Luxmi Tea, a century-old Indian brand, is going for a makeover as it expands globally and introduces indigenous and organic products.
The rebranding as Luxmi Estates is to amplify the message that the tea comes from our own estate, said Rudra Chatterjee, managing director, Luxmi Tea Group.
“Our focus is on our estates and that is what our brand is all about. Everything from growing to packaging is done at our estates,” he said.
According to Chatterjee, it is difficult for people to know whether the tea comes from their own estates or they're just buying tea and packaging it.
The rebranding amplifies that messaging while retaining familiarity, trust and recognition, he said.
The brand, founded by PC Chatterjee who started by cultivating tea on a piece of land in Tripura in 1912, has doubled business in the last four years with overall revenue touching Rs 1,500 crore this year.
One of the most significant components of the brand rejig is the company’s new logo – ‘the Hand Of Abundance’. Chatterjee calls tea pluckers of the estate the ambassadors of the brand and the logo is nothing but their hand.
Rudra Chatterjee, managing director, Luxmi Tea Group.
Pandemic-led growth and global expansion
Chatterjee said the pandemic pushed them to start selling products online, which was the turning point of the business.
“We see people around the world talk about Sri Lankan tea, British tea, Canadian tea and Australian tea. India never makes it to the list despite being the best producer of tea in the world. When we started selling online and shipping across the globe we got great feedback because our product was fresh and that made us think about how we can build on this trend,” he said.
The company is expanding in the western markets. More than 50 percent of the company’s demand is presently coming from global markets. The company has its own team in the US, which will soon be its biggest market followed by India.
The company is selling age-old indigenous products under new brandings and that is what is making them click in the global market, he said.
“We are selling age-old herbs and formulas with health benefits. Products like turmeric or ashwagandha are not new for us but we are taking these to the global markets that have just recently realised the medicinal values of these ingredients,” he said.
Branding exercise and marketing spends
Chatterjee doesn’t want the brand makeover to go unnoticed. He said about 25 per cent of the revenues would be spent on promotional activities, of which a significant part would be used for advertising. Initially, most of the marketing communication will be digital but over time the company will look at other metrics of promotion.
“It is important to reach out to every customer, wherever they are. We have a great product that is fresh and organic. It is a product that helps the farmers because a portion of the revenue goes to them. We don’t want to be shy about telling people what we have and what we do,” Chatterjee said.
Most of the top-of-the-funnel marketing strategies will take off digitally but Chatterjee wants to boost tea tourism in the country too. From tea-making sessions to plucking leaves to staying at the estate's properties across Bengal, Assam and Rwanda, Luxmi would want their customers to taste a slice of the tea estate life.
“We are bringing a cutting-edge product that consists of a whole range of organic wellness products too, straight from our estates, packaged fresh and sent within a minimum gap between the production and consumption time to the customers, and we will do everything to make this happen,” Chatterjee said.
As a part of the initiatives to bring holistic developments to the estates, the company is trying to bring an end to the practice of growing one crop at the estate which is tea. Luxmi will also focus on using its properties across India and Africa to grow other crops like turmeric, tulsi, ashwagandha and African rose that will complement the business and topline.