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Getting the right brew: 4 tea start-ups explain biz models, profitability

The challenge with tea is putting a premium on what is a staple item in Indian homes

Topics
Tea | Chaayos | Teabox

Pavan Lall 



tea

Following the proliferation of coffee in the market, the last few years have witnessed a handful of entrepreneurs attempting to brand, premiumise, and build both online and offline retail models around tea, noting that India has been a tea-drinking nation. But that's a double-edged sword. The pro is that there's little need for educating the Indian consumer — be it a Rs 5 cutting chai or a Rs 300 per cup first flush from a single estate grade in Darjeeling. The challenge, however, is putting a premium on what is a staple item in Indian homes, as well as being able to consistently scale up and become a lifestyle choice. Food habits take a long time to change, which is why most 45-year-olds prefer Thumbs Up over Coke, says Abheek Singhi, senior partner at Boston Consulting Group."The brand has to have mass appeal to make a profit in a business like this because the retail economics are driven by throughput as opposed to gross margins," he says. Here's how four recent players are tackling the business:

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First Published: Sun, August 04 2019. 21:08 IST

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