How this Pune chaiwala makes Rs12 lakhs a month.

Yewale Amrutalay uses 1,000kgs of sugar and 300kgs of tea powder every month.

The story of Yewale Amrutalay begins when 16-year-old Dashrath Yewale comes to Pune from Purandar and starts selling milk to earn a living, which eventually blossoms into an idea of setting up a tea stall. Dashrath rents a shop in Pune’s Camp district to sell tea and in 1983; he buys a shop in Salisbury Park. As the business grows, Dashrath introduces snacks on the menu along with tea and opens outlets near Bharti Vidyapeeth in Dhankawdi and Appa Balwant Chowk in Pune. Dashrath passed away in 2001, but the story doesn’t end there.

After the death of their father, Navnath Yewale and his brothers took it upon themselves to carry forward the tradition and focus solely on selling tea. Thus began an intensive period of research and development to figure out how to capture the market. “We spent close to five months standardising our tea, by using the same proportion of milk, tea and sugar across all our branches. While the boiling of tea is set to seven minutes, the milk is boiled twice before being used for tea. This simple formula ensures our tea tastes the same in all our branches,” reveals Navnath. The teahouse needs about 1,000kgs of sugar and 300kgs of tea powder in a month to churn out countless cups of tea across three branches.

“We plan on opening 100 branches in the city and a few international outlets too. We should be able to employ more than 10,000 people in the next few years”, says Navnath. When quizzed on which international markets he is looking at, he lets us in on his secret. “Bangkok, Dubai initially,” he reveals. On the domestic front, Mumbai, Nasik, Satara are on his bucket list.

The tea house sells over 5,000 cups of tea across all three outlets every day, pushing revenues up to about Rs12,00,000 a month, with each cup priced at a humble Rs10. Before I leave, I ask Navnath if he would like to share a secret ingredient. “Try our tea at least once”, he smiles, as I see a steaming cup of tea headed towards me.