Chai, is not everybody’s cup of tea. In a world full of coffee addicts, there is one Chai Walli which has pushed the aroma of the Indian-origin tea beyond the borders, out to Australia. And it doesnt end there.
Uppma Virdi, the brainchild behind ‘Chai Walli’ has recently won the prestigious title of Business Woman of the Year at the 2016 Indian Australian Business and Community Awards (IABCA) at a glittering ceremony in Sydney last week.
“IN THE INDIAN CULTURE PEOPLE COME TOGETHER THROUGH TEA. WHETHER IT’S A HAPPY OCCASION OR A DIFFICULT MOMENT, TEA IS ALL PERVASIVE. I TRIED, BUT COULDN’T FIND MANY GOOD TEA PLACES IN AUSTRALIA.”
Uppma owes her knowledge and expertise about tea to her grandfather, a doctor by profession who specialised in herbs and spices. It was him who taught her all about Ayurvedic tea. And voilà! However, it wasn’t easy.
“MY PARENTS AND FAMILY WERE TOTALLY AGAINST IT.. THEY SAID I WAS A LAWYER, WHY DID I WANT TO BE A TEA SELLER? I SAID I WANTED TO SHOW THAT TEA SELLERS CAN DO SOMETHING.”
“ALL THE CHAI WALAS AND CHAI WALIS IN INDIA ARE DOING SOMETHING ENTREPRENEURIAL EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT WELL EDUCATED, AT LEAST THEY HAVE A BUSINESS SPIRIT,”