Established as an endeavour to cater to the palates of modern Indian tea aficionados, Tea Culture of the World, a unique brand of luxury health tea, is the brainchild of Dr. Rupali Ambegaonkar, Founder and CEO, Tea Culture of the World.
Aadeetya Sriram (AS): What is Tea Culture of the world all about? What was the objective behind start-up?
Rupali Ambegaonkar (RA): Tea Culture of the World, a unique brand of luxury health tea, is a venture by Iron Buddha Company aimed at making available some of the finest, most exotic and rare tea from around the world in the Indian market. With a product offering that includes exotic tea variants such as Rose, Blooming, Red, Chrysanthemum, Colyx, Oolong, White, Puerh, Chamomile, Tie Gua Yin, Jasmine Tea and Green tea amongst many others, we are the first brand to introduce such novel variants of tea in the Indian market. Tea Culture of the World aims at providing its customers with not only tea that is pleasing to the taste buds but also those that are beneficial for health.
AS: Where do you source your raw materials for your tea products?
RA: At present the tea is imported from China. We are in talks with Sri Lanka, South Africa and Argentina as well for various more blends and variants of tea.
AS: India, is a tea-consuming nation, how are your offerings different from the ones available in the market?
RA: Indians drink approximately 6,200,000 tons tea every year, but most of the population roots for masala tea and black tea. Having said that, there is also a segment that consumes green tea and flavoured tea therefore we provide tea variants that are rare and exotic and currently many of them are not available in India. These teas are organic products that are least processed and high in essential nutrients. Our products not only have an elegant flavour but also have a gamut of health benefits that range from anti-ageing, anti-cancer, reducing body heat, lowering the risk of heart diseases, effective against sore throat and rich in anti-oxidants.
AS: How are these health-teas beneficiary to the consumers?
RA: We spend so much time and money on consuming products that claim to have health benefits. Products like creams, gels, tonics, medicines and various such products are not only least effective but also at times harmful for the body. These teas being organic have no side-effects of any kind. These teas have enormous health benefits, research has time and again proved that tea has the potential to reduce cholesterol, provide antioxidants, aid in weight loss control diabetes, also stop free radical accumulation and also be a good anti-aging tool. What is better than consuming a multitude of nutrients while you sip on your favourite brew which tantalises all your senses?
AS: Your pricing strategy for these products seems to be on the higher side, which segment of consumer base are you targeting for your tea?
RA: Good health is priceless, so we won’t say that tea is expensive. It may be perceived a little on the higher side but if you compare the quantity and quality with others you will definitely see a big difference as these teas are least processed and comes in whole leaves or flowers so you can brew a lot more tea compared to the equivalent quantity of other teas. Also one pack would suffice you for a month, which makes the tea quite economical compared to the plethora of benefits and the exotic flavors are concerned.
AS: What are your company plans in the country?
RA: At present, the tea is available exclusively online at www.teacultureoftheworld.com where people can know more about the product before they purchase them. We are in talks with various exclusive and high-end retail and hotel chains to make the product available and are in further stages of talks with exclusive restaurants and hotels for the same. We plan to launch our own flagship stores cum teahouse where the products will be available for purchase.
AS: How is the consumer aware of the brand with reference to tea variants and their health benefits?
RA: We are engaging in various consumer awareness programs ranging from Tea-tasting sessions to speaking about the products through various forms of media. We have been educating the people about the benefits of these teas and the brew itself through social media like Facebook and Twitter. Audience can interact directly with us through social media. We actively speak about the health benefits that come with each tea. This information is also available with each box of tea.
AS: Any other verticals that you cater to? Do you plan to venture into other verticals?
RA: At the moment we do not cater to any other verticals but we do have future plans to venture into others as well.
AS: Are you manufacturing your products in the country? Where do you have your manufacturing unit?
RA: Most of the teas that we provide need special care and can be grown in special conditions only. They need to be packed immediately as they are least processed and any delay will lead to the tea leaves loosing the flavor therefore it s not possible to manufacture them in the country. We have our manufacturing unit in Shanghai where they are manufactured and packed and then imported to our country.
AS: Your marketing strategy?
RA: We are in talks with various exclusive and high-end retail and hotel chains to make the product available and are in further stages of talks with exclusive restaurants and hotels for the same to make the tea available for retail and direct consumption. We also plan to launch our own flagship stores cum teahouse where the products will be available for consumption and purchase. We are looking at making the tea available at the leading metros before having a pan India presence.
AS: Your accumulated revenue till date & your future plans for Tea Culture?
RA: At present we can not divulge in any facts or figure. We plan to open our own flagship stores and make many more exotic tea variants from across the globe available for the audience where they can enjoy the tea.