A self-proclaimed cocktail connoisseur and NYU graduate Ayushi Chamaria spent her days bar hopping and trying new cocktails during her 6-year stay in New York. But soon after her return to India, the pandemic hit and the world came to a standstill. For Ayushi, that meant no access to the bars that she so often enjoyed dropping by at. But that did not stop her from nurturing her vocation of devouring new and delicious drinks.
“I decided to satisfy my craving of a good Pina Colada or Cosmopolitan by whipping up some cocktails at home,” says Ayushi. But when she began the process she realized that she had to gather a million ingredients and tools, find and follow the right YouTube tutorial and still be at the risk of failing miserably at making something appetizing. That’s when the idea of Sippin’ was born.
Sippin’ is a Kolkata-based experiential beverage brand that enables people to make cocktails and mocktails that are low-calorie and delicious, within seconds! It was awarded the best low-calorie mixers by Alcobuzz recently and also featured on Pentawards, an esteemed design platform, for their branding and packaging.
Hailing from a business family of tea manufacturing under the name of Tasati Tea, Ayushi was well aware of the fundamentals of starting and running a beverage venture. She grew up imbibing the principles of running a successful business from her father and grandfather where she witnessed them tackle day-to-day challenges as well and the larger struggles.
“The one thing I was always taught growing up is that a business owner must keep in mind the responsibility of the livelihood of all their employees. I believe in establishing long-term, meaningful relations with my team members, as the success of the company depends on the aggregate effort of everyone. I’m also extremely thankful for the insights and mentorship I have received from my family in this regard.”
With starting something on your own comes the pressure of performing. When Ayushi first began working on Sippin’ she used to feel a frantic need to catch up to other brands. “Over the years I have accepted that everyone is at different phases of development. I now try to identify what the need of the hour is for Sippin’, and I’ve started spending more time planning and strategizing so that execution can go smoothly. This has really helped me organize myself and the company better,” says the former Morgan Stanley Analyst turned entrepreneur.
Collaboration over competition
Ayushi is also a firm believer in collaboration over competition and draws immense inspiration from like-minded brands and entrepreneurs by following their journeys and learning about their achievements and mistakes. She follow a lot of D2C brands and their journeys including Amrutam, PeeSafe, Indian Ethnic Co., among others to get marketing inspiration and see what’s trending; marketing accounts like Mad Over Marketing, The Hub Bengaluru, Social Samosa to get tips and tricks; and a lot of alco-bev accounts like OneDrinkADay and The Cocktail Story to keep up with the industry.
Ayushi is also especially influenced by Indra Nooyi, Lori Greiner and Sudha Murthy because of their work. “I am currently drawing major inspiration from Youtuber Jimmy Donaldson, aka Mr. Beast, for his crazy genius concepts and marketing,” she adds.
“”My friends often call me hurricane, because I am quite hyper and effervescent. Although I think that helps me work well under pressure and get stuff done. I think they’d also describe as dedicated and hard-working. I try to maintain a good work-life balance and manage to get my down-time with loved ones by spending time with them post work over games and a few drinks.”
Maintaining work-life balance
Speaking of down-time, Ayushi also admits to being a total night owl. She says she’s tried resetting her schedule several times to get more morning hours but she keeps going back to being her most efficient self in the silence and calm of the night, which she has now accepted.
At the moment, Ayushi has her hands on Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline, a book set in a dystopian world taken over by AI. She also enjoys watching shows and movies and is presently watching The Boys on Amazon Prime which she describes as ‘an extremely gory, albeit brilliant satire on politics and power in the world’.
“I also like to read and watch videos on astrophysics as it gives me a lot of context on how we’re playing tiny parts in the infinite ecosystem of the universe. It helps to keep me grounded and manage stress.”
2022 and the way forward
On an organizational front 2022 seems like an exciting year for Ayushi and Sippin’. They are currently in the process of setting up their own packaging unit which they were previously outsourcing. They are also moving to printed sachet packaging for which they had been using stickers until now. This, she says, is going to allow them to have a lot more control over our inventory and make the packaging even more premium and attractive. Content and marketing is another area that she is looking forward to focusing on. Ayushi is also excited to venture into Horeca to provide better solutions to bars, hotels, restaurants and cafes for their beverage needs.
With more and more young brands joining the D2C realm, what makes them stand out and sustain in the longer run is the team. Having team members who operate from a place of empathy and enthusiasm certainly makes the work a lot easier and seamless.
“I have an all-women’s team at work. This was not by design but more of a co-incidence because the women I work with were indeed the best candidates for the job. I think women have the resilience and zeal to prove themselves, especially in the current socio-political scenario where we’re finally getting opportunities and learning to stand our ground.”
Fun fact: in tea gardens, women are primarily sent out to pluck tea leaves because they’re more efficient, agile and pay more attention to detail!
Sippin' & Amrutam
In her pursuit of building a cult-favourite cocktail-mix brand, Ayushi is looking to build meaningful connections with brands that are honest to their customers and want to put out honest products/services into the world, which is exactly what I think Amrutam stands for.
On her association with us, Ayushi says she feels super inspired by Amrutam. She has personally tried the products and thinks they work phenomenally, so when she got an opportunity to collaborate with Amrutam, she jumped on it. “I love how clean and well established the brand identity and objectives are!” she quips.
Amrutam is beyond thrilled to be collaborating with a one-of-its-kind brand like Sippin’ and is grateful to have Ayushi Chamari as part of our #AmrutamFamily!