Shreyas Cotha’s coffee machine business, which started out as his MBA project at University Canada West, was recently featured in the Summer 2020 edition of Canadian Vending & Office Coffee Service Magazine.
“Seeing this feature in a nation-wide industry trade publication was extremely motivating,” Shreyas said. “I felt a sense of recognition for the work my wife and I have been putting into this start up.”
Shreyas arrived at UCW in Spring 2019 and when it came to tackling his MBA project management assignment, he decided to turn the exercise into a full-fledged business – Mr. Bean Your Personal Barista, a line of high-end Italian espresso vending machines. In fact, his first two machines were installed at UCW’s West Pender Campus.
“UCW and many members of the community have been instrumental in the development of Mr. Bean,” Shreyas said. “My first set up took place in the student lounge and thanks to the support of Gord Wong, Edward Bagg and Dale Krobath it [was] a seamless installation (with a few challenges that provided me with some valuable experience).”
Shreyas told Canadian Vending he always wanted to try running his own business, but initially thought he would finish school first.
“I thought, why would I do something hypothetical when I can actually talk about my own business?” he told Canadian Vending. “So, I actually did a project on how I would install my machines in the entire university building. I detailed it all out, it just helped me in my thinking process as well, to actually do it as an assignment.
“My professor really liked the fact that I was applying it to real life, and not just theoretical business.”
Shreyas said business was booming until the COVID-19 pandemic hit Canada in March. Mr. Bean took a bit of a hit but the couple is not giving up.
“We are extremely grateful for the country we live in and the support offered to small businesses, which has kept us afloat,” he said.
They even have some new ideas brewing.
“In fact, we’ve been toying with some ideas for the next step for the Mr. Bean brand and [the magazine feature] was kind of a prod to keep going and we’ve already begun some groundwork on the next project,” Shreyas said.
You can read the full Canadian Vending & Office Coffee Service Magazine article here.Published on Sept. 1, 2020.