Blogs are a dime a dozen, but very few scale to a pan-India movement.
Four years back, Vidhi Puri turned her passion into a profession by building The Cocktail Story (TCS), India’s first digital platform dedicated to building an ecosystem of the hospitality industry, alcobev brands, and spirit enthusiasts.
The platform takes the Indian bar story to a global audience and unites spirit enthusiasts pan India over unique cocktail experiences.
Vidhi, who loves to host people and parties, was with her friends one day when she just happened to say, “I have so many cocktail stories to tell!” She returned home and impulsively created an Instagram page, The Cocktail Story, that very night.
Starting off as a blog, 11 days later, she put out her first post about a cocktail she had curated at home, and the ride began. As her documentation journey unfolded, Vidhi started envisioning the bigger picture—something that would further extend her desire to document cocktail experiences.
“I began interacting with Indian bartenders and realised that no one speaks about them; this was around 2018,” Vidhi says.
This realisation and the desire to bridge the gap between bartenders and alcohol beverage consumers led Vidhi to start TCS.
Her vision had now transitioned from a blog to creating a digital educational community for those interested in drinks—the aim being information dissemination via authentic Indian sources.
The platform soon started hosting a series of events, conducted masterclasses, and created a buzz around cocktails with interesting content from experts.
The Cocktail Story’s first significant achievement was when it became the media partner for Beluga Signature 2019, the first-ever cocktail competition by Beluga in India.
Currently, TCS stands strong with a team of 15 people and has evolved into a full-fledged marketing and PR agency and an ecommerce (TCS watch) venture, boasting over 95 brands.
Vidhi, who graduated from Jesus and Mary College with English Honours and Ambedkar University with a master’s in gender studies, she was “an outsider in the hospitality world”.
“I made sure I showed up at every event or a discussion. It has been tough fitting in, but once your work starts speaking for itself, everyone respects you,” she says, reflecting on her earlier days in the field.
Elaborating on the challenges she faced in her journey, the founder recalls, “There were times when I had to travel alone at night after an event, which was a huge concern for my parents. I had to convince them because I believed in the potential of my work.”
As advice for women entrepreneurs, Vidhi says, “Just go out there! If you like something, there’s scope right now to create a business out of it. People need to realise that the possibilities right now, for women or anyone, are endless.”