Kruti Coffee is one of India’s fastest growing specialty coffee entities and cafe chains. Learning about the plight of tribal coffee farmers from Kindiriguda village in Koraput, the brand started its journey by transforming farm management practices in the tribal coffee farms. One of the men behind this inspiring transformation is Dr Kamakhya Das, Co Founder of Kruti Coffee. He is member of the prestigious Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) and has completed the highest level of certification in roasting from the association. He is a doctor by academic background and holds a masters diploma in health administration from the prestigious Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. In a conversation with Orissa POST, Kamakhya shares his entrepreneurial experience.

Kruti Coffee is one of India’s fastest growing specialty coffee entities and cafe chains. How do you see your demand in Odisha market?

Kruti Coffee has established itself as the leading specialty coffee brand in Odisha. The emotional connect, growing appetite and understanding about specialty coffee among consumers from the state has led to significant growth in demand and market share for Kruti Coffee. We already have three cafes in Odisha and the fourth one is coming up at Berhampur in April 2024.

How has the government’s initiative helped coffee farming and the industry?

There has been significant push from the Odisha government towards supporting and expanding coffee cultivation in Odisha. We also got an opportunity to showcase Kruti Coffee at Odisha pavilion in World Food India held in New Delhi in 2023. Coffee Board has been constantly complementing the efforts put by the state government. By aggressively promoting coffee from Koraput at various forums, the state government has truly empowered players from across the coffee ecosystem in Odisha to take the leap.

What are the processes involved in coffee manufacturing starting from its plantation?

As a truly farm-to-cup coffee venture, we influence the entire value chain to ensure a fine cup every time our coffee is served. Right from standardised plant management practices to picking of optimally ripe cherries, drying on raised beds, roasting with consistent profile and brewing with calibrations and equipment that match global standards, Kruti Coffee is at the forefront of specialty coffee in India. We proudly showcase coffee from Odisha as one of the best that India can offer.

What are the measures necessary for development of coffee market? With a range of specialised products, what is your secret behind attracting your customer base?

Developing the coffee market requires a multi-pronged approach. While as a specialty coffee venture, we can influence the value chain under our command, it’s a supportive ecosystem backed by relevant government policies that can make the growth story truly inclusive. Largescale coffee plantation earmarked by the government is a welcome step as states like Karnataka are way ahead in production. What’s required now is integrating technical expertise and enterprises early into the efforts. Our secret behind attracting customers is honesty at the farm empowerment level, roasting expertise, highly engaging cafes and unique products that are helping consumers increase their specialty coffee quotient progressively.

Over the last one decade you have carved a niche for yourself in the space of specialty coffee. As the co-founder of this brand, what will be your advice for the new entrants in this business?

My only advice to coffee entrepreneurs would be to maintain strong foundational values. Coffee is a highly non-forgiving business. While commerce is important, investing a few years into setting up quality parameters, coffee skill development and operations will be rewarded immensely in the long run. There is huge untapped opportunity in coffee as a business in India and specialty coffee as a differentiator so a perfect business to get into as a passionate entrepreneur or someone keen to diversify business.

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