Inspiring story of the founder of Graduate Chaiwali -
"It's nothing unusual to open a tea stand. Many people do that, but a lady, particularly an economics graduate, selling tea on the road is unusual, and maybe that is what made me famous," says Priyanka Gupta.
In April 2022, Priyanka opened a modest tea business outside Patna Women's College in Patna, Bihar. In only four months, she has launched another tea stand in the city, selling over 400 cups of tea every day and profiting almost Rs 1.5 lakh. Priyanka's tea cart was recently visited by actor Vijay Deverakonda, who was in Patna to promote his current flick.
What made Priyanka Gupta start ‘Graduate Chaiwali’?
Priyanka was born in Purnia, Bihar, and relocated to Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, to finish her studies. Priyanka, like every other graduate, was considering her future steps.
"My family advised me to take banking examinations." "I didn't want to do it, but I had no choice, so I began studying for banking and SSC in 2019," Priyanka remembers.
Despite the passage of two years, Priyanka was unable to pass any of her tests.
"I am from a middle-class household, and in Bihar, it is quite difficult to convince a girl's parents of her job objectives or financial independence." "Everyone around me wanted to marry me, but I begged my father for aid and requested for a year to study for banking exams, and he gratefully consented," Priyanka adds.
While Priyanka was given a year to study for competitive examinations, she had other plans: she wanted to run a tea shop. To make things work, she had to relocate to another city. She asked her father to send her to Patna for tutoring since the majority of Bihar's children do.
"I couldn't build a tea business in Purnia or Varanasi since my family and relatives live there." "Patna was the safest location for me since no one knew who I was," Piyanka explains.
Priyanka was short on cash, but she was able to get some from her parents, allowing her to live in the city. She also worked as a counsellor at a coaching facility to supplement her income, but she was not compensated. She eventually chose to borrow Rs 30,000 from a friend and launch the firm.
With Rs 30,000 in her pocket, Priyanka purchased a tiny cart, utensils, and tea ingredients and began her business career outside Patna Women's College. 'Graduate Chaiwali,' she titled her cart.
On the first day, a Bank of Baroda manager dropped by her tea shop and inquired about her business. "You're a graduate, go get some work, what are you doing?" he said. I informed him there was no work for us and that I needed to do my business in peace. "He didn't say anything, just grinned and walked away," Priyanka says.
People began to pour in gradually, catching the attention of a news channel. "They interviewed me, and that's when my life changed," Priyanka explains.
Success story -
Priyanka credits her ability to expand her company to a second outlet to people and media support.
Despite the fact that summer is a slow season for chai, Priyanka made about Rs 1.5 lakh profit, which she re-invested in constructing a second location. Priyanka claims to sell 300-400 cups of tea every day. For the time being, the menu is restricted to four tea varieties, including the best-selling pan chai, elaichi chai, rose chai, and chocolate chai.
Challenges and hopes for the future -
India is a tea-drinking country. Tea café chains such as Chai Point and Chaayos have made their presence known in recent years, while other firms such as Chai Sutta Bar, The Tea Factory, MBA Chaiwala, and others have scripted success via aggressive growth. According to market researcher Euromonitor International, the country is currently the world's tenth fastest-growing market for specialty coffee and tea retail chains, with a market value of Rs 2,570 crore in 2018.
Priyanka experienced several administrative obstacles from the local municipal government in the early days, in addition to difficulties in setting up the tea shop. Another issue has been that business has been slow during the off-season.
Despite these obstacles, Priyanka has managed to operate a thriving company, added a second stand, and plans to build a third by the end of the year. She intends to pursue a franchise-based business model by next year, operating in three models: cart, small shop, and café.
"I want everyone to profit from my expansion." "I want and try not to abandon my tea cart company so that individuals who cannot spend a lot of money in their business may also start anything," she adds.