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Survival Stories 4

March 12, 2021

Survival Strategies: Ajay Nagarajan, Co-Founder, Windmill Craftworks, Bangalore

  1. How did Windmill Craftworks endure through the lockdown?

It was not easy. We had to adapt and continuously find new ways to generate revenue. As takeaway beers were allowed for a few months, we put in a lot of effort to package and sell our beers from the microbrewery in growlers and takeaway bottles. We sold  liquor at MRP rates when it was permitted, created promotions and campaigns around it.

We started a “Take Windmills Home” campaign sending our bartenders to people’s home for private events with mixers and bar gear. We started a line of premixes. We were heavily dependent on corporate entertainment, revenues from which  dried up. Instead, we catered to the leisure crowd which meant reworking our strategy.

We’ve setup cloud kitchens under our Oota brand marking our entry into the delivery space. We also worked on our latest Windmills launch in Dallas, Texas.

Sadly, we had to let some staff go which is never easy.

2) How long do you think before things get back to normal?

Wish I knew the answer. I stay optimistic though, we should be back to normal by the end of 2021.

3) What is your strategy going forward?

Like it’s said- never let a good crisis go to waste. If we come out of this unscathed, we would have put processes in place that will serve us well in the years to come. Keeping key employees engaged and motivated has been my #1 task. We’ve branched into cloud kitchens, looked into food tech, outsourced some departments like kitchen stewarding, housekeeping, valet, security to reduce our fixed expenses. On the bar front, we worked towards a leaner menu, limiting the number of infusions etc. Reduce # of SKUs in our bar inventory to minimize wastage and repriced our menu to make it more approachable than before.

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