It’s hard to imagine that selling tea can bag someone an award. It has happened in Australia!
Chai is an integral component of Indian lifestyle. Be it a family function or a team outing or a social gathering, chai is an inevitable part. It provides a mental stimulus and creates a conducive environment for bonding. But for Uppma Virdi, above everything, chai has brought her laurels. She has found resounding success through tea selling. Sounds strange! Meet 26-year-old Uppma Virdi whose love for tea has won her the title ‘Businesswoman of the year’ in the 2016 Indian Australian Business and Community Awards (IABCA) held in Sydney, Australia.
“I tried, but couldn’t find many good tea places in Australia,” she told SBS (Australian media) That’s where the idea of tea selling was born, two years ago. There has been no looking back since then. The prestigious award is a result of good tea products along with lots of marketing, social media campaigns, networking and above all, a vision and belief in what she did.
Her love for tea making roots from her grandfather who is an ayurvedic doctor. He is the one who taught her how to make perfect blend of tea and other herbs and spices. “My grandfather is an ayurvedic doctor and he used to make this ayurvedic tea at his medical dispensary. He taught me the art of ayurvedic tea,” says Virdi.
However, this Chandigarh girl, who loves the moniker ‘Chai wali’, is a lawyer by profession. But she also runs her online tea store where she sells an assortment of tea and related products such as candles, pots, kettles, strainers, and even chocolates made of tea.
“Interest in tea is growing in Australia as more and more people are seeking alternatives to coffee. It was coincidentally the right time for me,” she was quoted as saying. Virdi also runs ‘The art of Chai’ workshops on how to brew a perfect cuppa. “My real aim is to educate the Australian society about the Indian culture through tea,” she says. She recalls how her parents strongly opposed her for being a chai wali (tea seller). But, as they say, ‘follow your heart, rest will fall in place’.
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