In 2016, Uday Srinivas Tangella opened the first Tea Time location. There are already about 3,000 outlets in the country.
Uday Srinivas Tangella must have had a lot of guts and confidence to leave a high-paying job in Dubai and return to India to do business, and then open a simple tea shop, of all things.
Uday Tangella most recently worked in Dubai, where he drove a Jaguar and lived in luxury. So, when he quit that job at the age of 29 and returned to India, his family was not amused.
“They thought I had made a mistake in my profession,” says Uday, creator of Tea Time, one of the country’s fastest growing tea shops.
Back in India, Uday launched his first store in Rajahmundry, a tiny city in Andhra Pradesh, in 2016 with a Rs 5 lakh investment in a 150-square-foot area. Six years later, he has not only thrived as an entrepreneur, but has also generated nearly 3,000 small business owners by expanding his tea chain through a franchising model.
“Within the first year, we had 100 stores and a revenue of Rs 2 crore,” Uday explains.
There are now approximately 3,000 Tea Time locations throughout India, and Desi Tea Time Pvt. Ltd has a revenue of Rs 35 crore.
The company, which began with three employees, now has 45 personnel who manage the franchises, handle the sourcing and supply of raw materials to various locations, and handle marketing and R&D.
Uday’s 25,000-square-foot office in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, features a nice mix of greenery, with potted plants sharing space with staff and computers.
Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Manipur, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Haryana, and Odisha are among the states with Tea Time locations.
He has kept the outlets’ overheads to a minimum. An outlet’s average size is 150 to 200 square feet.
Uday says he does not want to spend a large amount of money to create a huge café and then charge more than a respectable amount for tea.
An outlet employs approximately three people on average.
In their stores, they provide ten various types of tea, beginning with their Dum Tea, which costs Rs 10, Ginger Tea, which costs Rs 15, and Green Tea, which costs Rs 25.
Masala tea, lemon tea, badam tea, kulhad tea, black tea, Kashmiri tea, and a few other flavors are also available. The outlet also serves milkshakes, soft drinks, and munchies including samosas and biscuits.
Another unique selling point of the company is that they use their own brand of tea powder, Tea Time, in all of their locations. They obtain their tea leaves from Assam farms. Uday refers to this as the ‘farm to glass’ process.
However, the franchise model that Uday has chosen for expansion from the start has been the key to Tea Time’s quick growth.
The franchise cost is Rs 4.25 lakh per location, and he offers a start-up package that includes mobile equipment like as a refrigerator, deep freezer, stoves, utensils, and an initial stock to get the firm up and running.
In addition to the franchise fee, the corporation collects 5% of the sales from the locations.
Uday explains, “We also train personnel to guarantee that the taste is consistent throughout all Tea Time locations. I want others to develop as well. Every month, almost one million searches for ‘Tea Time near me’ are done on the internet.”
Tea Time is also environmentally responsible. At their locations, they employ biodegradable cups.
“We want to be a zero-waste, zero-carbon-footprint company,” Uday explains.
His wife is helping him with this mission. Uday is from the hamlet of Kadiyam in the Andhra Pradesh district of East Godavari.
His father was a government civil contractor, and the family had relocated to Karaikal after he was awarded a contract there.
After graduating from TRR Engineering College in Hyderabad, he worked at a few IT companies till 2013, when he moved to Dubai to work for a large corporation. He left his job in 2015 and returned to India.
Uday has realized his objective faster than anyone predicted due to his philosophy of generating many small business owners rather than attempting to build individual fortune for himself.
He now owns a Mercedes and lives in a beautiful 4000 sq ft property in Hyderabad’s upscale Jubilee Hills neighborhood.
“I prefer to invest in items that can give value to people’s lives rather than in properties and stock markets that can only help myself develop,” Uday adds, explaining his life philosophy.
He wants to open Tea Time outlets in every part of India without sacrificing quality, taste, or a reasonable price.