Vahdam Teas and Super Foods, a home-grown tea brand focussed on export of premium teas, is set to launch its products across India. The company did a soft launch in the country recently.

“The awareness level for premium single-estate blends is still low in India. We have just commenced the sale of our range of teas in the country. We will, by the end of the next quarter build an online presence across the top four metros. We are trying to build an omni channel to route our products,” Bala Sarda, founder and CEO, said.

The four-year-old start-up was announced the ‘winner of the Global SMB of the Year’ award at Amazon Sambhav Summit in New Delhi recently.

“It was the proudest moment of my life, particularly because I’ve always been inspired by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and receiving the award from him still feels like a dream,” Bala said.

Vahdam Teas’ in-house blends have been winning international awards and acclaim. It was the only Indian brand to be included in the list of ‘Oprah Winfrey’s Favourite Things’ for 2018 and 2019.

The start-up sources the teas directly from farmers, makes the blend (adds value) and sells it directly to end consumers.

Claiming Vahdam as India’s first vertically integrated company, Bala said, “The country, despite being the second largest tea producer in the world, has always depended on bulk exports for its sustainability. We changed this scenario in 2015 with the launch of Vahdam, leveraged technology and cut out all middlemen.”

The company has always focused on markets abroad such as the US, Europe and South Asia for offloading its premium teas. “The market is huge and they understand the value of Indian Orthodox teas. We have till date shipped more than 100 million+ cups of tea to consumers across 93 countries,” Bala said.

While taking pride in Vahdam’s growth journey, Bala voiced concern over the state of affairs of the industry in India. “We have some of the finest teas in the world. Yet, we are not able to capitalise on our strength. Foreign brands shift from one sourcing region to another to compete on price points. Darjeeling teas, for instance, were quoting at least 35 per cent lower than the rates last year. This is sad considering that millions of farmers struggle to get the right price for the leaf and are facing an uncertain future.”