It is interesting how we could see paradigm shifts in different traditional areas of business, e.g., distribution of razor blades, and now the time has come to the tea industry. The challenge is to do something about the supply chain, in order to get fresh, high quality tea to the end customer in a timely manner and economical way. Here are excerpts from Saritha Ray’s article, Teabox Seeks to Bring India’s Teas Into Modern Era:
As is the case with other successful e-commerce sites, technology forms the core of Teabox’s online operations. Algorithms predict demand based on such factors as past sales, internal ranking of tea varieties and pricing. Information about a tea’s picking date, season and origins is made available to online customers.
“Tea is a time-sensitive product, but the industry’s supply chain is quite broken and has many intermediaries,” said Prashanth Prakash, a partner at Accel India, which along with Singapore’s Horizon Ventures has provided some $1 million in early-stage funding to Teabox. “The business is ripe for disruption, both in terms of price and quality,” he said.
(June 27, 2014, The New York Times, As India’s Tea Gains Fans, Finding an Easier Way to Get It to Them.)
Related: Martin Lindeskog’s post, Time to Crush, Tear and Curl My Tea Business.