The tale of Tandoor Chai

ST CORRESPONDENT
Sunday, 7 July 2019

Amol Rajdeo, the founder of Chai La - Tandoor Chai, talks about the growing popularity of this smoky, earthy tea and the story behind its invention

Great ideas are always born out of the most unusual incidents in life. It is the necessity that is the mother of all inventions. Amol Rajdeo has been a very keen person all his life and likes to find joy in the smallest of things. “The elders in our family always say that no matter how high you fly, you should never forget your roots. It is true. In a remote village in Ahmednagar, I met people who heat pots on open fire for preparing turmeric milk and daily food. This has been in practise for many generations. I learnt about this concept and I was determined to make a quality blend of chai that would be beneficial for acidity, sore throat and weight loss,” he claims.  

This experience made Rajdeo realise that one should never consider anything or anyone small or inconsequential. “You never know, where your billion dollar idea may come from,” he says, adding, “I try to learn about new techniques and ideas from the things I see around me and put them into practise.”

However, one incident that proved to be the stimuli to make Tandoor Chai came from his interaction with his grandmother. Rajdeo was visiting his hometown to meet his grandmother. He was suffering from a sore throat so his grandmother then offered him some turmeric milk in an earthen pot that was pre-heated in a bonfire. The concept seemed so fascinating that he started researching this technique to make the idea of Tandoor Chai presentable and scalable. 

After four months of trials and experiments, Rajdeo was able to achieve a perfect blend of chai that is completely organic and healthy as high quality tea leaves are used for getting the perfect taste every time with set formula and recipe.

Chai La! The Tandoor Chai has been recognised as one of the fastest growing brands in India and one of the top 10 most unique and different food products which made a mark in 2018. On an average, about 20,000 kulhads (small earthen pots) of Tandoor Chai are sold everyday across all outlets in Maharashtra alone. Within a year of its launch, Chai La--Tandoor Chai grew from one outlet to more than 15 across Maharashtra alone, and has now made an entry into South India.

“After successfully growing in Maharashtra, we now want to take the leap of faith and open Chai La-Tandoor Chai outlets in other parts of India and abroad. We are now in the process of launching our first international outlets in the Gulf and Australia,” says Rajdeo.

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