Mush Panjwani, chief happiness officer at Coffee Wagera, wants others to be as happy as he is. From replying in a classy style to his sad customers to asking strangers to visit his Coffee Wagera outlets, he has become a friend to everyone. Last week, he expanded his business by launching the first Coffee Wagera On Wheels, near the iconic Habib Bank Plaza on II Chundrigar Road. The launch was successful because of word of mouth, as well as social media, which is likely to help them extend their business in other parts of the country. Food carts give people the chance to try out new cuisine, while observing the coronavirus SOPs.
“Food carts, food trucks, coffee carts, etc have been very common around the world for many years. It is not a very popular phenomenon in Pakistan, yet. You can think of a number of reasons why the trend is picking up so late, the number one being less pedestrian traffic in metropolitan cities. People in Pakistan don’t like to walk as much as people do abroad, and that’s why we have more fixed restaurants than moveable ones,” Mush Panjwani says of what he sees as the missing link in the life of a Karachiite.
“One has to look at different things when launching a brand on wheels. Not only do they have to get permission from the KMC, the DMC, the police and other authorities, they also have to be ready to pay extra to avoid being evicted and removed. The legalisation of these businesses would not only encourage others to think about going into business, but would also make the process easier,” Panjwani adds.
Talking about Coffee Wagera, which celebrated its third anniversary on April 1, Mush Panjwani happily mentions that they started with the goal to break even in three months. After achieving that, they decided to start a “franchise programme before completing one year.” They followed that goal by successfully opening “five outlets before completing two years.” Their next goal is to have at least twenty outlets of Coffee Wagera on Wheels in the first five years. With two years still to go, they have five outlets already and are planning to open outlets in Bahria Town Karachi and in the city of Hyderabad right after Ramazan.
“Covid-19 may not have treated many well, but it has sort of made people go for takeaways and deliveries. That, in turn, has pushed businesses on wheels in the right direction. We have seen thailas all our lives in the metropolitan cities of Pakistan, but while they pose a threat due to the unhygienic conditions of the carts and the driver, here, we serve coffee in a clean environment, prompting others to do the same.”
“If well-known brands start offering their trademark pizza, burger or coffee on wheels, it will be successful. We launched our first Coffee Wagera On Wheels last week and the response was tremendous. We believe that by the end of the year, there will be at least 10 Coffee Wagera On Wheels in Karachi or in other cities, hopefully.”