Two 21YO students start a ready to drink iced tea brand; generate ₹10-15 lakhs per month

FOMO Brews on Shark Tank India Season 3

“Kya Pila Raha Hai Yaar! Flavoured Cheeni Aur Dawai Ke Alawa Option Nahi Hai Kya?”

“Bhai Ye Saare Products Dekh Aur Phir Inke Label Dekh, Iss Iced Tea Main Tea Hi Nahi Hai”

Iced teas and lemonades are no longer what they seem. Some don’t even contain the ingredients they guarantee. 

Why is this happening? Are the big corporations focusing on profit over quality?

Why do they charge consumers a premium price when they produce these beverages cheaply?

Two 21-year-olds from Delhi, Avik Chaudhery and Gaurang Gadia, sought answers to these questions and came up with cheaper and better alternatives to the low-quality and expensive beverages available in the market.

They founded FOMO, a No B.S guilt-free beverage startup, in August 2022 to disrupt the Indian beverage market.

Startup Pedia felt privileged to hear an inspiring startup story of two 21-year-old entrepreneurs from co-founder Gaurang as he gracefully came forward to discuss it.

The Origin Story:

Avik and Gaurang always enjoyed hydrating beverages as opposed to dehydrating soda drinks. 

Me and my co-founder used to love hydration beverages – ice teas, lemonades, etc”: Gaurang said while talking to Startup Pedia.

During their DU days, when they visited the market, they discovered that most iced teas available there did not contain any tea. 

Avik and Gaurang at Modern High School
Avik and Gaurang at Modern High School

Most of the beverages that are served in hotels, and restaurants…they are made using sugar syrups…similar to all the ready-to-drink cola and sodas in the market”, explained the Delhi-based entrepreneur.

This realisation prompted them to fill the gap in the market and create a better option for people looking to consume healthier beverages.

We’re serving healthy sugar, that is, unrefined sugar in the form of honey and khaand in our beverages”: Gaurang added.

The timing was perfect as people craved healthier beverages during Covid pandemic days as they contain tea and antioxidants. 

However, they factored in the Indian populace’s v taste significantly while buying food or drink.

So, they decided to use honey and khaand to sweeten the iced tea.

For trials, they prepared some samples at home and shared them with friends at DU. Upon receiving positive feedback, they started producing our iced teas.

When asked about the idea behind their startup’s bohemian name, Gaurang said it meant “finding out meaning opportunities.”

He added, “The whole thought is we want FOMO to stand for missing out on all soul-fulfilling opportunities…the only FOMO you gotta have is the beverage we serve.”

Founder Background:

Gaurang is 21 years old and is studying Master of Business Laws from National Law University, Bengaluru. 

Avik is pursuing an executive MBA from Stoa, Bengaluru. They had started FOMO in the third year of college.

Both completed their graduation courses from Delhi University. 

When asked about their decision to enrol for a program over a thousand miles away, the FOMO co-founder clarified that he had multiple reasons.

In India, parents always want their child to do a master’s. Also, I wanted to do a course related to the business stream, and fortunately, I got a seat for an NLU course where attendance wasn’t mandatory.”

Talking about the qualities required to be a great entrepreneur, he opined a balance between purpose and creativity.

 “An entrepreneur is a mixture of both purpose and creativity. Like there needs to be some creativity to be a great entrepreneur and a purpose you’re driven to realise towards.”

Product’s eureka moment:

FOMO Brews Iced Tea
FOMO Brews Iced Tea

Two 20-year-old guys from Delhi had the idea of creating recipes while trying to cook in the kitchen. 

However, their attempts were somewhat messy. Nevertheless, they claimed their iced teas were born out of this mess. Since their recipes were kitchen-made instead of a lab, the teas taste great and are naturally light.

Their next challenge was to avoid using refined ingredients, preservatives, and chemicals. 

To achieve this, they decided to use ingredients sourced from the hinterlands of India, such as tea, honey, and khand. 

Once they established their brand, they realised why many products used these shady ingredients. 

But, being from Delhi, they refused to back down.

FOMO offers freshly brewed iced teas with no refined sugar, preservatives, or concentrates. 

FOMO Brews Iced Tea
FOMO Brews Iced Tea

They are available at restaurants, corporate offices, marketplaces, and embassies. However, they are closely working to make FOMO available in quick commerce channels like Instamart, Blinkit, Zepto, etc. 

However, one can also order a FOMO beverage through its official website and Amazon.

Shark Tank India Appearance:

Shark Tank India Appearance
Shark Tank India Appearance

FOMO Brews, a company that produces guilt-free drinks, has secured a deal worth Rs.35 lakhs at the Shark Tank IIndiaSeason 3. 

They asked for Rs 35 lakh for 4% equity. 

Anupam Mittal, the Founder and CEO of Shaadi.com, was impressed with the founders and said, “Avik, Gaurang, I like you guys. You have the potential to learn. I think you’re adaptable. The best part is that after this conversation with you, two things are clear. Firstly, I feel that you guys have experience. You’re seasoned players. You have hustled. You have learned quite a bit.” 

He added, “You listen and take feedback too. You’re open to it. I feel that we can build something together. We can set it in a direction that’s differentiated where it can take a position and capture the segment.

Eventually, Aman Gupta and Anupam Mittal closed the deal at Rs.35 lakh for 6% equity. 

Gaurang also revealed that ‘Shark Tank India’ is a genuine show and quite intense for a reality TV show.

Sales and Revenue:

FOMO collected Rs 2.7 lakh in April, Rs 4.4 lakh in May, and Rs 3.7 lakh in June. 

They made Rs 3.05 lakh in July, Rs 3.1 lakh in August, and Rs 3.7 lakh in September. In October, they made Rs 3.4 lakh.

After appearing on Shark Tank India, the healthy beverage brand experienced a surge in sales. 

Gaurang shared that FOMO expects to close 3 to 4 times the sales during the pre-Shark Tank India appearance.

Mission & Vision:

Talking about FOMO’s mission and vision statement, the entrepreneur from Delhi shared that their goal is to establish a well-known beverage brand in India first.

We are building for India first, and then the vision is beyond. Right now, the thought is to serve good beverages for Indians. We want consumers to get real and better products without compromising their taste preference.

He mentioned that FOMO is now recognised among people with iced tea, indicating its growth as a beverage brand.

Furthermore, he shared with us FOMO’s deeper purpose of existence.

Tea is India’s commodity, and there is no Indian brand in the space. This was also a thought behind starting this business.” shared Gaurang to Startup Pedia.

Life as an entrepreneur

We asked the talented 21-year-old entrepreneur to describe a day in his new life as an overnight sensation after being featured on the show as a co-founder of FOMO.

A lot of things, basically…a chill day is comparatively full of trying to learn new things…on a regular day, there are chances that calls and meetings are lined up between 11 AM to 5 PM…after 5, I’m with my co-founder or team thinking about what directions to take…also, I’m studying a bit so there’s also some academics to focus upon”: Gaurang shared.