TEA CULTURE: BREWING THE FINEST CONCOCTION WHILE BRINGING FORTH THE TALES!
Tea Culture of the World has enhanced the mundane experience into something exotic by offering over 80+ herbal and flavoured teas!
In India, the sweet aroma of freshly brewed tea in the morning is a daily ritual for every home. Tea is the lifeline of Indians – the much-needed energy boost after burning the midnight oil for examinations, the source of motivation after a bad day at work, a hint of togetherness when friends unite and indulge in endless gossips, and a sprinkle of love when a couple sips tea from the same “kulhad.” To a country where people prefer to gulp down smoking hot tea even in scorching summer, Dr. Rupali Ambegaonkar brought in her own dream and named it Tea Culture of the World.
Today, Tea Culture of the World successfully delights many tea connoisseurs not just in India but also across the globe. It has over 80 signature blends of flavoured and herbal teas.
Dr. Rupali Ambegaonkar, the Director and CEO of TCW Tea Pvt. Ltd., left her promising medical career for good to pursue the true calling of her life. She became one of the few certified tea sommeliers in India, having done her certification from the highly reputed Tea Association of Canada and further moving to China for her research. There, in a secluded and lush green tea estate, Dr. Rupali Ambegaonkar learned the ancient secrets of flavour blending and tea brewing, thereby developing her signature recipes into perfect concoctions.
She commenced her tea journey as the proprietor of The Iron Buddha Company back in 2011 with the brand name Tea Culture of the World. Six years later, TCW Tea Pvt. Ltd. was formed to accelerate the brand to reach end consumers. Since then, the brand has been offering exemplary experiences to all tea lovers around the world.
THE BIGGEST STRENGTH OF THE COMPANY
The CEO considers the malleability and agility of the company as its biggest strengths. Agility has allowed the team to tackle the pandemic quite well. As a result, the company swiftly adapted to the idea of lockdown and later on performed well in the unlock situations. In all these times, managing work from the office as well as from a remote setup seemed so smooth because of the agile nature of the company.
Malleability enables the brand to identify the pulse of health-conscious consumers quickly. The brand caters to the needs and expectations of the consumers at record speeds.
TCW TEA PVT LTD WORK PROCESS
The brand has its own manufacturing units, because of which it can swiftly manufacture and pack all its teas into the various formats – Teabags, Giftsets, Loose Leaf packs etc. Tea leaves are curated vigilantly. Minimum processing is done purposefully so that they retain their goodness, health benefits and natural flavours. TCW Tea Pvt Ltd aims at offering an all-encompassing experience based purely on tea to the tea lovers by offering signature blends, providing tea accessories and enlivening the experience by sharing “tales about the luxury leaves.”
What sets the brand apart from other companies in sourcing ingredients, which is done straight from the origin across the world. They use freeze-dried ingredients in order to retain their flavour and nutritional value, thereby enhancing health benefits and ensuring great tasting teas! Extra care is taken for maintaining the texture and flavours so that tea blends of top-notch quality can be offered throughout the year.
THE ULTIMATE GOAL OF THE COMPANY
At Tea Culture of the World, the main goal of the team is to bring to life all the tea tales from around the world. The brand envisions a world where tea culture – living and imbibing the great tales of these humble leaves – will be practised by every household. TCW Tea Pvt Ltd. does not only curate tea leaves from different corners of the world; rather, it gathers enriching stories that make the tea experience a lot more engaging and interesting. A one-stop shop for all your tea fantasies, the brand also brings to you different classic and stylish tea accessories, making the brewing process quite engaging and entertaining.
VISION OF TCW TEA PVT LTD
From a business point of view, the Director and CEO aim to continue offering quality products to the world, thereby hitting the 100 Crore mark in the next three years, i.e., by 2024. Also, the company aims at continuing to adhere to strict quality control. Robust networking is also a priority since bilateral trade is getting increasingly difficult. TCW also wishes to keep the prices feasible for the products they offer.
The company is working hard every day to enhance the visibility of the brand and making the brand name immensely popular by using effective marketing strategies. An environmentally-conscious brand, Tea Culture of the World always aims at delivering 100% authentic products infused with the goodness of nature. The 80+ tea blends they offer have just one goal – to rejuvenate and create a healthy lifestyle for the consumers’ mind, body, and soul.
JOURNEY SO FAR
The CEO feels that “Leaving one profession and coming into another was challenging.” She has this immense hope and great confidence to help her continue, irrespective of any obstacle or hindrance on the way ahead. As she left her successful career in medicine, she did not flinch for a second as all she wanted was to live her dream.
THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR THE COMPANY
The initial stage was challenging as it involved a lot of learning for the CEO and the company. Dr. Rupali Ambegaonkar took any beginner’s mistakes she made in stride and gathered trustworthy team members around her. At the same time, the phase did incur monetary and time losses as well. For Dr. Rupali, “dealing with back-end areas and departments of the business was a challenge in the initial stages, and something she has been able to overcome through a loyal and capable team.”
Starting with the SIS channel was exciting; however, it resulted in slower growth. Thus, the company built its capability to manufacture retail packs, thereby paving the way to enter the general & modern trade and commerce segments to enhance its retail presence. Also, the company decided to enter global markets to enhance its presence worldwide with strategic distribution, eCommerce and logistics partnerships. Another huge challenge that the brand faced was to change the mindset of the Indian consumer, who considered tea an everyday commodity and not an experiential or luxury product. Even though tastes have changed and consumers are becoming more knowledgeable, Team TCW still educates people through experiential events, tea tastings, and beautiful gifts to drive home the fact that tea is a luxury that one can enjoy every day.
THE PROUDEST MOMENT FOR THE COMPANY
There is not any single or specific moment that can be pointed out. Rather, the CEO and Director of TCW takes immense pride in the fact that the brand has been pivotal in converting tea into a luxurious product. The journey from black tea driven daily commodity to quality driven luxury has not been easy. But together, the team has created a brand of premium tea flavours and wellness blends. Bringing forth different tea cultures, flavours, and blends to a country that used to rely on black tea is a significant accomplishment for the company.
COMPANY’S COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE IN THE MARKET
The brand offers tea bags, loose leaves, and different types of customised gifting options to reach out to audiences. The brand has the capability to swiftly adapt to a variety of market needs and requirements, for instance, being compliant with stringent norms, distribution models, etc.
COPING WITH THE PANDEMIC
The brand opened multiple business channels and continued building its presence through hyper-local, offline and online channels. Reaching out to corporates as a healthy gifting option is another brilliant idea that kept the brand going even during the fatal pandemic.
CREATIVE THINKING AND SOURCING OF GREAT IDEAS WITHIN TCW
Teamwork is the key to enhance creative thinking and bringing forth great ideas within the enterprise. Internal teams work together in perfect synchronisation and offer inputs and ideas to solve critical as well as mundane challenges. Out-of-the-box thinking is encouraged at all times. The team is keyed into the latest trends in order to gain a deep insight into the mindset of the brand’s consumers.
CORE VALUES – THE PILLAR OF SUPPORT FOR TCW
The Founder and CEO believe that when the core values are followed religiously, everything else – mission and vision, get aligned accordingly. Thus, core values which include quality & sustainability, and a strong focus on creating a lingering experience for the consumer, are the strongest support pillars that guide the brand and its message.
A FEW WORDS OF ADVICE FOR AN ENTREPRENEUR
A budding entrepreneur who dares to dream should stay away from distractions or unnecessary inhibitions and pressure. Cutting corners for survival should never be an option. The best way to come out victorious is to identify the core USP and adhere to it irrespective of the situation.
A FEW WORDS TO LEAVE THE READERS WITH
Dr. Rupali Ambegaonkar believes that adopting healthy habits is of utmost significance. One should look after their health and wellness. Being healthy in mind and body, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, sleeping well, reading a book daily, and maintaining discipline – all of these habits hold extreme importance in life.