Meet Rohit, city head of Svami Progressive Drinks

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Bengaluru has nurtured and championed individualism to no end, as youngsters of all hue and ambition seek to make the city their own and start their respective enterprises or strap in for the long haul of gaining experience. Either ways, it is prudent to reason that progressive individuals with an outlook towards life, that can only be described as optimism and self-confidence, believe in seeking a healthy balance of creative pursuits and societal well-being. 

As a young country like India (approximately 50% of India is under 25) grapples with problems of all kinds, its is also up to the young at heart to tackle hard problems, since it is in the worthiness that one feels after solving hard problems, when the mind and body are pushed to their limits; the time when happy neurochemicals flood the brain to make us feel pleasure and contentment at our achievements. 

India needs its young leaders to step up and step up now. The sheer size of India’s domestic market is crying out for productivity growth and quality standards in virtually all segments and markets. The onus is on the dreamers, the doers, the courageous and the knowledgeable. Today, at Bangalore Insider we spoke to Rohit, the city head of Svami Progressive Drinks, a new age brand for the young at heart. Below are the excerpts from our conversation. 

Please tell us a bit about yourself. Where were you born and where did you grow up?

I’m a 26 year old, born & bred in the city of Bangalore, I’ve spent all my life in this wonderful city and also had the opportunity of completing my education as well as my degree here. My family is originally from Mumbai but being a true South Indian is all I’ve known since I was introduced to Idly & Dosa haha. 

Swiggy, Bira91, White Owl, these are companies where many people aspire to start their careers in? How was it working with them?

It’s definitely a big deal to have worked with these brands at their nascent stage and play an integral role in setting it up, glad they’ve all gone onto making it big in their respective industries. Competing for these roles was obviously a challenge considering there were candidates older and with more industry experience gunning for the same role, I’m glad they saw me & my approach as a unique one. I was also handed a lot of responsibilities at an early stage in my career which is something I see happening only in Start ups.  I also got to work with some of the best in the industry who played a key role in moulding me into who I am today for which I am eternally grateful. 

Tell us one interesting fact that you witnessed or learned while working for each one of these companies.

At Swiggy I learnt to follow structure and process to make sure we operate as one single unit and tasks are completed smoothly in coordination with multiple teams. 

At Bira-91 the thought process and mind set while introducing India to its first craft beer was to make sure we disrupt the market and take on the big players with slimmer budgets and a better tasting product. Safe to say we to some extent we succeeded and excelled at what we were brought on board to do.

At Svami we’ve been blessed with a very passionate set of founders that know clearly what they want, It helps a lot when you’ve got the opportunity to freely interact with them and learn from them every step of the way without having to worry about hierarchy too much. I truly believe the products under our portfolio are great tasting and miles ahead of competition, the best part is we have more SKU’s coming out later this month that are truly going to ‘wow’ consumers. 

As an individual, what would you recommend to fresh graduates – to join an already established company or a company that is just starting up?

Both have their own pro’s and con’s but what’s worked for me is definitely start ups. I love joining a brand during its initial stages and put in all the effort into making it a successful one and being able to create that from scratch is truly a feeling of sheer bliss. I would definitely recommend freshers to give it a shot in their early stages only because the learning curve in a startup is immense. 

Startups tend to have humongous working hours. How do you manage work-life balance when working with them?

It purely depends on the people and the work culture and colleagues. Even though the working hours can be a handful, startups are way more flexible and understanding when it comes to work-life balance and giving time off to family or growing yourself as an individual. Most of these companies also provide a wellness programme/fund that helps individuals pursue their interests while working for the company. 

How is it working with Svami Progressive drinks? Does being a city head come with a lot of pressure?

After four long years in the craft beer industry, moving to an FMCG brand was definitely a new challenge I was keen on taking up as it was a new field and the chance at managing an entire city was something I’ve dreamt of doing since my time at swiggy. 

The company has been very supportive and I’m thankful that I was given this opportunity at 26. Having the chance of interacting with the founders on a regular basis without having to hesitate is a big plus. Their constant mentoring and support definitely eases the pressure, but performing and achieving targets is just something that comes with the role. 

You also became a franchise owner with Keventers. How was that experience?

Working vs owning your own business are poles apart. When we decided to take this up, it was purely because I saw a trend emerging among millennials with the introduction of their first store and long lines in Indira Nagar. It was at our first visit to the store that we decided to open the 2nd one in north Bangalore. Banking on the strong brand presence and its unique way of serving them in old school glass bottles was a trend that took the country by storm. 

You have all the relevant experience when it comes to working and starting something from scratch as well as operation. Any plans of starting your own brand in the near future?

That’s definitely the dream, hopefully, I get the right guidance from my bosses and mentors to bring it to life soon enough.

Know a great startup story or want to share your own? Write to us at bhumikka@insidermediacorp.com and we will get back to you. For more updates follow Bangalore Insider on Facebook and Instagram.

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