities.”
MAD & Co is a global fusion brand uniting authentic Pan-Asian traditions, curated to the Indian doorstep. The menu consists of Bubble Teas from Singapore, Cheese Teas from Thailand, Fruit Teas from Japan, Black Pearl from Hong Kong and Dirty MAD Tea all the way from the USA. MAD & Co seeks to revolutionize the category of bubble teas with their Speedy System, technology and craft the best bubble teas in the market. They are building a tribe over their Facebook as well as their Instagram handle ‘mad_nd_co‘.
“It was one fateful day on Times Square, New York City where I had my first sip of Bubble Tea that changed our lives forever”, quips Shruti, who still remembers the memory vividly. Bidding adieu to their jobs, the ‘MAD couple’ as they like to call themselves, started exploring the world of bubble tea, pouring their life’s savings into learning the authentic processes of preparation in Taiwan, the land of origin of Bubble Tea. Innumerable product testing & tasting sessions later, they perfected the recipe for the Indian market.
They set up the first store of MAD & Co at Sarath City (AMB) Mall, Hyderabad in 2019. According to a recent report, the bubble tea market was valued at $2.4 billion in 2019 and is estimated to reach $4.3 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 7.80% through the forecast period. With the unprecedented health crisis that COVID-19 has brought with it, there is a rise in healthy living trend and the popularity of Bubble Tea among all age groups, attributed to its health benefits.
MAD & Co is ready to join hands with India’s fastest growing beverage brand, The ThickShake Factory. With an investment of $5 Million to open 250 locations via an omnichannel approach, they plan to cover retail stores, drive-throughs, cloud kitchens and airports including Hyderabad & Delhi over the next 2 years.
“We have been exploring the Bubble Tea category for quite some time and are pleased to be joining hands with MAD & Co,” said M Yeshwanth Nag, Founder of The ThickShake Factory, along with his brother Ashwin Mocherla. “As fellow entrepreneurs, we have been pretty impressed with Shruti and Abhi’s passion and their vision for the future.”
“We intend to make the best of this opportunity where we share key business values – focusing on clients, our employees, and delivering significant business value through high-quality solutions. We are a brand that is made in India and proudly so, look forward to creating bigger brands”, added Ashwin.
The ThickShake Factory is a market leader in Milkshakes segment in India with over 130 stores and has a presence in the USA as well. The partnership of MAD & Co with The ThickShake Factory brings to fore the changing dynamics of the foodservice industry and the huge potential it has to offer for Entrepreneur NRIs to chase their dreams.
It is India’s 1st Premium Thick Shake Brand founded in 2013 and has been a pioneer in the culture of slurping scrumptious flavours. The brand brings the best flavours in the form of not just ThickShakes, but a complete range of cold coffee varieties, slushes, chocolate & fruit flavours.