Eversys makes its debut in the Indian coffee market where new customers, new clientele, and a new era of educated consumers are looking for quality coffee options from a new wave of specialty chain operators.
Prior to 2022, espresso machine manufacturer Eversys considered India to be a “virtual market”. Tea remained the number one consumed beverage – besides whiskey and beer – with coffee not even on the radar, but all that is changing.
“Every time I go to a coffee shop in India, you can see that the young generation is not drinking tea anymore. It’s a coffee generation. Everyone below 30 years old has the laptop open, they’re working, they’re studying, and they’re sipping on a coffee,” says Jack Mhanna, Eversys Regional Operations Director of the Middle East.
With a population of 1.4 billion people, which is already greater than Europe’s 746.4 million and soon to surpass China’s according to the United Nations, Mhanna says the millennial generation presents a huge potential for the growing Indian coffee market.
“In the past few years, we’ve really started to see its development – starting with the quality of coffee beans it produces. Specialty coffee chains that we partner with, like Third Wave Coffee, Blue Tokai Coffee and Tim Hortons, use locally-grown coffee, which means the quality has come a long way,” Mhanna says.
Prior to starting partnerships with these three chains last year, Eversys had no presence in the Indian market. Now, Mhanna says it’s become one of the biggest markets for Eversys’ Middle East office, and one with the most potential.
“In the beginning we thought that establishing partnerships in India would be challenging due to high import taxes and the fact that the industry is in a very early stage of development. The capacity to use high-end machines was not evident. That has changed with people looking for high-quality technology, and with that comes opportunity for growth,” Mhanna says.
“When brands see the quality of beverage and the consistency that comes from Eversys, they fall in love with our machine’s technology. This is the beginning for Eversys in India. The potential for growth is big, and it’s snowballing.”
The two largest growth markets for Eversys are the country’s capital, New Delhi, and Bangalore, the largest city of the southern Indian state of Karnataka.
Overall, the Cameo is the most dominant Eversys machine in the Indian market, capable of making two espressos at once or 175 espressos per hour. However, Eversys has recently shipped its first Shotmaster machine, the largest and most powerful in its range, to Bangalore airport for a Third Wave Coffee outlet producing around 1500 cups of coffee per day.
“You can have a high, medium, and low foot traffic coffee shop and have three different Eversys machines that produce exactly the same ratio of espresso. The only difference is their capacity output,” Mhanna says.
It’s for this reason that Ayush Bathwal, Co-Founder of Third Wave Coffee Roasters, decided to partner with Eversys.
“When we hit 20 to 25 cafés doing anywhere between 180 to 250 cups a day, it was very clear to us that we could not use traditional machines [any longer]. We know that being a barista is a specialised job, and there’s great pride in the job, but we also knew hiring staff would be a challenge and that there would be constant turnover. We had a clear indication that we would have to move to something more automatic. We were looking for a machine that would do as good a cup as [our traditional machines did],” Bathwal says.
“One of our suppliers showed us videos of the Eversys machines and the technology in them. We had a chat to Federico Ortile [Eversys MEIA Team] and Jack, and we put a machine on the bar to try. We were really impressed with the consistency it delivered.”
A month later, Third Wave Coffee put an order in. To date, 60 Eversys Cameo machines have been installed across Third Wave Coffee outlets.
“We have been able to optimise the amount of space we require on the coffee bar thanks to the machine’s small footprint,” Bathwal says.
“We’ve also come to realise that the customer just wants a good cup of coffee, and whether it’s done by a robot or human really does not matter.
“We’ve been able to show people that we can have consistency, and even internally, people have come to appreciate the Eversys machine. Our staff can optimise the time spent making coffee. Previously, it may have taken about 25 to 30 minutes to have the machine set up and ready for the day. Now it takes about three to four minutes.”
Third Wave Coffee operates 97 coffee shops across six cities in India. It aims to open about 70 this financial year, and about 80 to 100 next year, with the goal to achieve 1500 to 2000 stores over the next four to five years.
“We see a massive opportunity in India. I think there’s a very brief moment in a company’s history where you can capture the market and achieve very fast growth, and that’s what we’re trying to do now, at a steady rate – be an everyday coffee brand,” Bathwal says.
He says one of the most encouraging developments in the past seven years has been customer’s understanding of what makes a good coffee versus a bad one.
“That education is due to the sheer number of specialty coffee roasters and coffee shops available, which means chains like Third Wave Coffee have to be focused on quality: ensuring milk is textured at the right temperature, and that our coffee is sourced well, roasted fresh, and consistent. People do notice the difference,” Bathwal says.
“Previously, the biggest headache used to be staff learning how to correctly steam milk and mastering that before they went into a store. Now we don’t have to worry. We can teach someone how to make a good cappuccino in 15 minutes, and it means our baristas can focus on other interesting things around coffee and talk about those things in detail to customers.”
Beyond the machine’s operational capabilities, Bathwal says Eversys machines are “futuristic”. He can access telemetry data remotely, roll out new recipes, and make software upgrades without physically being present in the café or relying on staff to act correctly.
Mhanna mentions that just yesterday, he connected to an Eversys machine in India while working from Dubai.
“The telemetry system is a huge advantage because of India’s large geography,” he says. “Ayush is an IT engineer, so he was very impressed to know how telemetry works and the data we receive from the machine. I’m confident to say that customers [in the Indian market] haven’t seen it on any other machine because they typically use manual or entry-level machines, so it’s an impressive new feature for them.”
The system also collects sensor data, which is monitored remotely to identify additional issues, such as water pressure or power supply problems, so that Eversys can support their customers in managing operational changes.
It’s this level of support that Bathwal values just as much as his cafés’ technical needs.
“[The Eversys team are] focused on ensuring that you succeed as a business. We met them in the Dubai office, they’ve come down to meet us [in India], and it’s always a very warm experience that feels more like a partnership than a regular client relationship,” Bathwal says.
It’s partnerships like these that Eversys hopes to continue as more Indian customers discover the capabilities of Eversys, and its 14 years of industry experience.
“The transformation the Indian market is going through is exciting. Big change is happening due to new entrants with a higher quality and productivity focus Third Wave Coffee, or Tim Hortons who only entered the market last year. What we are really aiming for, right now, is establishing Eversys as the equipment of choice for this new breed, this new generation of coffee shops in India,” says Eversys Commercial and Marketing Director, Christian Haueter.
“I don’t feel we need to set a target of mass. Rather, I believe we should focus on the new generation of coffee brands that benefit from our technology, and grow with them over the next couple of years. We have a really great feeling for the upcoming development in the Indian market with Eversys.” GCR