Interview with Devanshi Tripathi – Founder and CEO of TripGo Hospitality
Devanshi Tripathi is the Founder and CEO of TripGo Hospitality, one of Bangalore’s emerging F&B brands. Inspired by Bangalore’s popular pub culture, Devanshi created OysĨer, Bar & KiĨchen under the TripGo Hospitality banner.
She is originally from Lucknow and completed her education at Loreto Nunnery, Lucknow. She holds an MBA in Rural Management from IRMA, Gujarat and has experience working in the development sector for over a decade.
Tell us a bit about your entrepreneurial journey.
Devanshi Tripathi: Being an entrepreneur has always been an aspiration, but there was a lack of clarity on “how and where to start”. I started by working with startups, with the desire to know more.
My entrepreneurial journey started in 2018, when I moved to Bangalore and later started ‘Oyster Bar & Kitchen’.
Although I have no hospitality background (educational or family) the amazing pub culture of Bengaluru inspired me to consider starting a business in the F&B space.
Initially, e orts were more focused on talking with industry experts to understand the market landscape and restaurant management methods.
As Oyster is a bar and we serve alcohol, it took a lot of legwork to get the necessary licenses.
Every little effort that has gone into establishing and maintaining Oyster has helped me grow as an entrepreneur over time.
The trip was definitely not easy. The biggest challenge has been building a business in a place you don’t belong.
From gender discrimination to geo-restrictions to shutting down the world during the pandemic, the journey in the F&B industry has been full of challenges and learnings.
However, it is worth it when you realize that you are providing employment for so many people. As an entrepreneur, I feel free to work and make my own decisions.
Although my past work experiences have been very helpful in building trust, I am happy that I took the risk of quitting my job and becoming an entrepreneur.
What was your mission at the start?
Devanshi Tripathi: The initial mission was to establish a restaurant that welcomed young people to relax and have a good time. Given the hustle and bustle of the city, the goal was to establish comfortable meeting places that could be used for a quick and relaxing drink.
The idea was to create a “third place”, a place between your office and your home, where people could come and relax, socialize and relax, something like a social place
workspace. Imbibing a pet-friendly policy was in line with my idea of creating a simple and comfortable ambiance.
What are the objectives of your enterprise ?
Devanshi Tripathi: The main objective of the company is to become one of the leading F&B brands in India as well as creating several other brands under TripGo Hospitality that provide exceptional meals for people of various demographics.
Second, to become a high-end hotel company with unique and modern offers. The plan is to expand Oyster to more outlets not only in Bangalore but also in other cities like Pune and Goa.
What were some of your failures and what did you learn from them?
Devanshi Tripathi: Failure is an integral part of being an entrepreneur, especially at the beginning of the journey. The biggest challenge for me was understanding the F&B space as an outsider and being on par with experienced restaurateurs in the industry.
When I first started a restaurant, a rookie mistake I made was not putting up a billboard well in advance outside the restaurant, which resulted in a low visibility directly impacting the business.
Once I corrected that error, I realized that I hadn’t specified what exactly “Oyster” was; this mistake left consumers confused, leaving them wondering if Oyster is a restaurant, a bar, a cafe, or something completely different.
Although these errors seem insignificant, they had a significant impact on the company. Determining marketing channels and what exactly fits the brand value was another hurdle that I overcame with simple research and experimentation tools.
What was the inspiration behind becoming an entrepreneur?
Devanshi Tripathi: There was no “turning point” as such. As mentioned earlier, it was an aspiration to become an entrepreneur.
It was Bangalore’s young and energetic pub culture that fueled my decision to innovate and explore the entrepreneurial space.
Key things to consider before starting a startup
Devanshi Tripathi: There are a few things every entrepreneur should consider before starting their startup. The first is to be realistic and not expect easy or glamorous routes to the top.
The attractive and exciting aspects of running a restaurant are only a small part of the reality; endless hours of work and elbow grease are required to create a brand from scratch.
It’s extremely important to be fully engaged in the startup and not treat it as a side hustle. Finally, a piece of advice to follow is to embrace all the roles that the work occupies you.
As an entrepreneur, you never know what shoes you’re working in; you can be a marketing manager one day and a CFO the next. Therefore, it is essential to understand the intricacies of multiple roles and reinforce them by making it difficult
decisions that will ultimately contribute to brand growth. It is also good to ask for help when you need it and to not hesitate to help 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 repeat those mistakes.
Second, understand what the market demands and shape your goals to meet those demands. It is essential that you modify your ideas and remain adaptable to changing market conditions.
Finally, keep in mind that very few startups succeed, so persevere, keep hustling, and listen to your mentors to achieve your goals on time.
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