Guwahati: Golden Tips, a tea brand from Darjeeling, is looking to expand its footprint through the e-commerce route by entering into strategic partnerships in the country and widening its reach in export markets through tie-ups overseas.

The brand was recently in the news when it bought Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe (FTGFOP1) Moonlight Teas from Badamtam and Castleton tea estates of Darjeeling – at record prices of Rs 20,000 and 12,000 per kg respectively, in a special auction from the Kolkata Tea auction conducted by Calcutta Tea Traders Association.

The brand presently has more than 14 retail outlets in Darjeeling, Kolkata, Gangtok, Mirik and Kalimpong. “These outlets are doing well this season after the last 2 seasons were hit badly by the pandemic business-wise,” Madhav Sarda, Managing director of  Golden Tips Tea told EastMojo.

Madhav Sarda, Managing director of  Golden Tips.

“We are looking to expand its footprint through the e-commerce route by entering into strategic partnerships in the country and widen its reach in export markets through distributor tie-ups overseas. The company is also focusing on broadening its presence in physical-retail operations across metros of the country by opening niche tea boutiques and stores,” Sarda said.

“We are exploring commissioning a few outlets once the COVID-19 pandemic fully subsides,” he said.

He said Assam is a fairly important market for us in both CTC and loose-leaf categories. “We operate primarily from Darjeeling, however, we also procure good quality teas from Assam through specialty auctions and few producers,” he added.

Opening a retail outlet in Guwahati is on our radar, he said.

Sarda said apart from the domestic market, the company has dedicated customers
across the globe, and has shipped Golden Tips teas to almost 90 countries at some point of time in the last several years through orders from website and online channels.

Golden Tips also has exclusive representations in Russia, Japan, Mongolia, Taiwan, Nepal, Bhutan and now China, through distributors. 

“We have constant communication with patrons and our systematic feedback system and a ready client base help us gauge the consumer’s preferences,” he said.

He said the Herbyoga range introduced during the pandemic has done exceedingly well. “We keep introducing new collections like the latest Season’s Harvest Tea Collection, which includes premium quality Black, Green, Oolong and White teas,” Sarda said.

The company has recently opened its flagship Tea Café and restaurant “Teattoria” in Darjeeling. It offers Italian, Continental and Oriental cuisine along with specialty Teas.

A view of the Teattoria in Darjeeling

Nestled in one corner in the main promenade of the town and adjacent to the Golden Tips Tea Boutique, Chowrasta, Teattoria has a uniquely conceptualised outdoor serving area overlooking the majestic mountains. The view, on a clear day or even on one clouded, is alluring and mesmerising with lilting music to win one’s heart.

The company has tie-ups with scores of tea producers in Darjeeling, Assam, Sikkim and the Nilgiris. The company intends to tap the HORECA (Hotels, Restaurants and Catering) segment.

“HORECA is an important segment for us. In due course of time, we intend to tap the segment after we develop an appropriate basket of products for hotels, restaurants and catering” he said.

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