When Uppma Virdi started her business of Ayurvedic blended medicinal tea based on her grandfather’s recipe, she wouldn’t have imagined that it would someday take her places.
The 27-year old Australian-Indian was listed in the Forbes 30 Under 30 community which recently hosted its three-day conference in Manila in July. The Forbes 30 Under 30 is a set of lists issued annually by Forbes magazine that recognises entrepreneurs and trend setters in the business and individual industries.
The list recognised 600 people in 20 lists from different industries in 2016.
Ms Virdi’s Ayurvedic medicinal tea business Chai Walli touched magnificent heights in retail and e-commerce sector using social media to share the uniqueness of the Indian culture of tea.
“When they [Forbes] approached me to apply for the Under 30, I was honoured. But I didn't think I would make the cut. When a few months later I received an email saying I had actually made it, I couldn’t believe it. I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming,” Ms Virdi told SBS Punjabi.
She adds that the conference was a great opportunity to meet and know people from different fields of business.
“When you are running your own business, you are sort of confined to it. But when you go to events such as this, you remember there’s so much more out there. There are so many incredible people doing amazing things, and it just allows you to appreciate the other fields of work. It allows you to network outside your field and thinks of new ways of doing business, creative partnerships and cool ideas that you may not have thought before,” she added.
Chai Walli was started a few years ago based on the traditional recipe of her grandfather who passed away recently. She quit her job as a commercial lawyer to devote her time to the business which she calls ‘continuing her grandfather’s legacy of medicinal concoctions’.
“Going through the rituals [after her grandfather’s death], I realised that Chai Walli has so much more meaning now… there’s so much riding on this to preserve his legacy,” she said. “It adds so much more fulfilment to my life.”
At Forbes 30 Under 30 conference held in Manila last month, she did not miss to share the story and the inspiration she took from her grandfather.
“I made sure that everyone I spoke to understood the passion and meaning behind my business. It wasn’t just an idea I had to turn into a profitable business. It was a dream that I worked hard to turn into a reality to share with everyone.”
In 2016, Ms Virdi was awarded Business Woman of the Year at the Indian Australian Community and Business Awards.
Following the success of her business, Ms Virdi foresees setting her footprint across Australia and overseas.