Talking to an Entrepreneur: Haresh Kathrotiya

Talking to an Entrepreneur: Haresh Kathrotiya
Talking to an Entrepreneur: Haresh Kathrotiya
1. Tell us about foundation of your business?

 Tulsi Tea, born in 1981 under the visionary Mr. Gordhandas Mavjibhai Kathrotiya in Chalala,  Amreli District of Gujarat, originated as a modest Provision Store.

Guided by a relentless  pursuit of excellence, I, Haresh Kathrotiya, joined the journey in 1997. Our alliance catalyzed  the expansion into direct retailing, prompting a strategic relocation to Amreli Town, the  nucleus of our exclusive tea sales. Witnessing a steadfast growth in distribution, Tulsi Tea swiftly earned its laurels as the  quintessential brand of Saurastra Region.Fuelled by ambition, G.M. Tea Packers Pvt. Ltd.  emerged in 2012 as the backbone of our operations. 2014 witnessed a pivotal leap, marked  by the establishment of an avant-garde, automated unit sprawling across 1.25 Lacs Sq. Ft. in  Bavla, Ahmedabad. 

Presently, this state-of-the-art facility orchestrates the production of 30 Tons Per Day, poised  for an impressive expansion to a average peak capacity of 70 Tons Per Day. Today, Tulsi Tea, a  cherished gem within G.M. Tea Packers Pvt. Ltd., stands tall as Gujarat’s second-largest tea  brand. At our core, resounds an unwavering dedication to quality, emblematic of our commitment  to serving customers with the utmost value.  

2. What made you choose to start a company in this industry? 

The choice to venture into the tea industry was deeply influenced by my father’s tireless  dedication to his Provision Store. Seeking to forge a different path, we explored various  businesses. However, the widespread adoration for our provision store’s tea blend spoke  volumes. It became evident that our tea wasn’t just a beverage; it was a bridge connecting  people, inspiring conversations and smiles. This realization was a turning point, illuminating our direction. We chose the tea industry not  just as a business endeavor, but as a means to infuse every cup with the values we hold dear.  Tulsi Tea emerged from this inspiration, now a cherished offering of G.M. Tea Packers Pvt.  Ltd. This choice was a commitment to carry forward a legacy, fostering togetherness, flavor,  and a story that resonates across generations.

3. Why did you decide to become a business owner?

 The decision to become a business owner was rooted in a desire for autonomy and the  aspiration to shape a legacy. While observing my father’s relentless dedication to his  Provision Store, I realized the significance of charting one’s own course. The prospect of  owning a business presented an opportunity to not only control my destiny but also to  create a meaningful impact. Entrepreneurship offered a canvas to paint our values and dreams, allowing us to build an  entity that embodies our principles.

The allure of guiding a venture from its inception to fruition, of fostering a team that shares the same vision, and of leaving a mark on the  industry fueled my determination. Moreover, being a business owner provided a platform to bring forth innovative ideas and  solutions. It empowered us to craft products that resonate with our community and to  contribute positively to the economy. The potential to drive change, influence the market,  and foster growth motivated me to take the plunge into entrepreneurship. 

4. What changes have you made to your business strategy over the past few  years?

 Over recent years, we’ve strategically transformed our business approach. We revamped  packaging and branding, diversified our product range, and expanded our distribution  network. Our core emphasis shifted towards streamlined systems and automation, coupled  with attracting top industry talent. The integration of robust sales and distribution  management systems has been pivotal. This holistic strategy aligns with our pursuit of  professionalism and innovation, paving the way for sustained growth and excellence in the  dynamic tea market.

 5. What is unique about your company? 

Amid India’s sea of tea commodities, Tulsi Tea stands as a unique island. Over two decades,  we’ve meticulously carved a brand identity that transcends borders; travelers insist on carrying Tulsi Tea, a regional gem, over other national  brands. At our core lies a commitment to being a boutique offering, tailored for Gujarat and the  Gujarati palate. This focus on the essence of Gujarat, both in heart and taste, differentiates  us. Our tea is a reflection of this philosophy – crafted with the Gujarati palate in mind.As Gujarat continues to captivate India and the world, Tulsi Tea is poised to become the  preferred choice. Our product isn’t just tea; it’s a testament to the spirit of Gujarat, a distinct  flavor that resonates with those who appreciate uniqueness. In a landscape of choices, Tulsi  Tea’s character and commitment make us an unparalleled brand, a truly distinguished  offering. 

6. What services or products do you offer?

 Tulsi Tea takes pride in offering an extensive array of products that cater to diverse consumer  preferences. Our repertoire encompasses over 9 delicious blends, featuring a remarkable  56+ SKUs that cater to a wide spectrum of tastes and needs. Under the umbrella of Tulsi – the Mother brand, we present a selection that includes  Brokens, CTC leaf, and Dust ranges, symbolizing the heart of our offerings.

For those who  seek the pinnacle of quality, we unveil Tulsi Gold, an embodiment of tea excellence. In tune  with urban preferences, Tavas, our urban-popular brand, boasts a CTC blend that resonates  with the contemporary palate. Addressing both economy and robust flavor, Vatan emerges as a notable choice. This brand  embraces a range of teas that harmonize affordability with a robust and satisfying tea  experience. With each offering, we are committed to not just providing tea, but delivering an experience  that encapsulates the diverse tastes and preferences of our esteemed consumers.

7. What are your company’s goals?

 Our company’s aspirations are resolute and far-reaching. Our foremost goal is to ascend the  ranks and secure a position among the nation’s top tea brands. Concurrently, we’re driven  by the vision of creating employment opportunities for over 2000 dedicated individuals who  form the backbone of our operations. Tulsi Tea envisions a transformation into a formidable national player, transcending regional  boundaries. With unwavering commitment, we aspire to bring the essence of the “Swaad of  Gujarat” to every corner of the nation, to the Indian diaspora, and even to the global  market.

 8. Who are your primary competitors in your market?

In our dynamic market, competition is a constant companion, presenting itself at every  stratum. The arena is diverse, with distinct competitors vying for dominance across different  market segments. In the urban landscape, our contenders are national brands, each with their established  foothold and recognition. This arena demands a unique blend of innovation and quality to  stand out amidst giants. Transitioning to semi-urban locales, we encounter a different array of rivals, each carving  their niche with local sensibilities and preferences.

The competition here is shaped by an  intricate interplay of tradition and modernity. As we delve into rural and deep rural markets, a new set of competitors emerges – local,  homegrown brands that possess an innate understanding of the region’s distinctive taste  and culture. The battle here hinges on fostering a bond of familiarity and trust with the  community. Thus, our journey is a continuous one and the challenge lies not only in outshining competition but also in aligning our offerings with  the unique demands and aspirations of each market segment. 

9. How would you describe your company’s success so far?

 Our company’s journey has been a tapestry woven with remarkable achievements and  unwavering commitment. With over 450 distributors and a staggering 80,000+ retail  touchpoints, Tulsi Tea’s reach extends far and wide, touching lives and homes across the  landscape. Our success is indebted to the collective efforts of a formidable team of over 200 dedicated  members, each a torchbearer of the Tulsi legacy, spreading its essence with every step. A testament to our triumph is the loyalty of our consumer base, spanning the length and  breadth of Gujarat. Beyond the state borders, our influence resonates among the Gujarati diaspora, reinforcing our identity even beyond our homeland. The financial year 2022-23 was a defining milestone, as we surged ahead to achieve a  remarkable target of 225 crores, a testament to our consistent dedication and market  resonance. 

10. How much time do you spend working on your business each day? 

As the captain of this ship, my commitment to Tulsi Tea knows no bounds. Each day, I invest  substantial time, often spanning well beyond the conventional hours. The canvas of my  responsibilities is wide, from steering our team to strategizing market penetration, refining  operations, and ensuring that our brand’s essence resonates far and wide. It’s more than a  job; it’s a passion that propels me to dedicate the necessary time and effort to see Tulsi Tea’s  vision come to fruition.

11. Does your business give back to your community? 

Absolutely, community engagement and giving back hold a special place in the heart of Tulsi  Tea. I actively participate in CSR initiatives as I firmly believe that businesses have a  responsibility to contribute positively to society. My motivation to engage in CSR initiatives is rooted in the profound desire to make a  difference. It’s about enhancing lives, championing causes, and leaving behind a legacy of  positive transformation. By participating in initiatives such as building schools for  underprivileged children in Amreli or supporting the journey of a girl towards the Para Olympics, we strive to contribute towards a brighter and more inclusive future. Our involvement in CSR initiatives not only strengthens our bond with the community. But  also resonates with our brand values, fostering a sense of shared purpose.


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