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Fabindia plans to launch indian herbal tea in China

Fabindia, the country’s largest private retailers of ethnic wear and other traditional products, acquired a 40% stake in Organic India in 2013, and later increased it to 50%.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Feb 09, 2017, 12.25 AM IST
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As part of the process, the firm had hired a Chinese consultancy to study potentials for Indian ayurvedic products in China.
As part of the process, the firm had hired a Chinese consultancy to study potentials for Indian ayurvedic products in China.
NEW DELHI: It was the British who introduced tea in India from China. Now, Fabindia is trying to take Indian herbal tea to the land of the dragon.

“We are going to enter China with our tea category,” said Abhinandan Dhoke, chief executive at Organic India, a Lucknow-based organic food and supplements firm now owned by Fabindia.

If everything goes well with the regulatory approvals, Organic India plans to launch its herbal tea in China next year.

As part of the process, the firm had hired a Chinese consultancy to study potentials for Indian ayurvedic products in China. “We saw a huge potential there,” Dhoke said. He said the company has partnered with the same consultant to help work on its entry strategy for China. “We are predominantly into green tea and other infusion of herbs so that is very relevant category that is existing over there,” Dhoke said.

Organic India was founded in 1997 by Bharat Mitra, a former disciple of Lucknow-based spiritual teacher the late H W L Poonja, fondly known as ‘Papaji’. Mitra came to India in the 1980s in search of truth and self-realisation, and ended up establishing a business that supports livelihood of thousands of farmers in the area. Today, it sells its products across the country through 25 own stores besides Fabindia outlets and hundreds of general retailers, and exports to 35 countries including the US, most of Europe, the Middle East and some African countries. In 2015-16, Organic India had a turnover of Rs 205 crore.

Fabindia, the country’s largest private retailers of ethnic wear and other traditional products, acquired a 40% stake in Organic India in 2013, and later increased it to 50%.

Fabindia would be the latest among a string of Indian companies trying to sell tea in China.

In 2007, for example, Tata Global Beverages formed a joint venture with Zhejiang Tea Import & Export to manufacture and market green tea, green tea extracts and other value-added tea products in China.

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