All of us have an ambition, a vision to do something, but most of us never do anything about it. The Satija brothers, however, decided to work on their idea. With a vision in mind, the Satija brothers opened their venture – The Big Bro (1), predominantly popular for their Bakery items and cakes.
Sahil Satija believed that even the people who could afford the higher end bakeries had started to fuss about the increasing cost.
“We first thought of getting a franchise, but our parents recommended that we should open our own brand.”
– Sahil Satija.
Coming from an ancestral business of steel, the Satija brothers wanted to diversify their business but didn’t know how to go about it. They then decided to hire consultants and architects to ensure a smooth process. The ambiance is what people see at first, claimed Sahil Satija, and choosing the architects was very important in establishing this venture.
Cakes don’t go to the stomach; they go to the heart!
Sahil Satija believes that bakeries are all about trust and people would always buy their cakes from the brand they like, irrespective of other options.
“We had no expertise. We just had the vision to do this”,
claimed the eldest brother.
This venture started as a bakery, wherein they have their own base kitchen which can cater to a few more of their outlets. But soon they realized that running just a bakery in Panchkula is very risky as the investments are very high. This brought in the idea of making space for dining in. The Satija brothers decided to widen their menu to ensure that it provides for cuisines not available as such in Panchkula. Hence, one can find Continental, Mexican and Italian foods, with a hint of Indian flavor.
How it stands out!
The Unique Selling proposition for The Big Bro is the ‘coffee bar’. One can find an exclusive space in the outlet, given to a varied range of coffee and its preparation.
“This bar is fully dedicated to coffee”,
says Sahil Satija.
The idea to set the coffee bar and giving it so much space was a huge risk in this venture. However, it worked out really well for the Satija brothers as they received a really good response from their customers. They have a special coffee brand that exclusively roasts for these guys.
One can also find the unique cake packaging offered by The Big Bro. The “Biggest” bro(ther) mentions that they always knew that they wanted it to be different and make it easy to identify the cake from the packaging. They hired a designer and there was a family discussion in finalizing it and as they couldn’t find a flaw, it was perfect for them!
Deciding on the logo was another discussion which the Satija family had, to include a manly look which a chefs’ cap. Deciding on the logo supporting a mustache, Sahil Satija mentioned that it is due to the fact that their youngest brother was supporting a mustache at that point.
Why Sector 9, Panchkula?
Choosing the right place to open a business can be a challenge. It became an easy decision for this family venture to be established in Panchkula as the Satija family is born and brought up in the city. “Also, there is a huge gap in Panchkula, which we wanted to fill”, says Sahil Satija. Calling Chandigarh, a risky market to start with, they however intend to expand in the Tri-City and open outlets in Mohali and Chandigarh as well.
“We expect more. We can’t grow if we don’t keep our expectations high.”
– Sahil Satija
Always be on your feet!
The research to establishing a business requires on-ground research. The eldest brother was 27 years old at the time and the youngest brother was 22 years old. They studied the market by roaming around places as believed that since they themselves were spending on food and cakes, they had a fair idea of what people wanted.
The ambiance and the quality of products have been given the highest priority to The Big Bro. They managed to sell 200 cakes in their first month and this Mothers’ Day they sold 233 cakes in a single day!
The Big bro also decided to cater to Kitty Parties and have exclusively managed spaces for large gatherings. The eldest brother proudly mentioned that before the pandemic, The Big Bro was hosting 60 to 70 Kitty Parties in a month.
Quality and consistency are the same as Day 1. Sahil Satija said that they learned this from their parents, that quality should never deteriorate. They take pride in mentioning that the chefs at The Big Bro are the same since the beginning, as they have successfully managed to sustain them.
A Brotherly Effort
All brothers had a contribution to establishing this venture. Sahil Satija calls it a group effort as the parents financed this business. On asking how the name came to be and if it is named after him, the eldest brother, he promptly responded that “We are all big bros, big players here. My uncle suggested this name and it worked best as we wanted it to be catchy, peppy and youth catching.”
The pandemic hit hard as the property of The Big Bro is rented, but the loyal customers brought them back on their feet. Brands like Zomato and Swiggy also played a huge role during this time.
“We reduced our expenses to ensure higher profits. The landlord played an important role, and my younger brother took care of the cost-cutting to ensure survival. We reduced the variety and quantity of our products.”
– Sahil Satija
The brand offered 15 types of cakes and reduced it to 4 after the lockdown. At the moment, they are selling 11-12 types of cakes. The Big Bro first intends to sustain what they have and eventually upgrade their menu.