Episode VI – Pankaj Aswani, Co-founder of Coolberg
Coolberg launched the first non-alcoholic beer in India with a vision of catering to a new category of drink that is modern, trendy, and aspirational.
The idea of Coolberg came about when Pankaj wanted a beverage that made the customers feel like it was an experience, rather than the boring colas on the market. He co-founded Coolberg in 2016 with his wife, Yashika.
In this episode you will learn:
- Why did Pankaj work for a multinational bank before becoming an entrepreneur? What is his advice to any entrepreneur that is just starting off their career? What are the key takeaways of this experience? What was the trigger that got him to leave Citi Bank and kickstart a start-up in the FMCG space?
- What is Coolberg, and how was it born? What was the pre-research Pankaj did before the company started? When did he get his first bottle out in the market? How did Pankaj go about convincing distributors to buy Coolberg? How did Pankaj manage to bootstrap Coolberg for a year? How did he maintain his own inventory during the early stages of his business?
- What variants does Coolberg have in the market? What is the price point of Coolberg? What was it like to have 4-5 brands like Heineken and others to enter the category after Coolberg was born?
- What strategies has Coolberg, as an FMCG company, develop to adapt to the pandemic? What is the new shipping model that Coolberg has adapted to? How did he take care of his distribution networks during the pandemic?
- What is it like being married to your cofounder – literally? How does Pankaj manage work conflicts in key decisions?
- How did the idea of raising VC money come up? What is Sanjay Mehta’s role in the success of Coolberg? How crucial are investors to a company’s acceleration and overall success?