February , 2020
Good quality makes Goodricke successful
15:21 pm

B.E. Bureau

The Goodricke group is a prominent player in the Indian tea industry.  Atul Asthana, Managing Director,
Goodricke, spoke to BE’s Kuntala Sarkar.

Q. Tell us about your present operations?

A. The growth rate of our company is 7% to 8% year-on-year. We have 12 gardens in Dooars, 15 gardens in Assam and five gardens in Darjeeling. For the current fiscal, we have produced 16 million kgs from Dooars, 15 million kg from our gardens in Assam and one million kg from our Darjeeling gardens. Additionally, we have purchased leaves of around eight million kg. We achieved production of around 40 million kg during 2019 as compared to 37 million kg in the previous year. During 2019, we have sold 11.3 million kg of tea in the packaged tea segment as compared to 10 million kg in 2018. We have tied up with the Tea Board of India and are setting up exclusive outlets at the Tea Board’s offices in Mumbai and Kolkata.

Q. How is the Indian tea industry performing?

A. The production of tea in India is growing at a very rapid pace – mainly due to the small tea growers. Out of our total 40 million production this year, around 50% is being produced by small tea growers. Production in owned tea gardens is not increasing significantly; rather it is quite static since the last 20 years as compared to production from the small tea growers.

Earlier the demand-supply situation was almost balanced. However, with increased productivity and a comparatively slower increase in consumption in the domestic market, the industry is suffering from oversupply.

Q. What is your export strategy?

A. Along with the domestic market, we have keen eyes for the export market as well. In 2019, we have exported more than six million kg of tea, which was more than the previous year. Where there has been an overall drop in the export of Indian tea, Goodricke has up-scaled its export business. It has been possible because of the quality control measures that we follow. Iran, UK, Japan, Germany and Russia are the most important export destinations. For orthodox tea, Iran is currently the major destination.

Q. What are your exclusive offerings?

A. Roasted Darjeeling tea is our best-selling brand. We are also introducing flavoured tea varieties and green tea. The demand for green tea has started to pick up slowly in the Indian market, mostly because of its positive health implications.

Q. Are you focusing on organic tea plantation?

A. We have two fully organic tea gardens in Darjeeling. The cost of production is higher in organic tea plantations. If the tea weeds are not maintained carefully in organic gardens, the crop loss can reach up to 30% to 32%. So, it is quite challenging to convert a tea garden to a fully organic one.

Q. How has online sale of tea affected your business?

A. Our online sales are going up consistently. Since the last two years, we are available online. We have collaborated with Amazon and Big Basket for online marketing and trading. Additionally, we have got our own website and all our brands are available online.

Q. How has your company looked into labour welfare?

A. Around 40,000 workers are working in our tea plantations. We are using a part of our profit for the development and welfare of our workers. We are building houses, toilets and hospitals for them and provide free services. Additionally, water supply, firewood and ration are also free. Each of our gardens has its own hospitals consisting of around 30 beds, including our own doctors, nurses and pharmacists. We also provide free primary education to the children of the garden workers.





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