By Tanya Agarwal
India is the second largest producer of tea in the world and the beverage is consumed 15 times more than coffee across the country. Although only a few years ago, India was flooded with cafes serving coffee, there has been a burgeoning of tea startups in the recent past aiming to cater to Indians preferred taste. Young entrepreneurs from different walks of life, including Harvard alumni and chaiwalas, are attempting to tap into this $30 billion market to quench India’s thirst for tea.
Many successful start-ups like Tea Box (Darjeeling, West Bengal), Chaayos (Gurgaon, Haryana), Tpot Kafe (New Delhi), Chaipatty Tea Café (Bengaluru, Karnataka), Chai Thela (New Delhi) and Udyan Tea (Siliguri, West Bengal) are earning huge profits in their hometowns and have started expanding throughout the nation. Here’s the story of two entrepreneurs.
Nawnath Yewle: the chaiwala from Pune
Pune-based Nawnath Yewle, the co-founder of Yewle Tea House has consolidated a business plan with three tea stalls, earning about Rs 12 lakh a month. Nawnath’s father, Dashrath Yewale, moved to Pune at the young age of 16 and first started selling milk and then eventually started a tea stall. After his death, Nawnath and his brothers conducted extensive research about standardising tea production, leading to the flourishing Yewle Tea House business.
The idea of making a whole brand out of tea struck Yewle back in 2011. He realised that he could monetise India’s love for chai and was able to mould the idea in his favour.
Yewle told ANI that India’s love for tea prompted the idea to make Yewle Tea house into a marketable ‘brand’. The tea house now has a monthly requirement of 1000 kilograms of sugar and 300 kilograms of tea powder to satisfy consumer demands.
Bengaluru’s Chai Point
Founded in 2010 by Amuleek Singh Bijral, Chai Point was the first tea startup in the country. The company has 100 outlets in eight major Indian cities and recorded revenues of Rs. 56 crore for 2016-17.
Bijral, a Harvard alum, Chai Point in Bengaluru with a retail store, however, the company now also offers home delivery services and has vending machines in corporations. Although the company is facing a high cash burn rate, Bijral said he is confident about securing profits in the upcoming year, according to an interview with VC Circle.
The company is now targeting the white-collar and the upper white-collar markets and hopes to expand their market by opening kiosks at prominent metro stations. Chai Point has so far raised around $13 million in funding and hopes to raise an additional $10 million in a Series C round of funding in 2018.
Featured Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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