A Story Is Born
The story starts in 2012, when Bahniman saw that a major IT company was using digital marketing as an enabler to connect with customers worldwide looking for technical solutions and that triggered the possibility to deliver the freshest teas via internet.
People are accustomed to drinking tea as it became available to them that were sanctioned by a century old system and it was time to make tea available as it should be, to everyone. Bahniman and Jayanta, both co-founders immediately started working on a plan to offer an additional mode of sale to the centuries-old industry and popularize tea on the lines of fine wines and brand Assam as a tea destination along with promoting tourism in NE India, where tourists visit and stay in Heritage Bungalows in Tea Gardens. They wanted to offer visits and tours of fields and the tea factory to experience the toil and sweat that goes behind producing that exhilarating cuppa.
However, there is a concern which diametrically affects the overall tea experience: while browsing the Internet, when they came across an article published in The Guardian on 1st March, 2014 about the tea pickers of Assam who were sold into slavery. They did some research on the subject and learned that in 1948 slavery and the slave trade were outlawed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Today over 30 million people are enslaved worldwide: more than at any time in history. The primary reason for enslavement is poverty and even in the most organized sector such as the tea industry; they can’t afford to pay a better wage to tea workers as their teas do not fetch remunerative price in the auction, making tea pickers vulnerable to human traffickers who promise better wage.
Therefore using technology as an enabler, TeaOrb has created a F&B hybrid e-commerce marketplace for producers from NE India, allowing them to collectively deliver their finest and freshest produce directly to consumers worldwide and fetch a better price as there are no intermediaries, affecting their payment capacity for better wage to tea workers and access to programs and services to tackle climate change and offer tea tourism. Apart from marketing and tourism, TeaOrb also have a consulting wing to provide guidance to producers in scientific agricultural practice in tea cultivation, modern manufacturing process in factory, marketing of the produce, matters related to Food Safety Standards Act 2006 and Tea Board of India's directives on Plant Protection Code (PPC).
Co-Founder & CEO (Partner)
With a Bachelor’s Degree in Science (Agriculture), with specialization in Tea Husbandry & Technology from Assam Agricultural University, in 1974, he has a total work experience of over 40 years in the tea industry. Mr. Kakati is the former Secretary of the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre. He has successfully managed the affairs of the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre for over 30 years, requiring co-ordinated action amongst a thousand members comprising Tea Producers, Tea Buyers, Tea Brokers and Tea Warehouses and building a rapport with the Tea Board of India and Assam Government officials. He was deeply engaged during the turbulent decade (1987-1997) at a time when the tea trade and industry was greatly affected. He was also actively involved in the reforms brought about by Tea Board of India in introduction of e-auction and settlement banking to the age old tea auction system.
Co-Founder & COO (Partner)
With a Diploma in Computers and Digital Marketing, he has a work experience of over 9 years, primarily in the financial and IT sector. His efforts were recognized and rewarded by the Barclays Red Carpet Club in 2010 in one of his stints with Barclays Bank PLC. Tea is close to his heart as he was born in a tea estate in upper Assam and later on tasted some of the finest and freshest teas obtained by his father and partner, Mr.Jayanta Kakati. With a passion for gaining experience, he started working at a very young age as an independent adviser for Dorling Kindersley in Guwahati and freelanced in IT and Travels, where he learnt hands-on all the nuances of business. Having worked in financial services industry, he is used to learning numbers quickly and working long hours.
Official Tea Taster
With a Post Graduate Degree in Botany from Guwahati University, in 1971, he has a total work experience of over 40 years in the tea industry. Mr. Sarma started his career as a trainee tea taster with Lipton and retired as Head – Tea tasting and buying of Hindustan Unilever,Guwahati, which incidentally was the largest tea buying office in India with a total volume of 67 million kilos per annum. Having spent three decades with Unilever, Deepak is an expert taster, blender and a passionate tea man. He was the president of the Guwahati Tea Auction Buyers Association for twelve years and also a member of the Tea Tasting panel of TRA (Tocklai Research Association) for five years.
Advisor - Marketing & Logistics
In 2005, Amy Dubin opened the first Indian Tea Shop called ‘Janam Indian Tea’ in the Western Hemisphere located just outside of New York City, which is now making a comeback as 'Janam Tea'. Her company specilizes in only exclusive, rare and speciality single-origin teas. Her B.A. is in Film and she worked in the early 90's as a video editor in a New York ad agency. Her marketing and branding experience is diverse in both roles and industries. She currently serves as the Sponsorship Director for her local AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) chapter