There isn’t a problem in the world that can’t be solved over a cup of tea. Indian tea is universally loved across the globe and amongst the many tea brands India has to offer, Teabox stands out. There are many reasons for this—it sells the freshest tea and tea-based products sourced from Darjeeling, Assam, Nilgiris, and Nepal; the Teabox catalog features a wide selection of single-origin teas, along with a range of iced teas, flavoured and unflavored blends; last and certainly not the least, the tea is vacuum-packed and stored in a temperature and humidity-controlled facility. Tea when stored this way can be shipped to customers within 48 hours of production, cutting short the traditional cycle of 3–6 months. Teabox was founded in 2012 by entrepreneur Mr. Kausshal Dugarr, and the company set up the country’s first cold-storage facility for tea in 2015 in Siliguri.
The four enemies of tea are moisture, light, oxygen and heat that rob the tea of freshness and taste. Transforming a 200-year-old industry, Teabox sources its tea directly from the plantations and vacuum packs the leaves often within 48 hours of sourcing in its temperature-controlled facility. By shipping directly from the processing warehouses to customers within 3 to 5 days, it is uniting the richest flavours of the finest tea with the curious and the cultivated all over the world, allowing you to enjoy the freshest Indian tea. Mr. Dugarr gives an insight into the business of tea and his vision for the company.
FC: With Teabox do you see yourself more as a curator of fine taste or as a visionary who wants to disrupt the market?
KD: My penchant for fine tea was instilled in me by my family. Growing up in Darjeeling and exposed to tea and the nuances of a truly fine tea experience, enabled me to objectively look at the tea industry. Having recognised the need and a potential for stark improvement, I found an opportunity to introduce to the world to authenticity and freshness - qualities that were surprisingly lacking in the teas being supplied to its avid drinkers worldwide. Disrupting the market was not my intention; it was a pleasant consequence of a bigger vision to enlighten the tea drinking community about the delightful taste of fresh tea.
FC: Teabox sells products globally and ships to more than 112 countries; how do you intend on beating the competition?
KD: We have been delivering tea at its freshest, straight from the source directly to our customers. We follow a process model developed to enable us with unique capabilities in order to achieve this. We would face competition if our awareness of the industry and its challenges, our distribution channel efficiency and focus on reach was matched.
FC: The Company has raised over $15 million in external funding, which obviously means the investors have full faith in the story of Teabox. Please do share your vision for it.
KD: My family has been in the tea industry for over a century and I grew up with the workings of the industry live around me. While the inception to build Teabox came much later, the affinity towards tea was conceived then. Growing up, I still fascinated about this beverage, developed a streamlined view towards it and the industry at large, which sparked the idea of building a brand that facilitates the delicate flavours and rich experience of tea to its drinkers. I mean, why must there be a difference in taste at all in the tea drunk at the estate and the one drunk at your home?
Indian tea is renowned worldwide, but India is yet to have a global tea brand emerge from its market. Given our smart technology, pioneering vision and the right resources, we are trying to build India’s first global tea brand.
FC: A lot of work can be done over a cup of tea; what do you feel are the most invigorating qualities of tea?
KD: Tea makes us go around. It is an enabler, that can soothe, energise and even halt time. Allowing us to get through daily life as well as mark special events; sustaining us as we carry on. It importantly, can be your bit of self-indulgence which gives you that rejuvenating pause.