What Business Are you In – Case Study: Cafe Coffee Day

Who sells the largest number of cameras in India? Canon/Nikon/Sony? Well, the answer is Nokia.

As far as music sales is concerned, Airtel makes more money than SaReGaMa.

Is Indian Railways into the business of train travel? Or Travel? [and is competing with airlines as well as bus service?]

Is Video Conferencing service really in the business of conferencing? Or collaboration [aren’t they competing with airlines?]

The most difficult question for any company is to answer – ‘What Business are we in?’ [read: What Business Am I in – How many Startups can answer this?] and how can one build auxiliary/enabling services around the core product to increase the appCafe Coffee Dayeal-quotient of the business?

Coming back to the topic, i.e. what business is CCD into – let me share that I end up visiting atleast 2 CCDs a day (see I am not saying I visit 2 CCDs a day, I am actually, being forced to visit 2 CCDs a day owing to my business demand).

On a daily basis, I meet entrepreneurs/VCs etc and most of my meetings happen in the Coffee Days. Let me also admit that I hate going to Coffee Day, but prefer to use them for business meetings.


Because CCD is not just in the business of coffee. It’s in the business of enabling businesses/people to meet each other. Given CCD’s presence in Bangalore, the simplest meeting point that everybody knows is a CCD (it’s an easily identifiable landmark), as opposed to Barista/Lavazza which are quite lesser in number.

But is the coffee at CCD good? No, it’s just too bad. A lot worse than Barista.

But the hard reality is people are spending money, consuming coffee at CCD – much more than the coffee that is being consumed at Barista or other places.

So while others are building coffee business, CCD is building real estate/meeting-point business where coffee is just a by-product.

Does that make a great business sense? Is that the right approach to build business?

Well, you decide. But,do ask yourself – what business are you in? How can you build ‘enabling’ services to make people consume more of you?