The unsullied tale of ‘GoliSoda’

The city-based start-up is now expanding by leaps and bounds

By Author  |  Published: 28th Mar 2018  11:28 pmUpdated: 28th Mar 2018  6:45 pm

Love for tasty, healthy food can take people to places. It was one such journey that prompted four young gentlemen to concoct an assortment of preservative-free, ethnic thirst quenchers with seasonal produce. GoliSoda have won the hearts of Hyderabadis right from its pilot venture.

The city-based start-up recently launched 10 ethnic natural beverages, which will be available in major drive-ins, close to 90 restaurants and on Swiggy. The company also announced the launch of 10 new outlets that are soon to begin operations, spreading wings to Bangalore and
Chennai.

In a candid conversation, Ravi Teja Jallepalli, founder, narrates the unsullied tale of GoliSoda.
Excerpts:

Idea in the brewing

I’m a chartered accountant and have a diploma in Economics from London School. Later, I worked with Wipro as a risk manager. I was always enthusiastic about food, fitness, nutrition and diet. Back in 2016, the idea first struck me when I figured out a gap in the industry, which was dominated by aerated beverages and preserved products. I always had a craving for more natural beverages like the coconut water and the sugarcane juice. It sounded like a lucrative market to look into.

The road trip

I discussed the idea with my co-founder Krishna, an MBA graduate, and we did a food trip across the regions of Andhra. We sampled 15 to 20 different drinks and they were really fascinating; like the Rose Milk from Rajahmundry. We decided we should get these drinks into the metro cities and shared the idea with two other friends who are engineers. Both of them liked the product. We did some randomised sample trials with the help of friends from other institutes like ISB. The response was phenomenal.

Top five bestsellers

Last year this time, we ventured into our pilot project. We started our own stores to see how regular customers responded. Within the first one month, we were on the top five bestsellers on Swiggy. We wanted to give the customers products in their natural form. But then, the shelf life was a problem. So, through a lot of researches, we on-boarded a food technologist and realised there are other processes. Although difficult, we tried them and it worked. We could kick up coconut water’s shelf life up to 15 days.

GoliSoda

We wanted a name synonymous with natural and fresh. But they had become cliché. People were jaded with the brown colour and organic label. We did not want to tag ourselves to it. We wanted to retain a fun factor. GoliSoda reminds you of the carts which used to sell the local and street-side drinks, which we were intending to get into.

Challenges

Nobody has ever taken up the adventure to take up a brand with products that have two-three days shelf life. We were initially sceptical to do this, especially with a lot of wastage around and logistics to be planned carefully around it. We’ve cracked it anyhow. Second major concern was the wastage. We have good friends, who’ve studied in the likes of Stratford University. So, they came along and gave us a helping hand, doing models based on the algorithm to get the demand forecast right.