Vahdam Teas: Takes ‘Teach Me’ Initiative
The company is pledging 1 per cent of its revenue towards the education of the tea farmers’ children

Vahdam Teas, an upcoming online tea brand, funded by Fireside Ventures, Mumbai Angels, Singapore Angel Network and a few undisclosed investors, is working on to promote itself as an iconic made in India tea brand in the global market on the basis of efficiency of its disruptive supply chain. The brand concerns for the farmers and their families and patronisation of a truly ethical and fair trade product, said Bala Sarda, founder, Vahdam Teas.

Sarda, who hails from a family that has been into tea business for more than 80 years now, said that the company has just come up with an initiative called “Teach Me”.

The company, through this initiative, is pledging 1 per cent of its revenue towards the education of the tea farmers’ children.

“We aim to facilitate quality education of these children, starting from the age of 14 till the time they acquire a desired, stable form of employment. Our farmers, like any other parent, also have aspirations of their progeny having a better chance at life than them. Vahdam Teas simply wants to honour that aspiration,” said Sarda.

Significantly, Vahdam Teas sources its Teas from 150-200 premium tea plantations across Darjeeling, Assam, Nilgiris, Arunachal Pradesh, Kangra in Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Nepal. The company has worked hard to streamline its supply chain where it doesn't have to waste time shuffling the tea between multiple middlemen. This in turn, means that the company is able to ship its teas in the shortest possible time.

“Vahdam Teas stands out from other brands as within 24-72 hours of the tea being harvested, it procures the produce and gets it at its state-of-the-art warehouse in Delhi where the tea goes through a series of quality checks and is then blended or flavoured. The tea is then stored in large vacuum-sealed bags in a temperature controlled environment to ensure that the freshness of the tea is intact. And based on consumer demand we further pack them in similar vacuum-sealed packs before shipping them off to their respective location. And that's how we make this upcoming iconic tea brand reach the customer,” said Sarda.

The company also sources several limited-edition exotic teas from a few gardens which suit the liking of a tea savant. The White Teas, for instance, which the company sources, are grown in very limited quantities, hand-rolled by trained tea experts. These are highly sought after by connoisseurs around the world. They also fetch much higher prices than other variants, he said.

Vahdam Teas sells more than 125 variants on its platform. These include delectable single-origin Spring. Summer and Autumnal flushes from Darjeeling and Assam, limited edition Teas from Nilgiri and Kangra and a myriad of in-house blends which might be spiced or be a motley of fruits. It also offers exquisite varieties of green tea, Oolong Tea, White Tea and a whole range of uplifting Herbal Teas or Tisanes.

Vahdam Teas’ strategies are paying off as well. It has already found markets in as many as 85 countries including the US, the UK, Europe, Germany, Russia , Italy, China, Taiwan, South Korea. Interestingly, the US is the company's focal market accounting for more than half of the revenue. The company, over the last 18 months, has grown seven to ten times and plans to keep the momentum, said Sarda.The company has also lined up plans to reinforce its warehousing and logistical facilities in various global locations to cap its shipping costs, he added.

Also in the pipeline from Vahdam Teas’ stable is a line of single-serve, loose-leaf Tea bags, for several of its variants, which have been in popular demand in the US in the recent times.

Columnist: 
Ritwik Mukherjee