1. Agriculture World

E-Commerce acting as Savior for the Tea Producers of Assam and Neighboring States

Chintu Das
Chintu Das

Tea estates in the north eastern region has many reasons to be worried. The pandemic has severely affected the production value of the region. Ongoing Covid-19 and the past lock down has led to decrease in first flush tea production in the region. Several travel restrictions and lock downs all over Europe, which is the biggest market for the tea from Darjeeling, have majorly affected the supply chain management with cancellations rolling in from many nations. 

Another setback came in the form of closed hotels, restaurants and cafes, which are major markets for both tea producers as well as tea lovers. Also a few months ago, Assam has to deal with devastating floods in the region which further induced complications for the tea sector. 

However, among all these dilemmas, online services have gained popularity among the masses. Tea businesses that had ventured into e-commerce in the last few years have seen a gradual increase in their online purchases over the last few months.  

Few tea estate owners claimed that their online sales have tripled in numbers compared to the times before the pandemic. Since there is a cut down in the retail store visits, all the tea companies are trying their level best to attract customers online. Mr. Saria, who hails from Darjeeling owns tea estates in the region. He opted for e-commerce four years back and serves his customers through his own website. Online presence has given him superiority among his rivals as he has been able to leverage in these traumatic times. He added that online marketing has acted as savior for him and his family and many other tea producers from the region are looking at e-commerce as a viable option. 

Changes brought by Covid: 

When faced by adversities of Covid, many tea producers from the north eastern region have tweaked their business model. Most of them are now focusing on e-commerce business models rather than the old bulk export model. In order to expand their online presence, they are focusing on brand building and superior product quality. Apart from this social media has also played its part in making the market better in the near past. 

Moving forward, the online business will become one of the fundamental retailing columns for the companies as it is the most straightforward way to reach the customers. Enthusiastic future internet business plans incorporate turning into an aggregator and showcase for the best of Indian teas to shoppers over the world. 

Size does not matter: 

Along with the big sharks, small companies are making a run for their money by making new plans and strengthening their existing online activities. Ongoing festive season will bring in more orders and recognition among the online masses. Along with increasing online presence, companies are trying to strengthen their logistics and customer care competence. 

New age:   

Since all the major old players in the tea sector are turning to the e-commerce market, it is of no surprise that several new companies are coming up to shape the future of Indian tea market.  

Bottom Line:   

Indian tea makers have been hit by difficulties on the production part as well as the logistic front in the light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Internet or e-commerce particularly for the homegrown market, has helped many tea producing companies remain functional in the midst of the misery. 

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