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From tea hawker to tycoon: Rajeev Baid’s inspiring journey

From railway tea hawker to the MD of a multi-crore business, Baid’s journey gives readers the courage to nurture dreams and take action. 

  • From railway tea hawker to the MD of a multi-crore business, Baid’s journey gives readers the courage to nurture dreams and take action.
  • Today, Chai Chun is a celebration of the rich and diverse culture of tea drinking in India.

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Pic Courtesy: Instagram

New Delhi: No matter their city or ethnicity, Indians love their tea! However, the sweet taste of a fresh, hot cup of high-quality tea still remains under-explored by many. Giving its unique spin to the nation’s love for chai, a young tea entrepreneur Mr Rajiv Baid’s organization is revolutionizing how Indians consume tea. 

Bringing authentic flavours and aromas of the vast tea estates of India to the morning cups of thousands of consumers every day, Chai Chun, as the name suggests, offers the finest selection of premium tea that leaves you wanting more.

Mr Baid’s saga of building this trusted brand is one of courage, perseverance and intricate craftsmanship. Recently sharing his story with the students of IIM, Kozhikode, he emphasized how big business disruptions can start with such a simple, everyday part of life as tea.

Like many of us, Baid, the MD of Chai Chun, Okayti and Evergreen Tea Group, also had a fondness towards this elixir. Like in most homes, tea time was an everyday ritual, at his ancestral home it was a time when his loved ones would gather and have warm conversations. The reminisces of these comforting times made an indelible mark on him, which through his fine business acumen, he brought to the F&B industry of India. 

Coming from humble beginnings, Baid’s father was the sole breadwinner with many mouths to feed. It was at the age of 13 when he realized the difference between those born with a silver spoon and those born with nothing. Finding himself among the latter, he delved into a shared love for tea – evident at home and at countless tea shops that ran for the entire day – and saw opportunity staring him in the face.

He says, “Even as a tea vendor at railway stations and bus stops in Kishanganj, Bihar, I never stopped my flight of dreams. My early days were as a tea vendor, however, the keen observer within me felt the connection of tea with people and how it dramatically changed their day or mood. I was determined to learn more about tea and strengthen this connection. With a simple and clear intent, began this beautiful journey that transformed my abstract ideas into a living reality.”

A young Baid would collect CTC teas from the local wholesalers and sell them to the tea shops. Following a few years of hawking teas, he joined the first tea factory in Bihar. A few years of dedicated work resulted in a working partner post at the factory, and in a few more years, he leased his first tea factory under PPP. 

After taking up several other tea factories, he launched Chai Chun, his dream project. Committed to learning more about tea and strengthening the connection between the people who drink it and the people who grow it, he started Chai Chun to give tea lovers an exciting range of tea to choose from. It was built as the first boutique-style tea store in India where customers could take a stroll amidst more than 165 blends of fine teas procured from the best estates of the country. Sourced from India's finest tea gardens, it offers tea in all its varied flavours, aromas, and hues.
 
From railway tea hawker to the MD of a multi-crore business, Baid’s journey gives readers the courage to nurture dreams and take action. Today, Chai Chun is a celebration of the rich and diverse culture of tea drinking in India.