During my visits to coffee shop to catch up with friends would always find the coffee shop crowded. Infact there are four coffee shops within close vicinity and each of them is always crowded . Would wonder do people actually come to drink coffee. Are they willing to pay such an exorbitant price for a simple coffee? Infact in most cases felt the people across the table were total strangers to each other. There was no feeling of warmth between them. Yet spend a lot of time in the coffee shop talking to each other. Isn’t surprising??
Upon a few enquiries and eavesdropping (considering that the table are so close to each other) the revelation was most of them were there to negotiate a deal or close a deal. They were on a mission, on a business deal..
Lot of business men/women visit the cafe to meet a prospective client and discuss the offering, pricing and the other business dealings, Entrepreneurs to meet prospective investor and share their business ideas and receive funding, consultants to offer their services. Infact real estate deals running in millions would be closed at coffee shops. The traditional business spots like a high end restaurant are increasingly getting overshadowed by posh and air-conditioned cafes. Cafes are relatively safe, trendy, and chilled out place.
In the current scenario where everyone is constrained by time and traffic is an issue such cafes provide an ideal place in terms of convenience and safety. Here we have customers lounging in comfortable couches for hours on end, having a cup of coffee, accessing WI-FI and closing a business deal. Cafe culture has re-defined the very concept of business negotiations in the country .I guess the day wouldn’t be far where lot of startups would conduct their meeting at such places as the cost of the same would be fraction of their regular cost.
In the words of an entrepreneur Valerie Wagoner (Co-founder of ZipDial which was finally sold to twitter) ‘Tip for investor in India: Hang out at Costa Coffee in Koramangala in Bangalore. At least 8 companies being started’.
The coffee shops are perfect examples of a business which is positioned or built on its non core offerings. The customers were buying the noncore offering of the coffee shop. The coffee shop became a place for networking.
With the focus on entrepreneurship and startup being the buzz word, truly lot can happen over coffee!!