Marwar - Jan Feb 2017 - page 62

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MARWAR
INDIA
I JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2017
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
From top: Kaushal Dugar, founder of
Teabox; products from Teabox and
The Tea Shelf; Atulit and Srinidhi
Chokhani, founders of The Tea Shelf
DID YOU KNOW?
It is estimated that India
produces nearly 1.2 billion kg of
tea, of which Indians consume
almost 900million kg.
A special brew at The Tea
Shelf is the Thurbo Moonlight
Darjeeling First Flush, while
the Billimalai Nilgiri Virgin
Green is a customer
favourite.
consensus was that if something like this had
not been attempted in the past, it was because
it couldn’t be done. It took time, effort and
seed funding of a million dollars by VC Accel
Partners to change the perception.
Today, Teabox ships 250+ varieties of tea
to over 100 countries. The tea available is
divided into three categories: single estate
(procured from one estate), flavoured blends
(with flower and fruit inclusions) and single
estate blends (a blend from two or more estates).
They are sourced from plantations in Nepal
and tea gardens in Darjeeling, Assam, Nilgiris,
Kangra in Himachal Pradesh and other north-
eastern states. Leaves are plucked, processed
and packaged within one week using Teabox’s
proprietary cold chain process, ensuring that
freshest tea is delivered to customers' doorsteps.
But Dugar is surprised by the reaction of
his Indian customers. He says, “They have
been very receptive. It could be because a
large population now travels overseas and has
developed a taste for the finer things in life.”
There are challenges, the biggest, according
to Dugar, being that no B2C F&B brand from
India has gone global till date. But this doesn’t
stop him. He says, “We aim to become the first
‘Made in India’ consumer-focused global brand.
Eventually, we also want to develop an offline
presence in the right places.”
DID YOU KNOW?
Russians favour strong tea
fromAssam and Darjeeling on
Teabox. The Japanese opt for
lighter varieties.
Orders in India come not just
from Tier-1 cities, but also
Tier-2 cities such as Jodhpur,
Jaipur, Aurangabad and
Dehradun.
THE TEA SHELF, AN ONLINE STORE
THAT SPECIALISES IN PREMIUM LOOSE-LEAF TEA
The Tea Shelf was conceptualised by Atulit and Srinidhi Chokhani.
While Atulit was born into a family of tea lovers, Srinidhi married into
one. They noticed that while the popularity of the beverage continued
to grow worldwide, very few companies in India catered to this demand.
This observation, along with their love for tea, led to the conception of an
online tea shop, The Tea Shelf, in January 2015.
Belonging to a family of sixth generation planters from Assam,
diversifying into the digital space was the next natural step for them. And
like any other start-up, theirs too brought its share of jitters, hiccups and
challenges. Every day was a learning experience in all the departments, be it
logistics, web development or packaging.
Today, their product range focuses on premium Indian loose-leaf tea,
which is retailed in pure form as single estate tea. “We don’t use the word
‘premium’ loosely. The company sources handpicked tea from across
India (particularly Assam, Darjeeling, Kangra and Nilgiri) in selected
quantities, to make sure that only the freshest tea reaches the consumer,”
says Srinidhi Chokhani.
Recently, they launched their own blends such as Lemongrass Black
Tea, Moroccan Mint Green Tea, Lavender Black Tea, Chamomile Green
Tea and English Breakfast Assam Black Tea, among others. Also, all floral
and fruity blends are created from natural infusions of the product itself
and contain no artificial oils or chemicals.
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