We have seen so many people making it big as ‘chaiwalas’ recently that I’m sure everyone has had at least one thought to leave whatever they’re doing and become one! Here’s another story, of a ‘chai walli’ this time, which might make you take that whim seriously.
26-year-old Indian-Australian lawyer/businesswoman Uppma Virdi, aka ‘Chai Walli’, recently impressed everyone when she was awarded ‘Australia’s Businesswoman of the Year’.
A tea-lover to the core, Uppma felt disappointed about not finding any places to get good tea (read: Indian tea) after moving to Australia. So, she decided to start a ‘chai’ business herself and that’s how ‘Chai Walli’ came into being.
“In the Indian culture people come together through tea. Whether it’s a happy occasion or a difficult moment, tea is all pervasive. I tried, but couldn’t find many good tea places in Australia,” said Uppma to SBS.
Uppma was awarded at the 2016 Indian Australian Business and Community Awards (IABCA) at a ceremony in Sydney last week.
Uppma, whose grandfather was an Ayurvedic doctor and a herbal tea enthusiast, serves different kinds of Ayurvedic tea concoctions through her online tea store. Uppma also runs “The art of Chai” workshops, where she teaches people how to brew the perfect chai.
Chai Walli has a dedicated online store for retail purchase worldwide along with a wholesale division, which supplies the Indian tea blend to gourmet supermarkets, food stores, cafes, restaurants and yoga centres.
As Uppma still holds her day job as a lawyer, she has certainly set an example for those who struggle to find the perfect balance between their career and their passions. Uppma’s story restores our faith in the idea that if you really love something and are good at it, nothing can stop you from making it big!