Pune: Fyodor Dostoevsky said the world could go to hell, but he must have his cup of tea. Ralph Waldo Emerson said there is poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea. However, they were nowhere close to Indians in their obsession for tea. Precisely this is what the Yewale family from Pune cashed in on when they turned their traditional tea shop into a franchise which focused just on selling tea.
Recently, the family renovated and branded their first branch of Yewale Tea at Bharati Vidyapeeth. The Yewales also inaugurated their latest branch opposite the Vishrambaug Police Station near Dagdusheth Ganpati temple. “We inaugurated the branch on 9th February. In a month’s time, we reached a turnover of more than Rs 12 lakh per month with 16 employees in two branches,” Yewales said.
Explaining the journey of the family, Navnath Yewale, one of the five brothers who are directors of the newly formed firm, said they decided to realise the dream of their father Dashrath Yewale, who first started the tea shop at Salisbury Park in 1983. “Our family was into the milk supply business but it was our father who started the tea shop in 1983, and later had another branch near Bharati Vidyapeeth,” said Yewale.
“Our father was from Purandar. He came to the city and nurtured us through his tea selling business. But his dream was to have his own brand or product in the market. But now we have decided to realise his dream and expand our business. And certainly we decided to focus on tea as our product,” Yewale said.
With a specially designed formula, Yewale said their tea tastes the same in each branch. “We have a standardised proportion of milk, tea powder, spices and sugar. All of the material is packaged at our home and is delivered to our branches. Even the heating timings are set at 7 minutes. The milk is boiled twice before being used for tea. So our tea tastes the same in each of our branches,” he said.
The two branches of the Yewale Tea, sell 1,500 to 2,500 cups per day each. “We need almost 200 kilos of tea powder and 1 tonne of sugar every month,” Yewale said.
One would think that to get such success, a management degree or entrepreneurial knowhow would be needed. However, with a chuckle Yewale said, “We have not taken education after passing standard 10. All the businessmen who have reached heights of success without having high education are our idols.”
Operating from 5 am to 9.30 pm, the tea at these shops is priced at Rs 10 per cup. They claim their cup of tea will not cause acidity even after taking many cups a day as they have taken proper care and hygiene in consideration. “We plan to expand to 100 branches and generate an employment of more than 10,000 people. We already have received 42 applications for franchise. We would also look to rural producers to source our raw materials,” said Yewale.