Here’s the story of another food entrepreneur who took control of his life and chose to grab opportunity to by its horns. Dhaval Panchal, one of the founders of ‘Frootle’ and ‘Cold Play Juices’ tells about his experience as he moved from a job of selling electronics to starting one of the first brands of cold-pressed and “on the go” juices in India. He is one of the four guys who decided to give up their lucrative corporate jobs and chase a common dream.
How did he do it? Here are the juicy bits and pieces of his story:
What was your annual compensation or CTC when you decided to leave your job?
I was earning AED 11000 per month, approximately 2 Lakh Indian rupees a month (In hand).
How much did the experience at your previous job push you towards starting ‘Cold Play Juices’? Any particular reason/incident?
I was lucky to work in a team that was closely knit, so it was fun to work in my previous job. It was only that I was not very keen to keep selling electronics all my life. I felt I could do more with myself. My reporting manager was an inspiration too. Being a passionate person himself, he would exclaim many times – “If this was your last day on earth, would you still be trying to manage this ageing inventory? If not, then you’re not yet in the right career!!!”
How were you able to decide ‘the one thing’ about which you were passionate and had to make a career in?
When you are not working in your area of passion, you tend to see every thing else as interesting. There is no way to tell which area would you totally revel working in, unless you try. I researched in my free time – read, saw videos, etc and zeroed in on the following fields – Healthy lifestyle, alternate education, adventure travel, human psychology and technology! I decided to come up with business concepts in these fields. One of these concepts was discussed with old friends from Mumbai. The plan was around health juices, it struck a note. We knew we could make a difference. Before I knew it, I was considering resigning my existing job to chase a passion!
How did your friends and family, especially parents react to this? Was there a student loan angle?
Bring an FMS passout, there was no student loan angle! My friends were supportive, only that they were worried I wont have a social life once I devote myself to Frootle and Cold play.
My parents were skeptical but they approved the fact that this was the best time to chase your dreams without being held back!
What are some of the things that you would be thankful to your previous job for? (for ex. reality check, crash course in interpersonal politics, training for heavy workloads, applicable domain knowledge and so on)
In the last job, I was working as a purchase and merchandise manager, for gaming and lifesyle. Some of the things I learnt were business conduct, business strategy and negotiations. It also helped in gaining confidence that I could succeed in the business world!
Describe ‘Cold Play Juices’ and ‘Frootle’ in your own words?
We are a team of 4 friends and are presently operating under two brands named ‘Cold Play’ and ‘Frootle’. We make freshly pressed juices which have no preservatives, sugar or ice! The best thing about cold pressing is that maximum nutrients are retained in the juice. With greater awareness people are shifting from packaged juices or traditional blender juices to Cold pressed juices.
The ideology is making a Healthy Lifestyle convenient for everyone!
With Frootle, we aim to capture the ‘On The Go’ market of India. With locations such as stations, malls and corporate parks, we serve juices made freshly in front of the customer. Presently Frootle has two outlets on Andheri ans DN Nagar metro stations.
Cold Play is a hyper-local model for these cold presses juices. Customers can order juices at their doorstep/office desk by placing a phone call and soon enough, through an app. They can also plan for an entire month and pay upfront.
This is as concise as I can get!
What genre of food did you want to offer people and what was the inspiration/reason behind this choice?
We were studying the Indian market from November last year. There was a dearth of organized fresh juices that we saw in the market. We also saw that a lot of Indians were keen on moving from aerated drinks or packaged drinks to healthier options. We researched on different juicing technologies and finally found the best way to make fresh pressed juice for one serving.
The best part about our concept is that we would be selling something which is genuinely healthy. Also, there’s the possibility of consuming tonnes of fruits and vegetables, thus directly benefiting the Indian farmer. So from imported products we would suddenly make the country shift to a completely indigenous product!
Tell us about those “words that come to you in dark times” (from literature, movies, music and people).
Well, dark times can never be avoided but they are the birth places for new ideas. Pursuit of Happyness, Cindrella Man, TED talks are some of the places I seek inspiration from. But mostly, it is from within yourself that you have to find the inspiration to keep going on!
What next for Frootle and Cold Play Juices?
We have a long long way to go. This is the most exciting time for us as there is a lot of potential to grow in Mumbai, where we have started, soon expanding to other cities. We are getting a very good response; now the game is all about being at maximum places such that people can try our juices!
What next for Dhaval Panchal?
I’m devoted to Frootle and Cold Play. So where they go I shall go!
There are a few other start-ups where I was present at the inception, I’ll try to play a role there too! As a very good friend of mine says – “Our mind has immense potential & power, though we hardly harness or understand any of it. You gotta go where you think you can unleash the power & freedom of your mind and then craziness is within reach. A free mind- the powerhouse of visionary clarity.” Incidently, he happens to be the founder of Writopedia and THC labs, Hardeep Pathak!
As the wheels of life keep rolling, Dhaval continues to harness his inner wisdom and strives to achieve his dream. The very idea of his venture may have sparked remarks like “You quit a well-paying job to squeeze juice out of fruits?”, but what they fail to see is a man who is free to chase his passion and build his life around something he loves dearly. This is true achievement in the real sense, unlike the corporates who keep churning the mill of life only to drown in pieces of paper worth literally nothing.
Be on the look out for “Cold Play Juices” and “Frootle” products, which may be at your doorstep sooner than you think!
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