Even as the burgers, pizzas and Starbucks are catering to the taste buds of Indians, the celebrated Indian tea is developing the retail route globally as entrepreneurial consultants have positioned themselves as Chaiwalas backed by investor funds. Sharing their perspectives at the India Food Forum 2016, Amuleek Singh Bijral, Founder, Director & CEO, Chai Point, said, “High growth capital is backing the tea market in India,” without disclosing the funding details and the trend. Bijral had forayed via Chai Point in Bangalore and Gurgaon. Another entrepreneur Kaushal Dugar, who started Tea Box, has expanded its market internationally and sells in 93 countries.
Apart from the interest of investors, technology has been a great enabler to take tea closer to the consumers.“Selling Teas through digital platform has seen an increase in the past two years. For example, at Chai Point, out of 1.5 lakh cups of tea sold every day, 75% of the orders are through online and mobile apps,” said Bijral. The Indian tea has been going places compared to its close cousin coffee being a distant second. 77 cups of tea were sold for every one cup of coffee,” added Bijral, referring to a domestic study.
Moreover, technology in tea is not restricted to only supply chain, but also for product innovations. “To cater to special demand, we are developing unique flavoured teas like Blueberry Muffin and Strawberry Cream flavored tea, which are based out of a bakery from Finland. The same will be introduced in India in the coming months,” said Sumit Shah, Executive Director of Madhujayanti International Ltd, which runs the brand Te-a-me, through online and retail outlets.
However, in India, Adrak Chai still rules the roost as king of the market across all the cities in India, the panelists at this session of the Forum concurred.