Not many would have thought of starting up a tea selling portal but Darjeeling based tea enthusiast Kaushal Dugar had grown amidst tea farms and was determined to start a venture of his own and hence, TeaXpress. The company specialises in selling premium Darjeeling teas through their two branded stores, namely www.darjeelingteaxpress.ru and www.darjeelingteaxpress.com. Kaushal shares his vision with which he started TeaXpress, “We facilitate direct tea sales from origin to the end consumer, with a focus on fast delivery and excellent service without compromising on the quality of the teas.”
Kaushal cites his family run tea business as the plausible reason of the passion he has for tea. He shares with us, “I’ve spent a lot of time in the tea gardens as our family business included the provision of tea garden supplies. Our activities are often shaped by our experiences, and I’m fortunate to have experienced a life around the gardens. In its own ways, that has contributed greatly to motivate me into starting up a business that revolved around tea.” Kaushal took a good time with corporate bigwigs before plunging into the tea business. A KPMG consultant, after graduating from Singapore Management University with a Bachelor’s of Business Management, directed the Corporate Finance & Strategy at KPMG. At TeaXpress, he has a strong core team of 3 and other people focusing on business aspects like tea quality check, logistics, design and user interface of portal and SEO.
Describing his entrepreneurial journey, Kaushal says, “I wanted to shake things up in one of India’s oldest industries. Globally too, we saw immense opportunity in the tea market. Putting some of my consulting skills to test, I realised that there were too many inefficiencies in the industry which if addressed, could lead to a very viable business.” And thus, TeaXpress came into the picture. He welcomes the step by the government to declare tea as a national drink in 2013. He considers tea to be a healthier alternative to coffee and feels this aspect will help increase tea sales amongst the burgeoning health conscious middle class. Speaking about the revenue model, Kaushal expresses, “It’s a very simple model wherein we buy teas at X cost and sell it at an X+Y price, thus making a profit on each order on a unit level basis, after having accounted for all operating costs.” 95% of the revenues are generated from out of India. TeaXpress ships to all countries using EMS Speed Post (Indian Post) or Express Service such as DHL/FedEx worldwide except to those countries debarred by the Government of India and also delivers to all accessible destinations within India.
TeaXpress hasn’t marketed itself with advertisements on local on national media. It procures new customers through organic search and through word of mouth and referrals. For instance, referrals account for at least 30% of clients, having a repeat order ratio of more than 50%. Speaking of vision, Kaushal iterates his vision, “Our vision is really to be a single platform whereby a tea-drinker/lover can get access to all types of fresh teas from around the world at any price range, all with the click of a mouse within the shortest time possible. To realize it, we are building a very strong marketing team to carry out an aggressive campaign.” TeaXpress is also in talks with investors for its first round of funding.