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Over a cup of tea: How Teabox founder Kausshal Dugarr wooed his investor Neelesh Bhatnagar

In an effort to help his investor make a decision, he kept sending teas for Bhatnagar and his family to sample.

, ET Bureau|
Jul 19, 2019, 05.49 PM IST
ET's dualpane - 2019-07-19T173929.306
On the left is Teabox founder Kausshal Dugarr, and on the right is Neelesh Bhatnagar.
When Teabox founder Kausshal Dugarr and his soon-to-be investor, Neelesh Bhatnagar met for the first time in March, not surprisingly the beverage of choice at the meeting was tea. The order was an Assam tea and an English Breakfast one by a popular multinational tea brand. Dugarr called for some hot water, steeped in the ‘TeaPacs,’ and offered the cup to Bhatnagar to contrast the quality.

“My tea did the job for me,” Dugarr said as he discussed the funding by NB Ventures, the family office of Neelesh Bhatnagar. He did not disclose the amount invested by Bhatnagar, who is an old hand in retail, having held senior positions at the Landmark Group, more commonly known as the parent company behind retail chains like Lifestyle, Home Centre and Crossword.

In the days that followed the initial meeting, Dugarr sent over more teas for Bhatnagar and his family to sample. A tea chest, that includes some Kashmiri Kahwa, Mountain Rose, Darjeeling Muscatel. Nilgiri White, Darjeeling Oolong and Assam Masala.

And since wooing must be done right, Bhatnagar was also sent one of the most expensive offerings from the brand - the Badamtam Heritage Moonlight spring white tea. This white tea retails for over Rs 2 lakh per kilogram. A 25 gram packet, costing about Rs 5,000 would make 12 to 13 cups of tea.

“This was mainly to give him a sense of what we do, a taste of our products,” Dugarr said, adding that Bhatnagar with vast retail experience will help the brand to realise its own ambitions in the space, as Teabox looks at expanding it offline presence.
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