Ms Rukhsana Parveen Haque, Corporate head of the People Services Department of a Real Estate Developer Company has recently embarked on the journey of realising her dream of becoming an Entrepreneur. “I started my own cafe, Coffee Tales in Gurgaon on 14th Feb, 2020 and have made sincere efforts to sustain our clientele even during the times of COVID-19. We have resumed our full-fledged operations since 8th June 2020 and we are the only Cafe operating out of the Commercial Complex since lockdown” tells Rukhsana. Worldwide, experts estimate that people drink about 2.5 billion cups of coffee a day. Even during lockdown period, the online search for “How to make Dalgona coffee at home” was at the top on Google. So, let’s learn from Rukhsana, what you need to do to open a Coffee Shop?
Aside from a passion/love, that it is your dream venture, you should get a few things right in order to get your shop up and running. Having a backup for your living is a must, this is true for any startup because it takes time to grow and establish. Here’s what you must consider when starting a coffee shop.
- Write a business plan
- Study your finance options thoroughly
- Find the right location
- Design a floor plan with a welcoming exterior
- Employ a good manager who is a Leader in his/her own right
- Compare prices and quality on everything
- Hire and train staff as per your standards
- Develop a sound marketing plan including digital media
When I visited Coffee Tales, I was amazed by the attitude of Vikas and Ruksana. Enriched with his experience in retail sector, Vikas is managing and founder partner at Coffee Tales. The warmth of coffee laced with welcoming and feel at home attitude of the staff is something which caught my attention. A good collection of books is available for the those who love to read while sipping coffee, with favourite music numbers and mind-blowing aroma of coffee beans. The personal touch of the services were to the extent that Vikas will remember your preferences and will serve you customised. I heard regular customers approaching him with a smile asking “ Mera wala sandwich and coffee” and. Vikas knew exactly which bread ,vegetables, ingredients, how much spicy and crispy it has to be. Here at Coffee Tales everything is about bonding. Most amazing varieties of cold brew coffee is the specialty here.
Those were challenging times that within 40 days of its inauguration, Covid 19 lockdown situation hit the business. But after the Unlock, with positive energy Rukhsana decided to reopen with all the requisite precautions. The hygiene and sanitisation rules, social distancing and face masks guidelines were issued to the staff. In the wake of the pandemic, they have introduced health food options to be served with the coffee.
“You need to be involved and be on ground if you want to progress, I would prefer to serve a story, a perspective, along with the coffee to my guests”, says Vikas.
In spite of busy schedule, you will find Rukhsana and Vikas involved in the shopping and selecting the best quality breads and exotic vegetables. Maintaining quality and experimenting with new healthy snacking options are the most sought after thing for them. This is the reason the Coffee Tales is an experience to cherish.
“If I were to attribute my having reached this point in life to one personality trait, it would probably be my stubbornness , a zeal to perform and carve out a niche for myself, says Rukhsana. She started her schooling from Holy Child, Guwahati and then finished her tenth boards from St. Joseph’s Tezpur. Thereafter, she passed her Higher Secondary from Cotton College, Guwahati and went to Aligarh Muslim University to complete her Bachelors in Physics & secure a Masters in Business Administration . This ex Indian Air Force officer has a temperament of a wonder woman. Her twelve year long career as an Administrative Officer in the IAF has made her to be a disciplined, decisive, supremely confident and more people-oriented. Happily married to an Airforce officer, Rukhsana has a busy schedule starting from morning 5 to night 10.
Her love for adventure earned her a para-badge after completion of basic Skydiving course at National Defence Academy, Pune. Always bristling with energy, Squadron Leader Rukhsana (Retd.) has established herself as a born rebel by defying her age. She along with Wing Commander Anupama Joshi (Retd.) were the first set of IAF Officers to knock the High Court of Delhi for grant of Permanent commission (PC) to women officers in Armed forces. Rukhsana is an avid Cyclist and completes a Century every now and then. Just like that!! She also runs half marathons and dreams of running a Full marathon very soon. In fact Vikas too is associated with cycling and running since last 8 years. Rukhsana started serious cycling with Vikas in 2016 and has completed more than 30,000 km of Cycling & 3000 km of Running. She plans to cycle around the world in countless days!
One should have positive attitude, be ready to work hard and involve thoroughly. That’s the success mantra for any startup. As she says quite often, the old adage, “Where there is a Will, there has to be a Way!! “After all, a lot more can be experienced at Coffee Tales, so reach out to them at DLF’s South Point Mall, 202B (Second Floor) Sector 53, Golf Course Road, Gurugram, Haryana, India, for an adventurous cup of Coffee and Tales of healthy snacks and fitness to move on.