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1.Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, has invested an undisclosed amount in Teabox, a speciality tea start-up.
2.Teabox sources premium teas directly from plantations in Darjeeling, Assam, Nilgiris and Nepal. It sells these products online and then ships them to customers all over the world. The company will use the funds to expand its operations globally.
3.The three-year-old firm has delivered 60,000 kg of tea, equal to over 30 million cups of tea, to customers in 93 countries. The Siliguri-based firm has attracted consumers from regions such as Ural Mountains in Russia and Kiribati, an island nation in the central Pacific Ocean.
4.Experts say that tea companies in India have continued to rely on a legacy supply chain that has existed since the estates were first set up by British and Scottish planters.
5.For instance, the traditional tea route takes between six to eight months for teas, once produced, to reach the consumer. By that time, it loses its freshness and also become expensive due to the intermediaries involved.
6.Teabox said it was disrupting the $40 billion (Rs.2.7 lakh crore) tea industry with its innovations in technology and supply chain. It has developed its own supply chain model where it controls the sourcing, distribution and marketing of tea. It protects the tea from moisture, light, heat and oxygen using technologies such as vacuum packaging and cold storage.