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Coffee With Leo Coffee’s Intelligent Virtual Assistant

November 25, 2020  •  7 minute read
  • Chatbot Platforms: Website, Facebook, and WhatsApp
  • Canary – Retail and E-Commerce Solution

About Leo Coffee

Leo Coffee, famous for its Mylapore filter coffee, laid its foundation in 1910 and now has 40 Outlets in Chennai and South India and 300+ distributors across south India and even Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. Leo Coffee is a family-run coffee enterprise, run now under the care of Venu Srinivasan. The brand exports various coffee blends, vending machines, and coffee merchandised in countries like the US, Australia, Malaysia, and Singapore. And even has an online presence, selling its products on Amazon, Snapdeal, and eBay and also through its own ‘Leo e-Store’ powered by Shopify.

The USP for Leo Coffee was, and remains, its quality — from ‘bean to bag’ as they put it. And they believe in providing this pure traditional taste to everyone, even if it means adapting and expanding their business through technological advancements.

What Makes Leo Coffee the Soul of the South?

Few Facts about Leo Coffee and Coffee Exports:

  • India is said to be Asia’s third-largest producer and exporter of coffee.
  • With production at 3,16,000 million tonnes in 2018, statistics say 70 percent of coffee to have been exported, leaving only 30 percent to be consumed domestically.
  • South India is still leading to coffee consumption.
  • However, experts feel that coffee consumption will increase in the coming years, and by 2030, Indians might consume all the coffee produced within the country and not leave any for export.
  • Leo Coffee’s origins date back to 1910, when PR Karupiah Nadar from Pattiveeranpatti at the foothills of Palani hills, Tamil Nadu, began buying coffee from European Jesuit missionaries.
  • PR Karupiah Nadar signed an agreement, dated 1915, with the British-owned Nilgiris Coffee Traders Company for the coffee trade in India.
  • He ended up buying 2,000 acres of the estate for a coffee plantation and named it Little Flower Estates and Sancta Maria Estates, and it remains with the family. He set up his own coffee processing and curing facilities.
  • PR Karupiah’s son PRK Bhaskaran took over the business along with his brother and christened the business “Leo Coffee” after his mentor, the former French Archbishop of Madurai Fr John Peter Leonard.
  • Fast Forward to now the coffee brand now sources its beans not just from Tamil Nadu but also from Coorg, Chikmagalur, Hassan, and Kushalnagar in Karnataka.
  • Leo Coffee offers both a wide variety of 100 percent pure coffees and also the chicory mixed coffee categories.

Challenges Faced By Leo Coffee

With the onset of the pandemic, we saw many coffee houses and eateries closing down. Even Leo Coffee had to shut down its services, but Venu didn’t want pandemic to be a reason that their loyal customers would not get to enjoy their favorite cup of morning coffee. Leo Coffee with an aim to expand its market to a younger crowd and continue serving packaged coffee, expanded its store on e-commerce channels such as their “Leo e-store”, amazon, Flipkart.

But even so, the business via these e-commerce stores was just over 1 percent. And with their call-centers closing down, responding to thousands of queries coming every day became a horrendous task.

Apart from this the ever-expanding coffee blends of Leo Coffee was hard to update in all e-commerce stores and would consume a lot of unnecessary time.

Venu Srinivasan realized this was not feasible for them. And began exploring new technological customer care support that would sell as well help solve resolve customer’s queries with a personal touch under the new normal of social distancing.


After the discussion with Leo Coffee, Yellow Messenger deployed channel-agnostic AI-powered retail with a very interactive UI bot based on our model retail solution Canary, across Facebook, WhatsApp, and on Leo e-store. Leo, the Intelligent virtual assistant is providing exceptional customer engagement while combating innumerable queries from the customer and at the same time helping customers subscribe and order the pure blends from Leo Coffee from the bot interface. The bot is integrated with sentiment analysis to understand emojis and also reply back with emojis.


We at Leo Coffee have always been pro-technology and open to evolution with the times. In fact, we were one of the first coffee brands to sell online way back in 2014. However, until the lockdown, we had not given digital its due importance. The lockdown was really the main catalyst for change as we had no choice but to drive our brand through technology and innovation. 

We listed all our stores with Hyperlocal aggregators, and immediately noticed a sharp spike in orders, owing to people not being able to visit stores. This, along with placing our products on Ecommerce Marketplaces and our own revamped e-commerce website, furthered our pan India reach. 

Chatbots weren’t a part of our digital plan until I received a message from Pallavi of Yellow Messenger. She set up a demo the next day with their tech team headed by Apoorva and I was sold on the idea almost immediately. Not just with their product offering, but with the efficiency of their team as well. These guys knew what they were doing, and we knew we were dealing with some fine software architects. Over, the many calls we had, never had Apoorva once given me NO for an answer. Her response was always “Yes, that can be done!”. We also had great support from the two Viveks, Aman and Surender, and it has been a pleasure working with the entire team. 

WhatsApp, FB Messenger, and Web App were the 3 chatbot platforms we went ahead with. Never had I personally been so involved in a digital development project before. Several zoom meetings emails later we came up with an insanely aesthetic user interface with a great flow of content that was loved by our customers for its ease of navigation and ordering process. 

“The product is a little ahead of its time and WhatsApp commerce is still nascent, but I feel the road ahead is long and exciting and we look forward to working with the Yellow messenger team on our digital vision for Leo coffee.”

Venu Srinivasan


  • Leo Coffee chatbot is deployed on Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp Business, and their web store “Leo e-store”.
  • The intelligent Virtual Retail assistant helps Leo Coffee customers in-store browsing, placing orders, tracking and confirming their orders, and even helps place subscription orders while the customer is placing an order.
  • The other features that are provided apart from the above are:
    • FAQs for faster query resolution.
    • About us section describing the history and details about Leo Coffee.
    • Nearby Store Locator to help customers find nearby stores at ease.
    • Channel partner facilitation – for store dealership, kiosk for supermarkets, packed coffee distribution, and vending machines installations
  • The Leo Store bot can be accessed from anywhere in India. The Bot child of Leo Bot orchestrates in 4 regions to provide streamlined and fast support. And give region-wise analytics.
  • Easy management of items, SKU discovery, and exploration of an individual subscription for coffee blend plus combo packages.
  • Easy payment gateway via Google pay and other UPI based payment provided through the API integration, again on the Instant messaging chatbot interface.
  • Secure and robust payments by capturing and passing user inputs to the API.
  • The integration of Leo Bot with Shopify enables the auto-update of all merchandise as updated on the Leo e-store.
  • Every new order placed is notified to Local store managers and the CEO for faster distribution of merchandise.
  • Pull order status through the API provided by Leo Coffee for the customers.
  • A support dashboard for the agents that provides an array of tools and metrics to catalyze their deliverables.
  • For, the next phase Shopify API integration will enable abandoned cart notification.


  1. Omnichannel Presence: Leo Coffee customers can buy/subscribe to Leo Coffee blends on Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Facebook.
  2. Personalized Buying experience: Customers can explore, buy, subscribe while chatting with Leo Bot, rather than the boring exploring and buying experience given at e-commerce channels. Within a few days of deployment, the subscription order value provided by Leo Bot has crossed 100 thousand and the total order value has crossed 150 thousand Rupees. 
  3. 24/7/365 Support: Leo Coffee chatbot is resolving every customer query as it comes with 100% accuracy 24/7. 
  4. Exceptional Customer Experience: With the help of AI-powered Virtual Assistant, harnessing the best NLP Engine support along with Machine Learning, the bot query resolution along with product recommendation keeps improving.
  5. Better Business Analysis: With region analysis, the bot is giving accurate data on coffee consumption across India and helping Local Store managers in SKU management.

Retail with AI-powered Omnichannel Virtual Assistant

  • Upselling and Cross-Selling

The NLP and machine learning-enabled chatbot comprehend the right time for upselling and cross-selling to every customer.

  • Channel Partner

Rather than applying over various mails for franchising or in-store coffee packet distribution, prospective partners can apply right from the virtual assistant platform.

  • Decreased Card Abandonment

Virtual assistant catering to the user’s buying decision makes the very process of buying simpler by enabling browsing, buying, and payment on instant messaging platforms.

  • Subscription and Modification

Customers can modify the older subscription order and current subscription while engaging with the Leo Bot.

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