Blend It, Flavor It & Put It Online Says This Teapreneur
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India has been exporting approximately 200 million kg of tea annually for over long years. Unfortunately, in over these years, India has not been able to ramp up in the digits of exports, mainly because of huge domestic demand. Even after being the second largest producer of growing diverse tea leaves on its land, there was hardly any home-grown Indian tea brand before this e-tailing startup which have bet on the overseas market.
By selling loose premium tea leaves in about 100 countries, Bala Sarda, a 25-year old teapreneur, the founder of Vahdam Teas, has shrugged off an idea of following the older chain of tea business, and instead deliver product directly to consumers.
In the span of 3 years, Delhi-based e-tailing startup, Vahdam Teas has raised its angel funding of INR 4.4 crore, right after its seed round, which was in 2016.
‘Cut of middlemen from business chain spurs growth’
On being asked about what led him begin this race in India’s one of the most traditional tea business ideas, Bala told Entrepreneur Media that tea business is in his blood.
“My family is been into tea for very long time. But they have been into bulk export of tea for 80 years, which is very different to what I am doing at Vahdam Teas." He further added the curtailment of multiple middlemen, supply chain problems create fuss and cut profit margins of teapreneurs in retail market. With the use technology, innovation and originality, Vadyam Teas sells its products directly to consumers.
'Slow n steady wins the race'
After a lot of research and spending various days in tea warehouses and tea auctions, Bala Sarda told what motivated him through his entrepreneurial journey.
"What motivated me to start the business was while I was there on the research of tasting the tea leaves of different brands coming from varied estates, I figured out that the freshness of tea is missing and the sureity of product which companies give is actually untrue."
'Strategy to compete with global giants like Tetley'
"Blend it, flavor it and put it online" says Bala Sarda.
Accentuating the fact that India doesn't have any home grown Indian brand selling tea into the global markets, Bala Sarda consider this as the Vahdam's strategy to compete with global giants. On being asked about competitors to Vahdam, Bala replied, Vahdam considers its rival to 'Teavana' of Starbucks.
'Trust the Industry Board'
When we asked about how the industry board is supporting new players entering global markets in tea production and exports. Bala told us that Tea Board India is doing excellent work in pushing Indian companies.
"There are so many incentives which the current government is giving to the companies like Vahdam to enter into the global markets."
(Interviewed by Aashika Jain)