The name MCaffeine will probably have you thinking about coffee from an international company, but a close look at the bottles reveals shower gels, face washes, and shampoos to make your skin glow with caffeine extracts.
MCaffeine’s founders, Vikas Lachhwani and Tarun Sharma, are individuals who lead dual lives. At work, they are known to be precise in their decision making. Outside of work, Vikas is a singer, songwriter, and poet and Tarun is into stand up comedy. So then why become entrepreneurs? The answer is that these guys are good with numbers and understand consumer behavior.
In one sitting with them, it becomes apparent that they are not quoting numbers from reports or the internet. They created MCaffeine to sway consumer habits from using corporate brands. “In the digital world, you can gather data faster and for any new brand, selling online is a great way to get testimony about the products’ quality. Those initial adopters will become champions of the product,” says Vikas Co-founder, MCaffeine.
The duo met in Mumbai through a common friend in 2012 and quickly developed a strong friendship. Despite the nine-year gap between the two — Vikas being 37 years old and Tarun 28 —, they loved to talk about data and its benefits for operations in new age organisations. Vikas had previously worked in Bentonville, USA, where he was employed with one of the world’s largest retailers, studying promotion and product stocking strategies for several years. “The experience of forecasting consumer demand with several parameters such as behaviour, consumption patterns, income, and culture made me realise that any business can succeed, provided they know what makes their products sell,” Vikas says.
Tarun was a software engineer who joined the operations of a food delivery startup. Vikas moved back to India from the USA in 2010 and set up a startup that focused on transforming HR practices through the use of data.