What if you could take the smallest risk possible that might change your life? That’s what a young man from Bangalore did by dropping out of college to start his own business. With an initial capital of just Rs 30,000, Shubham Saini, a 22-year-old student set up a tea stall named ‘The Frustrated drop out’. The stall, which accepts Bitcoin too as payment, has become a popular hangout for crypto enthusiasts.
Saini, an alumnus of Indira Gandhi University, Rewari went to Bangalore in search of job opportunities and was gradually introduced to crypto market trading. In 2020, after the market plunged by 60 per cent, many investors bought in into the dip in hope of earning potential profits. Saini had invested all of his pocket money and his life savings in buying cryptos. “I had invested Rs 1.5 lakh, and in the matter of few months, I witnessed a 1000 per cent jump in my portfolio. Soon, my crypto wallet increased to Rs 30 lakh, and this was a big deal for a student like me,” he told indianexpress.com.
The huge spike in his investment made him realise the true potential of crypto. “I stopped asking parents for money, even paid my college fees, and lived a lavish life,” he said. This is when Saini dropped out of his BCA final semester to switch full time to crypto trading. “I thought I am the next ‘Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’ of the crypto world, but life is not easy after all.”
Things took a U-turn in April 2021, when the crypto market crashed and 90 per cent of Siani’s crypto portfolio sunk. “I was back exactly where I started, from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 1 lakh. I couldn’t believe that one night could change so much in my life,” he sighed. Unable to ask for financial assistance from his parents, Saini had to sell his brand-new iPhone to make ends meet. “Now it was a matter of self-respect… As I looked for means online to make a fast buck, nothing made sense.”
This is when the 22-year-old decided to establish a modest tea stall on a sidewalk. His Frustrated Dropout chain minimises the use of plastic and nonrecyclable items. The idea for the P2P payments platform came to him at Marathahalli in Bangalore. He was surprised and intrigued when customers first tried to pay for their chai with Bitcoin. The popularity of using crypto to buy something as simple as tea has helped his business to grow, as indicated by Saini. On average, at least 20 new customers a week use cryptocurrency to pay for their purchases, claims Saini.
Interestingly, Saini has placed a placard where he updates the INR to the dollar rate. “Any customer who wishes to make the payment has to simply scan the QR code just like UPI, convert INR to the dollar, and then make the payment in cryptos.”