“Our motto is to unite the nation through craft while promoting the craft culture and benefiting the community around us.”
Ironhill India, a chain of award-winning microbreweries, operates primarily in the Southern part of India. It is now gearing towards growing Pan India. The Enterprise World is proud to introduce them in The Best Franchise to Buy In 2022.
The company began its journey in 2017 with its first outlet in Vizag. Since then, it has spread to Rajahmundry, Vijayawada, Hyderabad, Nellore, and Bengaluru, with the latter being the world’s largest microbrewery. With a focus on a fantastic range of Craft Beers, great food, foot-tapping music, and a pleasant ambiance, Ironhill aims to foster the craft brew experience.
They leverage the wisdom of their expert brew-masters, who have travelled around the world unearthing some of the most supreme flavors to savor. Having brewed the beer varieties with locally sourced raw materials, they have authentic as well innovative craft beers over numerous global styles.
Ironhill India Craft Beers are a testimony to the real value of authentic and flavor of high-quality ingredients sourced locally and internationally.
With a strong promotional base and a healthy product mix, Ironhill microbreweries provide world-class offerings that give the competitors a run for their money. The only off-limits at Ironhill is cutting corners in any of their offerings, be it craft beer, food, ambiance, or even hospitality.
They believe that communication holds a significant part, internally within their teams as well as externally with their patrons. They have a solid mechanism in place where they understand the needs and aspirations of their patrons via effective communication. It is a key to their success. This in turn has translated to increasing efficiencies in their operations and marketing. Apart from the business part of things, they take care of their employees while having a customer-first policy.
“Ironhill India offer the perfect mix for our patrons so that they keep coming back to us for more.”
The initial challenges for the company were mainly to do with India being a nascent beer market. The awareness, especially in Tier 2 cities, was seen to be quite low. While the company saw the scope in those markets, it was certainly a risk they took on.
Along with generating awareness about the product, building brand image and gaining a loyal customer base to establish a sustainable business were high priorities. They have since then cracked that formula only to see them growing in leaps and bounds.
When the pandemic hit, it definitely impacted the business and added to some extent, some uncertainty. This massive blow shook the entire industry.
Not knowing whether the business will boom again was one of the biggest fears that they have faced to date. However, with the team that they have had in place, their strong beliefs, and the support of their trusted patrons, they overcame those challenges and emerged stronger and even better than before.
“Ironhill India are driven, innovative, and extremely focused in what we do.”
Post-pandemic, the Ironhill India squad was ready on a war footing with an excellent operations team backed up by an efficient marketing team. They were all set to get into motion and this dedication gave them a first-mover advantage in terms of their ability to be agile and attract customers with innovative offerings.
With their amazing marketing and PR teams working round the clock, they ensured that the company had a steady outreach and communication program. The commendable thought is that this was done even throughout the pandemic. As the pandemic-related regulations were lifted, they were primed for growth and had to merely maintain the quality of the product offerings. This brilliant move has definitely won over their patrons.
All for one, one for all
Ironhill India has gone from 1 outlet to 6, with an aim of growing to 30 more outlets in the next 5 years.
“That’s our way of ensuring that Ironhill India help the local community around us grow while we build the craft culture.”
Their revenue has increased from 0 to 150+cr in the last 5 years of operations. Despite the pandemic, the footfalls that they see have almost tripled with over 2.5 million customers already served. They are definitely on the upward hill on a month-on-month basis. The numbers that they are doing now are in fact on par or in some cases, better than they were in pre-pandemic times.
What makes them unique?
“Ironhill India brew aims to capture the spirit of human connection that sparks the whimsical and cheerful nature of the ambiance in every Ironhill brewery.”
The strong confidence in communication sets the company apart. They know that their customers like to be heard and when they hear them out, the company is able to communicate well with them and give them what they really want. This personalized touch leads to them vocalizing about the brand in the market, which leads to steady word-of-mouth publicity. This in turn translates to customer acquisition and customer retention.
In order to ensure that the company understands their customer well, they have various checks and SOPs in place to follow through so that nothing goes amiss. This is drilled into each of their staff members, be it in front of the house or back of the house.
Ironhill India promises to innovate and provide best-in-class service in an environment that bolsters the craft brew experience. To them, the key is to be consistent and that will help them grow in leaps and bounds.
Team for the win
The company Ironhill India has a very acute hiring strategy in place. They have administered an employee roster that has a healthy mix of experienced professionals, as well as young blood, which has ensured that they have a prudent way of growing.
“Ironhill India, in fact, support our staff’s aspiration.”
The company trusts in team spirit and considers its team members as one of the biggest assets. They conduct training sessions from time to time to ensure their staff grows and should they want to learn, they take out all stops to ensure the staff gets the technical know-how.
They look to hire locally as much as possible. They believe that this helps their company with an in-depth understanding of the local markets and allows them to easily adapt to the business and community as a whole. They offer industry-standard remunerations while giving them performance-linked incentives on a regular basis.
Teja Chekuri – Ironhill India – The Visionary Behind The Empire
“Believe in your vision, be agile, be humble and there is no substitute for hard work.”
Teja Chekuri is a staunch, steadfast, and quite tenacious entrepreneur. He believes that an entrepreneur is more than just a business owner. It is with the entrepreneur that the buck stops. Right from ensuring ethical practices, stakeholder happiness, and ensuring great staff morale to making sure that the product is innovative and is marketed well, everything boils down to the entrepreneur.
What started as a humble single microbrewery business now has turned into six microbreweries and growing rapidly. Ironhill India has not only reached 150+ cr. mark, but also has won numerous awards in the Beer and Ambience category at various events over the years. In spite of the awards, Teja Chekuri, says that he is still humbled in the light of the overall satisfaction of having been accepted and been given love by the patrons.
Having a background in IT, he has dabbled in the hospitality industry for a while and has interests in the US F&B market as well. He has successfully established and brands such as the Godavari, 1947, Vaanga, Madras Dosa Co among others in the US market.
In the Indian market, apart from this vast chain of microbreweries, he runs Prost – an upscale microbrewery, and Ironhill Café – a chain of cafes in Hyderabad. Furthermore, he is also in the process of launching a few more outlets, such as Pangeo – an upscale contemporary lounge, Asie – a Pan Asian restaurant and Purple Potato – a restaurant that focuses on Modern Indian Cuisine.
With the necessary know-how and decades of experience, Mr. Teja Chekuri brings his magic into building innovative businesses that can not only compete but be the best in their segment.