Ex-Shark Tank Contestant Pitches Filter Coffee For Vande Bharat

Shark Tank fans may remember the team behind VS Mani & Co-founders GD Prasad, Rahul Bajaj and Yashas Alur who came to the reality show to raise Rs 60 lakh for 1.5 per cent equity and took home an offer by Anupam Mittal and Namita Thapar. Prasad has now made headlines after he reached out to the Indian Railway and made a clever pitch. 

The Bengaluru-based entrepreneur has urged the Ministry of Railways to include South Indian brands as part of the menu for Vande Bharat trains in the region. In a post shared on his X handle, Prasad, heaped praises on the services provided by Vande Bharat trains in India urged the railways to make way for regional representation, and requested support for serving filter coffee and other South Indian snacks to passengers. 

“We’re delighted by the world-class Vande Bharat in the South. Request your support w/ more brands from our region represented in the snack tray. We’d be honoured to serve filter coffee & South Indian snacks if you give us an opportunity,” GD Prasad wrote on X, and also tagged Ministry of Railways, PMO India, and Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. 

He shared his request alongside a picture of his snack tray which featured a number of generic snacks, such as bhujia, peanut chikki, masala chai etc. A few hours ago, Prasad shared an update and revealed that IRCTC reached out to him over the matter. “IRCTC reached out to us less than 24 hours from the time of my original tweet. We just got out of a meeting with them. Fingers crossed!” Prasad wrote on X. 

Besides filter coffee, instant coffee, and dawara sets, the brand also sells banana chips, murukku and gunpowder. During Shark Tank, Prasad mentioned how his grandfather’s filter coffee inspired his brand. 

“I lived a good part of my life with my grandparents. I distinctly remember how my thatha (grandfather) had a coffee routine in the morning. He would fill a full flask with the beverage and have it in small cups, one after the other, till breakfast was ready,” he had said. “My grandfather was V Subramaniam, fondly called Mani. He is the inspiration behind my idea, including the company name. This company is like a homage to that quaint house on ‘#20, 1st Main Road’ and my grandfather,” Prasad said.