Snigdha Manchanda had an interest in tea-making as a child. Therefore, she chose to study Teas further professionally and became India’s first ever to be certified as a Tea sommelier. Facing several challenges, Snigdha Manchanda has taken Tea Trunk to another level. Offering 100 percent natural teas to customers and making sure that not only is the tea tasty, but it’s beneficial health-wise.
Tea Trunk curates the finest Indian tea leaves and crafts them into unique blends, using all-natural ingredients. Our teas are whole leaf, flavorful and healthy. Our artisanal tea blends are the freshest and most authentic source to buy tea online, direct from the source and with worldwide shipping. No artificial colours. No additives. All-natural teas. We make sure you enjoy good tea as it should be!
Incubees: Tell us about yourself and your journey as an entrepreneur.
Snigdha Manchanda: I grew up collecting teas so friends and family who travelled I asked them to bring back tea as a souvenir and that’s how my interest began from there. I was working in Bombay as a brand and marketing consultant and on a sabbatical from work; I decided to study tea professionally. So, I started looking for opportunities where I can study tea and I found a Japanese tea master based in Sri Lanka. I went and lived there for 6 months, travelled with him to different tea plantations, and did a lot of tea tasting, understanding tea not only from a point of not just tea production but also the history and culture of tea and that’s where I got my certification as a tea sommelier. I specialized in tea blending, in the year 2011 when I studied tea, I was India’s first certified tea sommelier and when I returned to India; I decided to start a tea trunk to celebrate teas of India.
Incubees: What motivated you to start a Tea startup?
Snigdha Manchanda: All our teas are 100 percent natural. Back in 2011 when I started, you could only get ginger and lemon tea, they infused hardly two types of teas with artificial flavours. So, I started infusing real fruits and real spices with good quality, crafted teas that are not only tasty but healthy as well. As we know within the last 10 years people have increased having teas like green teas, and chamomile, purely for health benefits. Our focus is not only to make teas but also to balance the health benefits without any compromise.
Incubees: Tell us about the kind of Tea you have to offer for consumers. Where do you get your Tea from? Is it indigenous or comes from outside?
Snigdha Manchanda: Tea trunk started out as an e-commerce store but today we are available in 250-plus locations pan India our teas are severed in some of the top award-winning restaurants, hotels and cafes, and spas in India. All our teas and botanicals and herbal teas come from within India and are locally sourced except matcha which comes from Japan. Matcha is a traditional green tea that comes from Japan and to preserve its authenticity we source it from Japan.
Incubees: Tell us about your team and what keeps them going.
Snigdha Manchanda: It is the customer-centricity, we have a community of tea lovers not only in India but globally who interact with us, asking us recommendations, pairings, asking us about the health benefits of tea, so the kind of interaction and engagement we have and the community we have built I think is what supports our team at Tea Trunk and energizes us to continue doing what we are doing. We have some of the most amazing customer feedback to share, our NPS score is very high our google ratings and reviews on amazon are high which gives us the encouragement for us to keep going.
Incubees: What makes Tea Trunk different from other brands selling tea?
Snigdha Manchanda: Tea Trunk was started in 2013 in Goa. We have been based out of Goa from day zero including my team. We have always hired local talent and I think it’s incredible because back then in 2013 not many opportunities were there and people used to travel outside of goa to get good jobs. So, when we started Tea Trunk, we also created employment opportunities for local youth in goa.
Incubees: What were the challenges you faced during your journey?
Snigdha Manchanda: Challenges I faced were primarily in sourcing the tea because there were so many artificial teas available that to market and to craft something new from scratch which is 100 percent natural, took me a lot of effort. I had to go to multiple vendors, source different ingredients, and make our own blends and I think that entire process of developing took a whole year. Anyone who’s starting out a business needs to have patience and perseverance.
Incubees: Would you like to say something to the upcoming entrepreneurs?
Snigdha Manchanda: My message to young entrepreneurs is,
1. Patience and perseverance- In today’s time, we look for a quick turnaround. Success is measured if you can become a 300-crore company in three years but a lot of times there’s a lot of perseverance required to not give up.
2. Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely journey, get a co-founder and if you don’t have a co-founder, build a rockstar team from day one because as an entrepreneur you feel like you could do it all by yourself but soon you will burn out. It is important to have that support in place before you start your entrepreneurship journey.
To know more, visit: https://teatrunk.in/