follow us

POV: You’re Feeling Stoked with Stoked Kombucha!

Avani Dwivedi (K. K. Birla Goa Campus, ’12) is the founder of Stoked, a brand focused on gut-healthy food and beverages, with Kombucha as the first product in the market.  Kombucha is a tea-based fermented drink that gets one revitalized and brings a feeling of freshness because of its probiotic benefits. Currently, Stoked sells relishing Kombucha across premium HORECA (Hotel, Restaurant, Café) clients and through E-commerce, Quick commerce portals.

First Stint with Entrepreneurship

BITS has always had multiple influences on me with aspirational batchmates who attempted to work on their entrepreneurial ideas during our college days. Even though I never explored entrepreneurship on campus, I was quite clear that I want to build something that adds value to people’s lives. 

After completing my degree, I joined an early-stage Start-upstart-up to learn how things worked, and how to build a company from scratch. During this job stint, I was always looking out for ideas that excited me, ideas that I could pursue with all my heart and resonate with things that I believed in. 

I explored a few ideas till I stumbled upon this fizzy, probiotic fermented tea, while chatting with an ex-colleague who had himself started brewing it after a trip to the US. I loved the taste of it and got to understand how healthy it was. 

Stoked Kombucha Is Born

Being a health-conscious person myself and observing how people’s behavior was shifting towards a healthy lifestyle and food choices, the very concept of Kombucha fit exactly in my idea for a startup. I started researching category development in the US and realized that global giants like Pepsi and Coke have acquired Kombucha players. I understood that Kombucha or the healthy beverage category was not just a trend but was going to stay for a long time.

Being an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship comes with a lot of learning experiences and challenges.

The right taste that is palatable to Indian customers had to be figured out to crack the B2B segment that I had chosen to begin the brand journey with. We were fortunate to be associated with the best hospitality brands like Comorin, Indian Accent, Roseate, Leela, etc. right from the beginning. It not only helped us in establishing product credibility, but also helped in identifying the right consumer palate and developing the right flavors that excite Indian customers.

COVID hampered the growth of our product, but we worked on figuring out alternative channels to sustain the business and makes the product available to the customers. For every challenge that came up, we tried focusing on the next best step that should be taken with given constraints like cash flow, resources, and market constraints.

Future Plans

Future plans are really exciting for Stoked. This year, we have raisesd funds at the seed stage and have figured out the kind of brand we want to build with sharp positioning and branding. We will be adding multiple other categories to our portfolio of products that are great for our consumers. Our focus will be on communicating health benefits, and great taste, that can be conveniently added to their lifestyle with a core focus on gut health. We look forward to expanding the team, adding equally passionate people, and building a strong brand in the Indian beverage space.