Wild tea in race for recognition among top brands

Roopak Goswami

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Guwahati: Beyondarie, tea startup which sources tea from wild tea trees in Manipur wants wild tea to be an established category like Assam tea or a Darjeeling tea.

Wild tea

The Startup which started a couple of years back is positive in its approach and is going all out.

“Five years down the line, we want to be one of the established consumers (Health beverage) brands in India from the North East. So, our revenue ambition is what it takes to be that” Nashat Hussain Co-Founder at Beyondarie told Business Northeast.

Wild tea
Nashat Hussain, Co-Founder, Beyondarie.

The other partners of the company are Rajdeep Bora, Boilal Gangte, Mohit Narru and Dipankar Ghoshal.

Wild tea: He says in Manipur the company has not unlocked even 10% of the available capacity.

"We also intend to capitalize the Wild Teas of Upper Assam-Arunachal Border (The Singpho area) and even the Wild Teas of Mizoram" he says.

"We believe there will still be more wild tea clusters in the interiors of North East region (apart from what we have just mentioned) considering Tea is native to the region along with China. Also, what we have observed is that, since Wild Tea grows wild, there are plenty of natural saplings coming up every year as the wild tea trees shed their seeds during fall" he says.

He says these saplings seldom make it in the wild due to overshadowing by wild shrubs/weeds/trees or being cut down by natives as it doesn’t hold any value.

"We believe, as natives see commercial value in wild tea, they will participate in ensure the propagation of more Wild Teas going forward" he says.

Wild tea

He says unlike the conventional tea industry, which started centuries ago during the British era, Wild tea in India is just a few years story by us.

"However, we have made significant strides considering the time span. We want Wild Tea to be an established category like say an “Assam Tea” or a “Darjeeling Tea” or a “Ceylon Tea.” However, our approach will be slightly different from our predecessors. We want everyone to know that Wild Tea is not just a commercial venture/industry, but it is something which is exclusive and “Good for You & Good for the Planet” he says.

Speciality tea: On speciality tea, he says from a market share point of view, speciality tea (non-CTC) commands more than 10% of the market. However, this segment is growing by 3x to 4x vis-à-vis the tea Industry and hence the potential is immense.

"Also, the trend across not just India but the world is leaning towards wellness beverage, which is what we called the speciality segment when we talk of tea industry" he says.

He says unlike the traditional belief of “speciality tea is for tea connoisseur,” the fact is the younger generation and even people in general (especially post COVID) are indulging in tea not just for experience or taste but also for health and lifestyle.

Beyondarie's consumers are mainly coming from the main metros. To be specific, Delhi NCR, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Pune.

Exports: Exports is very much on the radar of Beyondarie “Being less than a two-year-old start-up, it was not possible to spread ourselves thin everywhere. We wanted to first establish the domestic market and so we could not really build momentum on export until then. However, we have just started exploring export market and we are getting encouraging responses" he says.

The company has a good offline presence in Delhi-NCR, Bangalore and Guwahati and will continue to add more cities as we go forth. Also, we do have presence in HORECA (hotels, restaurants and catering) channels as well.

"We have tied-up with Barista for North India and we have presence in few hotels and cafes across the country as well" he says.

Nashat believe that all its tea variants are different. For the simple reason, consumers who like a particular tea will vouch for that, because that variant is unique and special to them.

"From a pure commercial perspective (which may not be the right way), our blended green teas and blended smoked tea does very well, which are in tea pyramids. From a pure Wild Tea, people love our Wild Smoked Tea, Wild White Tea, Wild Oolong Tea and our Wild Black Tea" he says.

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Roopak Goswami