The Story of Wagh Bakri Tea: The 100 years old Underdog Chai Company

In 1892, Narandas Desai moved to Durban, South Africa. He leased 500 acres of a tea estate and started managing it.

During his time in South Africa, he was close to Mahatma Gandhi, who had a big impact on Desai’s business and personal ethics.

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Wagh Bakri takes its time before expanding to new state. For them every state is a new country.

That’s why even after 100 years, it is present only in 13 states (western & central states mainly)

They offer different blends for different states as per preference of customers
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In India, Tata Tea and HUL were the leading players in the tea market (each holding close to 21% market share by value).

Wagh Bakri has grown quickly to become the third largest player. It went from having 3% market share in 2009 to 10% market share in 2020

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In Gujarat, the company is said to have over 50% market share. The brand is known for its high-quality tea and competitive pricing.

Wagh Bakri has tripled its revenues to around 1500 crores INR over the past decade

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To cater to Indians abroad, they export to over 40 countries which accounts for 5% of sales

They don’t own any tea estates to avoid associated issues with maintainance. They only focus on processing & packaging tea. This has allowed them to stay asset light & debt free

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Over time, company has developed a variety of products catering to different segments.

Good Morning Tea:Started in 1944, it is positioned for super-premium segment

Wagh Bakri Tea: Most popular product positioned at the premium segment. Contributes 70% of the total revenues

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Under the Wagh Bakri brand, the company has also added products like Green Tea, Lemon Tea, Iced Tea and Premix coffee. The company spends nearly 10% of its revenues on advertising and runs TV and print campaigns for nearly all these brands.

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