India Now - page 29

BMW and Maserati Quattroporte and
that’s how he launched the car rental
service. The following four year stint at
KPMG as a corporate financial analyst
with a diversified portfolio of clients
sharpened his marketing acumen and in
the booming Indian economy he saw his
opportunity. “I decided to return to India
to explore my options here,” Dugar says.
The Siliguri-based lad returned to his
roots to work for his elder brother who
runs a tea export business. “Working
there showed me another side to the
business from what I had seen with my
father.” Dugar explains his observation
digging a little further back into fam-
ily history and that of traditional tea
plantations in India. For now, here were
the seeds of his golden opportunity. “I
saw the infrastructure that was being
used to take the teas from gardens to
the consumer and was surprised at
how dated it was. And in these chal-
lenges, I saw a great opportunity for
change,” he explains. His faculties had
been sharpened abroad and helped
him think like a dispassionate observer.
“This outsider thinking was important
because it enabled me to wriggle free
of the constricting assumptions of the
industry insider. It also enabled me to
import ideas and practices from other
industries and cultures and apply them
donated more than 100,000 books till
date. Recipient of the inaugural SMU
Rising Star Alumni Award in 2014,
Dugar’s early initiatives gave an insight
into the innovation and leadership that
would bloom with Teabox.
Unconventional Blend
What brought the bright finance analyst
back from Singapore and into this tra-
ditional industry is an interesting story.
Dugar reminisces, “Studying and living
in Singapore for eight years shaped my
career.” It was also a time well spent for
this youngster from India who went
about setting up two companies, one in
e-waste management and the other in
luxury limousine service. The limousine
story is part of Dugar folklore. It is said
that the SMU graduate convinced two
rich Singaporeans to lend him their
to every aspect of strategy—including
product development, organisation and
marketing.” These skill sets, in combina-
tion with his first-hand experience with
tea industry (given family background
in tea), were the driving forces behind
setting up Teabox. But what actually set
him to start his own e-commerce entre-
preneurial tea venture was an astute
observation. “Over the last few years,
we’ve witnessed the emergence of a new
kind of quality conscious consumer
segment the world over—one that isn’t
looking for just high quality tea. These
tea consumers are also engaging in ful-
filling their need for learning, discovery,
adventure and experience—something
which we refer to as the ‘Third wave of
tea’.” Teabox is geared to address this.
Growing up at the foothills of the
Himalyas amid the fragrant tea planta-
tions had imbued Dugar with a love
for all things tea. “Ten minutes out of
Siliguri, the air changes and its fresh
and clean. A mere 20 minutes from
the town, you are already in the tea
gardens… You must remember we are
at the foothills of the Himalayas! It is
mystical and beautiful. And the lush
tea gardens are a sight for sore eyes...
The huge machines fascinated me and
I used to like watching how the fresh
tea leaves were transformed into the
Fresh & Tempting
A novel market approach and deep affinity with today’s changing consumers who
seek more than just tea in the teacup enable Teabox to pack quite a punch in its aromatic brews.
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