By. KR Rejeesh
Goodwyn Tea founder and CEO Rohan Sirohia is a businessman with long vision about his entrepreneurship. A graduate from St. Xaviers College, Kolkata, he has completed his MBA in Family Business Management. He opens up about his e-commerce venture Goodwyn Tea in a tete-a-tete with KR Rejeesh.
1. How was your entry into business? When did you decide that “This is the career I wanted”?
After graduation, I used to visit our tea estates in Assam. I knew the kind of quality we produced was far superior than the quality available in the market. That is when I decided to start my own brand where we could deliver single estate Goodwyn Teas direct from tea gardens. I was suggested to position the brand in the mass category but I decided to be a premium brand with high quality teas.
2. What was the inspiration behind starting online business of Goodwyn Tea?
Online Selling has been a blessing through which we have been able to ship over 70 million cups. Being third generation entrepreneurs, we knew the power of digital assets. We are one of the first few brands to start its own e-commerce for tea. We had seen the growth in China and we felt it would pick up in India too.
3. How do you compare North and South in terms of sales of your products? What types of tea they choose via online?
In terms of sale, we do equally well in both the regions. Tea bags sell faster online. Customers are looking for herbal, healthy, flavoured and exotic varieties of tea online. Our health tea box, which consists of best of green and herbal tea designed for different time and mood of the day, is doing really well in the South.
4. How do you see the competition in the field? What does make your product distinct from others?
There has been stiff competition in this category. But we position ourselves as the New Age brand. We have made customised products, improved the quality and taken a step ahead to bring our customers closer to the tea makers. Our teas don’t have to go through the process of auctioning, warehousing and blending. It’s direct from producers to consumers. We also get the first right to procure the best of tea from different tea gardens.
5. About your future plans…
We would continue to be a brand focusing on hybrid model , where we will be focusing both on online and offline. We are doing really well in the premium category. Goodwyn still focuses on zero marketing budget model.
6. Will depending on online giants like Amazon improve sales? Won’t it affect the direct purchases from your site?
Yes, definitely. We absolutely do not see Amazon and other portals as a threat. In fact, they have made us reach to millions of customers for free. We have some of our most loyal customers from these sites and we plan to continue to focus on third party websites.
7. What is Goodwyn’s market share currently?
We have been doing really well in the premium category and we will continue to focus on it. We have served over 70 million cups with 100+ corporate clients, including top hotel brands like Hyatt, Four seasons, Sofitel, Novotel and many more. The tea bag market is rising at a very good pace. So it’s difficult to share accurate data.
8. Who is your role model in business field?
Tea has been there for a while now. We are yet to see some great things happening around tea. My grandfather is my biggest role model in the business world. He was a perfect blend of success, hard work, luck and humility.
By. KR Rejeesh