India’s Oldest Tea Brand | 100% Pure Organic Darjeeling Tea | Golden Tips Tea

India’s Oldest Tea Brand | 100% Pure Organic Darjeeling Tea | Golden Tips Tea

Darjeeling is home to some of the best tea plantations in the world. It is tucked away in a quiet corner in the foothills of the Himalayas in the West Bengal. It is said that the harsh winds of the Himalayas give Darjeeling tea the unique aroma it is famous for. 
Interview with 
Madhav Sarda, Expert Tea Taster and Managing Director Golden Tips Tea

1.Please tell us about your brand presence across the globe. Where is your manufacturing and packaging base? From where do you import the teas?

Apart from the domestic market, Golden Tips has dedicated customers across the globe and have sent teas to almost 90 countries at some point of time in the last several years through orders from its website & online channels. Golden Tips also has exclusive representations in Russia, Japan, Mongolia, Taiwan, Nepal, Bhutan and now China, through distributors.

We have packaging units in Kolkata, Darjeeling and Delhi and also import some premium teas from Japan and China.

2. How did you get started in this business?

 Golden Tips comes with a heritage of 80+ years and 4 generations. We follow the “Direct from Plantation + Auction model) and our expertise lies in sourcing, packaging and marketing of premium quality single origin teas, and tea blends. Apart from the domestic market, we export our teas to 90+ countries with Russia, Japan, Mongolia, Nepal, Bhutan and now China being our main international markets.

When we started a few decades back, the almost complete absence of a premium homegrown brand that could procure, package and present the finest Darjeeling Teas to customers spurred us to start Golden Tips. Our endeavour has been to cater to domestic as well as foreign customers, especially those visiting India through our 14+ tea boutiques, our omni-channel presence across India (The Bombay Store/ Foodhall/ Nilgiris/ Central Cottage Industries Emporia, Dorabjee, Lulu, Pothy’s,  etc.) and also through our website (www.goldentipstea.com) and marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart.

EX CHIEF FAROOQ ABDULLAH - Jammu and Kashmir CM just visited Golden Tips Tea Boutique located in Chowrasta, Darjeeling. He savoured premium quality Moonlight Spring Teas and appreciated the tea store and bought teas too
3. Why do your customers select you over your competitors?

Following the “Direct from Plantation + Auction model”, the expertise of Golden Tips lies in sourcing, sampling, choosing, packaging and marketing of the finest single origin teas, tea blends, infusions for a cross section of tea drinkers and that – at the correct prices.  Golden Tips offers an extensive range of teas in terms of varieties and styles.

We have a vast and eclectic range of the finest Darjeeling, Assam and other Indian teas sourced from the best plantations across the country. These teas are packaged in varied styles and packs such as Economy packs, Handcrafted Gift packs consisting of hand-carved wooden boxes, fancy Brocade and Velvet cloth bags, Jute boxes, etc. We also manufacture Commercial packs in Paper Cartons, Tin Cans and Foil pouches.

Wew also have several Organic offerings such as 2nd Flush Ruby Regalia Black Tea, Organic Moonlight White Tea etc.

4. What suggestions would you like to give to the young budding entrepreneurs?

Carving out the right trajectory, consistency, hard work and perseverance – keep doing the right things, day after day. It will eventually work out.

5. How do you see Tea Tourism evolve over the years in Darjeeling and what steps do you suggest so that more visitors come to the area for this purpose?

Tea tourism in Darjeeling is still in its nascent stage. Given its colonial history and  rich legacy, the Queen of Hills, as it is popularly known, has immense potential to offer a robust tea-tasting and tourism experience. However, it lacks proper infrastructure, policy and marketing initiatives.

Detailed planning is required for making tea tourism more attractive in the region. The Tea Board and the Tourism Ministry at the Centre can join hands to play a crucial role in this endeavour. Tea companies too should come forward and aim to promote Tea-Tourism by devoting land which is not feasible for plantation tea for multifarious tea-related activities, and setting up resorts and homestays.

This will boost the economy of the region by creating new jobs, increasing revenues of all stakeholders, improve infrastructure and plant a sense of cultural exchange between visitors and locals.

Organising Tea Festivals in the tea gardens, visits to Tea Boutiques located at nearby towns where exotic teas, tea wares & souvenirs are on display, will further drive interest in such tea tourism.

Tea gastronomy could be highlighted with the promotion of Tea-infused drinks & beverages, confectionery, food and this could further add to the many lucrative avenues for the areas around the tea estates. These steps could further help promote, upgrade & highlight the consumption of teas as well as their multi-health benefits, which fall within the ambit of Tea Tourism.

 

5. How do you see Tea Tourism evolve over the years in Darjeeling and what steps do you suggest so that more visitors come to the area for this purpose?

Tea tourism in Darjeeling is still in its nascent stage. Given its colonial history and  rich legacy, the Queen of Hills, as it is popularly known, has immense potential to offer a robust tea-tasting and tourism experience. However, it lacks proper infrastructure, policy and marketing initiatives.

Detailed planning is required for making tea tourism more attractive in the region. The Tea Board and the Tourism Ministry at the Centre can join hands to play a crucial role in this endeavour. Tea companies too should come forward and aim to promote Tea-Tourism by devoting land which is not feasible for plantation tea for multifarious tea-related activities, and setting up resorts and homestays.

This will boost the economy of the region by creating new jobs, increasing revenues of all stakeholders, improve infrastructure and plant a sense of cultural exchange between visitors and locals.

Organising Tea Festivals in the tea gardens, visits to Tea Boutiques located at nearby towns where exotic teas, tea wares & souvenirs are on display, will further drive interest in such tea tourism.

Tea gastronomy could be highlighted with the promotion of Tea-infused drinks & beverages, confectionery, food and this could further add to the many lucrative avenues for the areas around the tea estates. These steps could further help promote, upgrade & highlight the consumption of teas as well as their multi-health benefits, which fall within the ambit of Tea Tourism.

 

7. What next? What is the way forward?

As mentioned before, we presently operate mostly through our retail chains (14+ stores across Eastern India), Omni- Channel route pan India and website. We have also recently opened our flagship Tea Café and restaurant “Teattoria” in Darjeeling where lip-smacking Italian/ Continental and Oriental cuisine with Japanese fare are served along with our range of Specialty Teas.

We now plan to expand our footprint through our offline/ physical retail operations  across Metros in India by opening niche experiential tea boutiques and stores. We are exploring this route, and are looking forward to commissioning a few outlets once the current wave of the pandemic subsides.

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