She could have become an orthopedic doctor. But she just chose to do something different, something on her own. Rupali Ambegaonkar, the CEO at Tea Culture of the World, instead decided to make the mornings better for people. She decided to serve them tea of top quality and different tastes.
Rupali, the owner of 20 stores offering over 150 blends in tea bags and loose leaf, shares how her entrepreneurial journey started and what she wishes to achieve next, along with valuable tips for start-ups.
Edited Excerpt of the Interview:
Business Upside [BU]: How did the Idea of Doing Something with Tea Come to You?
Rupali Ambegaonkar [RA]: It was in 2010 when somebody gifted me a tea box. It was a box of Chinese tea, and I liked the taste very much. The idea came to me then, and I started thinking about it and gradually initiated all this.
[BU]: Why Did You Not Choose a Secured Job and Start this Journey, Leaving the Sector You Had Specialized in, In Terms of Education?
[RA]: A few years back, my daughter had undergone some physical problems, and I needed to look after her. I would not be able to look after her if I continued with a full-time job. Then, I thought of doing something on my own to get enough time for myself and my daughter. This is how it all started.
[BU]: What do You Aim to do with this Company?
[RA]: I want to make the tea culture of the world a famous brand and ensure that it reaches all households. When I started this business, I dreamt of bringing a special tea to the drawing rooms and thought it should reach a certain level. Now, I am satisfied that people are delighted to have the tea. I wanted to make people understand the difference between our tea and that of others; I wanted to bring variety to the routine lives of people with tea only, the product everyone needs every day, irrespective of financial status. I have been able to do that. Now, I want to reach the maximum number of houses with my products and carry on with this journey.
[BU]: What is the Key Behind Your Company’s Growth?
[RA]: It is our quality, nothing else. The quality of the products we sell has been consistently top-notch. Additionally, our blends, varieties, and packaging are also quite attractive.
[BU]: How Do You Use Modern Technology In Serving Your Clients?
[RA]: We use automated machines to make tea bags and have our websites. We use digital advertisements, and we are into the job of inventing software to serve our clients faster and better.
[BU]: What are Your Most Significant Achievements So Far?
[RA]: Tea Culture of the World has won a few Awards for its extraordinary packaging. We have been awarded as the top seller at Amazon and have received a few other significant acknowledgments, including the women entrepreneur award and more.
[BU]: What is the Next Target You Wish to Achieve?
[RA]: I pursued a small dream of selling quality and tasteful tea to people. Since I started following the dream, I’ve learned many things while driving this business. After reaching this position, even an ordinary person can do a lot, cultivating her dream. Today, we serve top-notch clients and supply tea to many top companies, from banks to Indian defense. Dedication, hard work, and quality control can take to a point. I love the feeling that I’ve been a part of a start-up journey at a time when start-ups are getting so much attention. As I am running this business, every day is important to me.
[BU]: What are the Prospects of Your Sector?
[RA]: I strive to create innovative products for the company, want to make my brand a bigger one, and make it fly abroad. Our products are already available in the USA, though on a very small scale. In the next five years, I aspire to make Tea Culture of the World a bigger brand serving different parts of the world.
[BU]: What are the Two Things You Think Start-Ups Should Never Forget?
[RA]: The main thing that a start-up should never forget is the fundamental cause for which the business has been started. Sometimes start-up owners get involved in many things, like earning revenues and handling the pressure of existing in a competitive market, and they need to remember the root cause that drove them toward the business. Any business’s first and foremost priority should be offering a quality product. Sometimes, start-up owners come into pressure seeing their rivals offering discounts or anything like that. A business always involves several pressures, but you must maintain the root cause for which you started the business. If you stick to the principal USP of your product, you will surely be successful.