Tea Business in India

Overall Rating: star ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar rating[5/5]Total Votes [ 3 ]  
Rate this page:
The Tea Business in India is nearly a 170 years old practice. This agro-based industry is a very important contributor to the economy of India. The main axis of tea business in India is located along the rural hills and backward areas of Northeastern and southern states like Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Further, the regions, which are associated with small time tea business in India, are Karnataka, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Sikkim, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Bihar and Orissa.

The process of tea cultivation in India requires specific climatic and as well as soil conditions, which is prevalent only in the aforesaid areas of India. The tea business in India is mainly based on cultivation of tea variants like CTC, Orthodox tea and green tea. There is a huge demand for green tea in developed countries for its rich aromatic flavor and medicinal properties. The trend of green tea consumption is also on the rise in India due to rise in purchasing power capacity and overall living standards of Indian.

In India, tea is an essential item of domestic consumption and is the mostly consumed beverage. Further, tea is the cheapest beverage amongst all the beverages that are available in India and it is very popular amongst all sections of India society. The Indian tea industry engages around 20 lakh of workers, directly and they mainly represents the under privileged sections of the India society. The Tea Business in India registered a total turnover of Rs.8000 crore in the financial year ended 31st March 2006- 2007.

Some notable facts about the tea industry of India are as follows -

  • There are 1655 registered tea manufacturers in India
  • A total of 2008 registered tea exporters controls the export of tea from India
  • The total number of registered tea buyers in India is 5148
  • There are nine tea auction centers in India
The Tea Business in India had witnessed phenomenal rise till the independence of India. The growth story of the Indian tea industry continued till the early 1970s and then it fell dramatically. United Kingdom was one of the largest and most important buyer of Indian tea but with the steady rise of Kenyan tea industry the market of Indian tea fell dramatically since, it exported same quality of tea at a discount. Until the 1991, USSR was the largest buyer of Indian tea but again with the disintegration of the Soviet Union the Indian tea industry went for a toss. Further, the Indian tea industry suffered loss due to emergence of China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Kenya as cheap tea exporters. Today, the major competitors to all Indian tea varieties are China (green tea), Sri Lanka (orthodox), Kenya (CTC), Indonesia (orthodox) and Vietnam.

During the early 1950s, around 79 million Kg or about 31% of total production of tea was retained for domestic market consumption and the trend changed dramatically to 771 million Kg or about 81% of total production of 956 million Kg of tea in 2006. Today, the tea business in India is an important source for earning foreign exchange. Over the last decade, the Indian tea industry registered a substantial growth with respect to the overall production of Indian tea, due to ever increasing size of its domestic market.

Last Updated on 19 May 2011