Interview with Devanshi Tripathi – Founder & CEO of TripGo Hospitality
Devanshi Tripathi is the Founder and CEO of TripGo Hospitality, one of Bangalore’s emerging F&B retail brands. Inspired by the popular pub culture of Bangalore, Devanshi established Oyster, Bar & Kitchen under the ﬂagship of TripGo Hospitality.
She is originally from Lucknow and completed her schooling from Loreto Convent, Lucknow. She has an MBA in rural management from IRMA, Gujarat, and has experience of working in the development sector for over a decade.
Please tell us a little about your entrepreneurial journey.
Devanshi Tripathi: Being an entrepreneur was always an aspiration, but there was a lack of clarity as to “how and where to begin.” I started of by working with startups, with the desire to learn more.
My entrepreneurial journey began in 2018, when I moved to Bangalore and subsequently launched ‘Oyster Bar & Kitchen’.
Although I had no hospitality background (educational or familial), Bengaluru’s astounding pub culture inspired me to consider establishing a business in the F&B space.
Initially, the efforts were more focused on speaking with industry experts to understand the market landscape and the methods of restaurant management.
Since Oyster is a bar and we serve liquor, a lot of legwork was required in acquiring the necessary licenses.
Every little effort that was given to establish and sustain Oyster, helped me grow as an entrepreneur over time.
The journey has deﬁnitely not been smooth. The biggest challenge was setting up a business in a place where you do not belong.
From encountering gender discrimination to geographical restrictions to the world coming to a standstill during the pandemic, the journey in the F&B industry has been full of challenges and learning.
However, it’s all worthwhile when you realise you are providing employment to so many people. As an entrepreneur, I feel liberated to work and make my own decisions.
Although my past working experiences have been quite helpful in instilling conﬁdence, I am glad I took the risk of quitting my job and becoming an entrepreneur.
What was your mission at the outset?
Devanshi Tripathi: The mission at the outset was to establish a restaurant that welcomed young individuals to unwind and have a good time. Considering the hustle of the city, the goal was to establish comfortable hangout spots that could be used for grabbing a quick, relaxing drink.
The idea was to create a ‘third spot’, a place in between your office and home, where people could come to unwind, socialise and relax, something like a social workspace. Imbibing a pet-friendly policy was in line with my idea of creating an easy and comfortable ambience.
What are your company’s goals?
Devanshi Tripathi: The company’s primary goal is to become one of the top F&B brands in India as well as create multiple other brands under TripGo Hospitality that cater to exceptional dining for people of various demographics.
Secondly, to grow into a premium hospitality company with unique and modern oerings. The plan is to expand Oyster to multiple outlets not only in Bangalore but also in other cities like Pune and Goa.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
Devanshi Tripathi: Failure is part and parcel of being an entrepreneur, especially at the beginning of the journey. The biggest challenge for me was to understand the F&B space as an outsider, and being on par with the experienced restaurateurs in the industry.
When I ﬁrst launched a restaurant, a rookie mistake I made was not putting a sign board well in advance, outside the restaurant, which led to low visibility directly impacting the business.
Once I rectiﬁed that mistake, I realised that I had not speciﬁed what exactly “Oyster” was; this mistake left the consumers confused – leaving them wondering if Oyster is a restaurant, bar, cafe or something completely different.
Although these mistakes seem trivial, they had a signiﬁcant impact on the business. Figuring out the marketing channels and what exactly ﬁt the brand value was another obstacle that I overcame through simple tools of research and experimentation.
What was the inspiration behind turning an entrepreneur?
Devanshi Tripathi: There wasn’t any “turning point” as such. As mentioned earlier, it was an aspiration to become an entrepreneur.
It was Bangalore’s young, energetic pub culture that fueled my decision to innovate and explore in the entrepreneurial space.
Key things to consider before starting a startup
Devanshi Tripathi: There are a few things that each entrepreneur must consider before building their startup. The ﬁrst is to be realistic and not expect easy or glamorous routes to the top.
The appealing and exciting aspects of operating a restaurant are only a small portion of reality; endless work hours and elbow grease is required to build a brand from scratch.
It is extremely important to be fully committed to the startup and not treat it as a side hustle. Lastly, a tip to abide by is to embrace every role that the job overs you.
As an entrepreneur, you never know whose shoes you may be working in; you may be the marketing head one day and the ﬁnance manager the next.
Hence, it is vital to understand the intricacies of multiple roles and strengthen them by making tough decisions that will ultimately contribute to the growth of the brand. It is also good to seek help when you need it and not shy away from providing help to others.
Your success tips for young and aspiring entrepreneurs
Devanshi Tripathi: My advice to young entrepreneurs is to be open to advice, especially from industry professionals whose mistakes you can learn from rather than repeating those mistakes.
Second, understand what the market requires and shape your goals to meet those requirements. It is critical that you modify your ideas and remain adaptable to changing market conditions.
Finally, keep in mind that very few startups succeed, so keep at it, keep hustling, and listen to your mentors to achieve your goals on time.
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