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This Bengaluru-based startup is making its way into everyone’s cups, and hearts

In India, chai isn’t just an ordinary beverage. It’s a cup brimming with emotions. Whether it’s a meeting, a get-together, or just catching up with friends, no drink can replace tea. It doesn’t matter what your mood is, a single whiff of tea’s sweet fragrance can change your day.

Founded in 2021, Feligos Hospitality’s Celebrations Tea entered the market with an aim to tap into this emotion and provide consumers with the best, 100 percent natural and premium blend of tea with a distinct taste and aroma. Free from any kind of chemical treatment, Celebrations Tea is made with the highest industry standards and is the finest blend of Assam and Nilgiris’ high-grown tea that is hand-plucked. The caffeine-free tea powders don’t contain any preservatives, additives or artificial colouring.

Genesis of a natural tea brand

The story of the brand dates back to 2017 and is synonymous with the return of co-founder Pavan Prakash to India after pursuing his Master’s in IC Design. Despite a good degree in hand, Pavan was rejected by most of the IT firms for being overqualified. The rejection, however, became a stepping stone towards entrepreneurship, leading him to start his own cafe business as he gained a fair idea about different cultures and cuisines during his time in Europe.

So with an aim to revolutionise the food industry, Pavan Prakash teamed up with his brothers Chandan Prakash and Yashas Narayan in 2018 to start cafes under Feligos Hospitality Pvt Ltd in major tech parks after being associated with real estate firms Gopalan and Salarpuria. And providing corporate catering services to top I.T firms like HSBC, Intel, IBM, HP, DELL, Unisys, Oracle, Groupon, TCS, Mercedes Benz, People10 and many more.

Come 2020, and a deadly pandemic raged through the world, leaving people prone to consuming beverages like tea and coffee. This led to the birth of Celebrations Tea after the brothers decided to launch its online sales in February 2021.

Celebrations Tea was started with an initial bootstrapped investment of Rs 10 lakh right in the middle of the pandemic. The brand saw a turnover of around Rs 1-2 lakh per month even in March 2021 during the second wave. Currently, the brand has achieved an overall investment amount of more than Rs 1 crore by its founders and a turnover of more than Rs 10 lakh every month, while celebrating a 10x rise in sales every month.

During its initial launch, the brand offered seven flavours (Plain Leaf, Ginger, Elaichi, Chocolate, Masala, Ginger Elaichi and Vedic) of its premium tea powder and sold nearly 1,000 tins within the first 24 hours. As it gained popularity online, the brand launched its regular variant in March to reach a larger set of audience through local kirana stores.

Eventually, Celebrations Tea started its district-wise distribution process in Karnataka to reach all kirana stores. Today, it is available in more than 18 districts in Karnataka, and eight districts in Andhra Pradesh, while six districts in Tamil Nadu are ready to start sales of the tea product from this month. More stores from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu are in talks with prime distributors to start the product distribution.

With more than seven flavours, three types of tea powder, and more than 4 packing variants, Celebrations Tea is enjoying its online presence on leading e-commerce websites and has already got a process in place to launch its sales in modern trade stores. The brand has also introduced hotel variants of its tea to provide high-quality tea powder to the hospitality industry and aims to stop adulteration in the vertical.

What differentiates Celebrations Tea from other brands is the fact that it is 100 percent natural, doesn’t contain any essence or preservatives, and is made from a CTC Leaf Blend which is a combination of both Nilgiri and Assam tea powders. In the present day, the brand has more than 25+ SKUs just under its tea products.

Growth and future plans

After becoming a leading brand in Karnataka, and having ramped up its production and sales in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu, Celebrations Tea plans to spread its distribution channel across India by the end of 2022. The founders also plan to introduce their own coffee powder, vending machines, and mobile vans and lounges for coffee and tea.

Celebrations Tea also plans to launch packaged grocery products such as rava, atta, maida, and other groceries by 2023 to provide 100 percent natural products in the FMCG industry.

In terms of promotions, the brand is now associated with well-known singer Vijay Prakash, who has been roped in as the brand ambassador and is making its presence felt in Karnataka’s major TV channels. As a part of its expansion plans, Celebrations Tea’s new warehouse, which is more than 4000 square feet in size, will be unveiled in Bengaluru by mid-2022 and is expected to create more than 200 new job opportunities.

In order to help the daily wage labourers affected due to the lockdown during the pandemic, Celebrations Tea started providing jobs to them and appointed them as agents to sell tea products in their free time to help them earn extra income. In the present day, the brand has more than 150 such agents across India, and aims to create more such employment opportunities by 2023.

The company aims to reach a turnover of more than Rs 50 lakhs per month by December 2022 in South India alone with its tea and coffee powder, and looks to break into the top 100 FMCG brands in the country. It also looks forward to receiving funding to increase its presence in the market and spread brand awareness, introduce new products, and establish bigger manufacturing, distribution, and packaging units.

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