The Good Life Company- Makes Life Good with Exquisite Blends of Tea and Coffee

Startup Success Stories - The Good Life Company

Startup Name The Good Life Company (TGL Co.)
HeadQuarter Mumbai
Founders Bhuman Dani & Shariq Ashraf
Sector Hot Beverages
Founded 2016
Parent Organization Panella Foods And Beverages Private Limited

About The Good Life Company
Tea and Coffee Industry
Founders of The Good Life Company and Team
How was The Good Life Company Started
The Good Life Company - Name and Logo
What is The Good Life Company
The Good Life Company - Revenue Model
The Good Life Company - User Acquisition
The Good Life Company - Funding and Investors
The Good Life Company - Advisors and Mentors
The Good Life Company - Startup Challenges
The Good Life Company - Competitors
The Good Life Company - Growth
The Good Life Company - Awards
The Good Life Company - Future Plans

Are you feeling tired or depressed? or you are having a bad day at work, simply having a steaming cup of tea or coffee can make you feel better. Studies have shown that even holding a hot cup of tea or coffee can have positive effects on human mood and behavior. Tea and coffee top the list of most popular drink worldwide. Also, there are wide varieties of tea and coffee available in different parts of the globe. The Good Life Company, a Mumbai based startup is serving you the best of tea and coffee from around the globe.

About The Good Life Company

Founded in 2016, TGL Co. is the fastest growing hot beverages startup in India that sources the finest quality teas and coffees from around the world with a deep focus on fresh, clean and natural ingredients. The Mumbai based startup envisions becoming the largest hot beverages player in India.

We source our teas from where they grow best, which creates a high-quality brew that sings with distinctive aroma and flavor. We then surprise these teas with infusions of thoughtfully selected botanicals and flavors that create a sensational harmony on your palate.

Tea and Coffee Industry

According to Euromonitor Data, in India, the Speciality tea market is currently valued at INR 5,100 Cr growing at a rate of 12% per annum. Again, the CTC tea market in India is of value INR 13,000 Cr growing at the rate of 3% per annum. Globally, the tea industry is currently a $44 billion industry growing at a rate of 5% per annum. As far as coffee is concerned, the instant coffee market in India is currently valued at INR 2,800 Cr growing at 5.5% per annum. While the fresh coffee market is of value INR 1,500 Cr growing at 6% per annum.  The global coffee market currently stands at $85 Billion growing at 4% per annum.

In India, as of 2019 orthodox tea accounts for almost 10,000 Cr of sale growing at a rate of 10% annually whereas other teas account for 13,000 Cr of sale at a growth rate of 2.9%. Combined, the tea market in India is expected to be at 22,000 Cr by 2022.

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Founders of The Good Life Company and Team

TGL Co. was founded by Bhuman Dani and Shariq Ashraf in 2016.

Bhuman Dani is an ex-management consultant with BCG London. He did an MBA from INSEAD and B.E.(Mechanical Engineering ). From BITS Pilani Dubai.

TGL Co-Founders - Bhuman Dani and Shariq Ashraf (L-R)

Shariq Ashraf worked as a management consultant in BCG- Melbourne. He is a management graduate from Singapore Management University and did his MBA from Oxford University.

Bhuman & Shariq met at a Mumbai alumni event of The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Their shared love for tea and coffee coupled with a passion to bring inspired blends and beans to millions in the country brought them together to change the norm for hot beverages in India and almost instantly, they had created The Good Life Company or TGL Co.

Currently, TGL Co. has a diverse team of 85+ members across Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune and Kolkata.

The way we met is a perfect example of serendipitea! As a start-up, we believe in wearing multiple hats, where roles are not clearly defined, and people are required to multi-task and handle various responsibilities.  We have been actively involved at wherever required, starting from packing teas to strategizing future business plans to raising funds.

How was The Good Life Company Started

When The Good Life Company’s founder Bhuman Dani, walked into the East India Company store in London one day, little did he know that it would change his life. With no background in the world of specialty teas and coffees, this experience opened his mind to brews, blends, blades and beans. On researching more about the Indian specialty tea market further, he realized that there was no one player he could clearly relate to when it came to premium teas so that was the Eureka moment for him!

But this appetizer only fueled his thirst for more knowledge in this space. So he began his apprenticeship with Jane Pettigrew, one of the most renowned master blenders of tea in the world and learned about teas, origins and influence of botanicals in creating the perfect blend. His interactions with Sanjiv Mehta (Director, East India Company) inspired him to pursue his passion and create an aspirational brand of premium teas and coffees in the very commoditized Indian consumer industry.

At the same time, in another corner of the world, Shariq Ashraf, an MBA from Oxford University and a self-professed tea aficionado were inspired by another tea company. He got his Eureka moment while traveling through Argentina, on his way to Antarctica, when he came across “Tealosophy” – a specialty tea boutique. Its founder, Ines Berton, inspired Shariq with her enviable tea knowledge, educating him about teas, blends, and the business model. This, combined with the fresh artisanal coffee culture of Melbourne, where he lived, led him to quit The Boston Consulting Group and move back to India, following his passion and introducing a spectacular range of teas and coffees here.

TGL Co. lets one enjoy the goodness of life through its exquisite range of tea and coffee. And the company's name is inspired by this very philosophy. TGL Co., believes that the world's finest teas and coffees should be an everyday luxury that celebrates sophistication, tranquility and good health.

The company is devoted to bringing an articulate revival to the known hot beverage experience by sourcing the best teas & coffees in the world and masterfully blending them with innovative flavors and botanicals. With every brew and blend, it is reviving the concept of tea and taking it places to where it has never been before.  

The Company’s logo symbolizes the Ancient Tea Horse route which first enabled teas to travel beyond China.

We want to take tea into a new era of unwavering excellence. Towards the rapidly increasing tribe of tea aficionados. To re-imagine it, no longer as a legacy drink, instead of as one that entices, excites and rejuvenates.

What is The Good Life Company

TGL Co. brings to you the best of tea and coffee from around the world. Although the company was incorporated in April 2016, it started selling only in October.

The Good Life Tea Company has various types of tea like white tea, green tea, olong tea, black tea, yellow tea and CTC tea. It sources tea form countries like China, Japan, Taiwan and Srilanka besides India. One can choose from a variety of ingredients, flavor and aroma.

It also has a wide variety of Coffee from India and the different parts of the world.

The USPs of The Good Life Company’s tea which sets them apart from the competitors are

  1. Sourcing of tea leaves: Most players source their leaves from the Indian subcontinent – that is India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan. But TGL believes in sourcing the best tea leaves. A white tea grows best in the Fujian province of China. The humidity, temperature, altitude, alkalinity in the soil is optimal for these leaves to grow in these regions. So TGL, instead of just limiting itself to the Indian subcontinent, also goes to China, Taiwan, Japan, Sri Lanka, etc and source the finest leaves from these countries.
  2. Sourcing of ingredients: Most players source their ingredients locally - which is why the range is limited and quality is sub-optimal. TGL Co. after sourcing the leaves from around the world, ship them to Europe to its contract manufactured blending facility wherein they mix the teas with dehydrated fruits, flowers and natural flavors in the presence of European botanists and culinary experts - botanists to ensure our blends are amazingly healthy and culinary experts to ensure the optimal taste! TGL Co. uses exquisite ingredients which are both unavailable and unheard of in the country - such as Barberries, Mallow petals, Schizandra Berries, Muira Pauma, Thistle flowers, Osmanthus, etc.  Apart from being amazingly tasty - most of these ingredients have medicinal values. TGL Co. follows a streamlined central purchasing principle. It source ingredients from locations they grow best - for example, barberries come from Iran, Schizandra Berries from Russia, Muira Puama from the Amazon rainforest, Mangoes and Strawberries from India, etc.
  3. The blend overall: Most players have simple, conventional blends - Green tea with mint, Green tea with ginger, Green tea with rose, Earl Grey, English breakfast, Chamomile, etc. A typical blend that The Goodlife Company offers is Green Sencha Tea mixed with mango, banana, melon, guava, sunflowers, cornflowers and Passionflower leaves. It has 8 ingredients in one tea so it's extremely flavorful, extremely tasty, extremely healthy, has less than 6 calories a cup and is extremely high in quality because of the sourcing process.

The USPs of The Good Life Company’s Coffee is-

  1. Sourced from the best plantations: Some of the best coffee in the world grows in high appellation regions - as high as 2000 ft above media sea level and anywhere between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn and in places with rich tree shade and a desirable micro climate. These are the kinds of coffee that TGL seeks out for its tightly curated collection. TGL Co. procures the highest quality Arabica beans from the best-placed coffee plantations world over, including Ethiopian Yirgachaffe, Colombian Excelso, El Salvador Santa Cristina, Peruvian Organic Coffee, Brazilian Santos and coffee from award-winning coffee estates in India.
  2. Expertly roasted beans: When you buy coffee off-the-shelf, it is likely you are buying something roasted many months ago and hence, stale. The truth is that the best tasting coffee is the one that is made from a batch of recently roasted beans – the flavors are freshly extracted and hence, in prime form. TGL Co.’s Indian coffees are roasted once every two weeks, and in small lots, to ensure the flavors are crisp, bright and intense, and for the good haul.
  3. Ground to-order: Pre-ground coffee rarely produces a cup that can match the complexity of the flavors and aromas that seep from a freshly ground lot. This is because from the moment the beans are ground, air starts to take effect. Most store-bought coffee is roasted many months ago and ground to a generic, industrial- standard. In sharp contrast, TGL Co. prefers and encourages grinding freshly roasted beans to- order, and to the drinker's preferred way of brewing. This way, the coffee is exposed to minimal oxidative degradation and retains flavor better.  
To be able to provide teas apt for the Indian palate, without compromising on quality and health, we devised more than 300 recipes with our team of botanists and culinary experts – some extremely fruity with tropical fruits such as TGL Mogo Mogo Green Tea. We also introduced naturally sweet teas mimicking dessert and cocktail profiles such as TGL Strawberries & Cream Black Tea or TGL Ice Wine White Tea.

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The Good Life Company - Revenue Model

TGL Co. has a robust revenue model. The company has different channels of sales based on its target market and each of them operates on a direct or commission basis model.

TGL Co. earns revenue from the following sources-

  1. HORECA- Hotel, Restaurants, Cafe(Direct sale)
  2. Offline Retail (Commission model)
  3. Online Retail via own website (Direct sale)
  4. Online Retail via third-party websites such as Nykaa, Amazon, etc (Commission model)
  5. Gifting (Direct sale)  

The Good Life Company - User Acquisition

TGL Co. initially had a very narrow, well-defined slice of the population as the target audience. The company absolutely, strongly believe that its products stand out in terms of quality – and so right from the beginning, their strategy has been to get as many people to sample and try our products as possible.

The company reaches its target customers through the following three ways-

  • By partnering with the best hotels, restaurants and cafes in the country, like Taj, Marriott, Westin, SOFITEL, Lalit, Hyatt, Hakkasan, Yauatcha, Indigo, Smoke House Deli, The A Club, Fatty Bao and many more.
  • By taking part in multiple events throughout the year and doing samplings.
  • Entering modern trade through Shop in Shop concepts, where the company’s teas and coffees are displayed in beautiful glass jars, and the customer gets to smell and taste the products and realize the quality of our offering. This helped build and anchor TGL Co. as a brand.  

The Good Life Company’s tea is available at almost every major e-commerce platform online, as well as its own website, and on the shelf at multiple retail locations.

As said by Bhuman and Shariq,TGL Co. focuses on the following factors to attract customers

  1. Target Audience & Brand Positioning: An average Indian household can be segregated into 3 categories based on income - Elite & Affluent (income more than10L pa), Aspirational (5 to 10L) and the Next Billion (<5L). Over the next 5 years, the segment that grows the fastest is the “Aspirational” segment. Thus, having a brand that is Aspirational and not masses, would be the first step to scale up in this category. And given that the category is a commodity, it’s all about premiumizing and uplifting the existing category to cater to the “value conscious Aspirational Indian”.
  2. Reinforcing Heath &Wellness: More than 50% of India is less than 25 years old, 65% is less than 35 years old. Young India is deviating towards health and wellness due to factors like global trends, peer pressure, influencers, celebrity endorsements. Hence providing consumers with healthy offerings with natural ingredients having medicinal values, which fulfill their health goals is essential.
  3. Innovation & Indulgence: Just focusing on health, wellness and quality are meaningless without repeat purchases. And repeat purchases are only possible if the product is innovative and becomes a daily indulgence for consumers. When health becomes an indulgence, (and if the category is commodity driven) it conjures instant fortune.  

The Good Life Company - Funding and Investors

TGL Co. has raised total funding of INR 8.75 Cr in the past 2 years from various strategic angel investors. The Company has used the funding for-

  • Building a robust sales and distribution network across the country. It aims to reach 1000+ POS within the next 12 months.
  • Increasing its online sales, both  through its own website  and online marketplaces
  • Revamping the existing website to cater to international markets. The soft launch in June 2019
  • Brand building and increasing product awareness: visibility at HORECAs, International Airport, Airlines (GoAir), Sports Teams (TGL Butterfly Squad)  
Funding for a business is like fuel for an automobile. It helps the business propel faster towards its goals. While we are confident about the quality of our products, funding has enabled to expand and exponentiate our growth 10x. What we could have achieved in 10 years otherwise, we have been able to achieve in a year.

The Good Life Company - Advisors and Mentors

TGL Co. was conceptualized after detailed discussions with Jane Pettigrew, Sanjeev Mehta, Ines Berton and certain BCG partners.

The Good Life Company - Startup Challenges

One of the foremost challenges was understanding Indian palate and what tea drinkers in India would prefer to consume daily. Initial months were spent in rigorous market surveys wherein Bhuman and Shariq conducted extensive tastings with HORECA owners, various business owners and regular tea drinkers to understand Indian taste profile. They were surprised to find out that the majority of consumers refrained from consuming loose-leaf tea daily because it was too bitter for their liking. They preferred teas which had a fruity aftertaste or were naturally sweet.

Another major challenge that TGL Co. faced was because of the phenomenal growth its products received.

“We grew too fast too early! While we were extremely happy with the response we received, at the same time, we weren’t prepared then operationally to match the demand. And therefore, we did experience a phase where we had delays in order processing and manual errors in some orders” says Bhuman and Shariq

With time, the company has been able to equip itself operationally to match the demand by implementing automated production practices and expanding our team.  

Getting the sourcing model right was also a challenge that the company faced. For this, Bhuman and Shariq personally visited dozens of plantations across various countries, interacted with numerous tea masters and sommeliers, and selected the leaves from the high quality and best plantations.  

Again, working out the supply chain to get these teas from around the world into Europe for blending, and then finally to India for selling was a huge logistical challenge. In order to ensure the freshness of the teas and the blends, TGL Co. air freighted everything instead of the traditional, cheaper shipping model. While this adds significantly to the costs, the company believes that the value it adds to the freshness of its teas is invaluable.

Every startup from the outset is implicitly prepared to deal with various crisis and dilemmas through the journey. However, some dilemmas can still astound you, mainly because it wasn’t anticipated, or you simply don’t know how to respond to it.

The Good Life Company - Competitors

Owing to its unique blend, ingredients and tea leaves sourced from different parts of the globe, TGL Co. has been able to make a distinctive place for itself in the Indian tea market. As such there are no direct competitors to TGL Co.  

At TGL, we have revived the known tea experience by sourcing the best tea from around the world and masterfully blending them with innovative real ingredients, such as Kashmiri Kahwa Green Tea with real saffron and almonds, Jasmine Blush Green Tea which is a refreshing version of a Jasmine tea with peppermint. Such innovations have helped us stay ahead of the competition.  

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The Good Life Company - Growth

Some of the major milestones achieved by TGL Co are-

  • TGL has witnessed exponential growth over the past 24 months. Revenues have grown ~7x in the past 18 months and the ultimate aim is to create an INR 100 Cr revenue brand by 2024.
  • It has sold over 5 tonnes of tea and over 2 tonnes of coffee in the past 12 months - that ~25L cups of tea and ~3L cups of coffee.
  • The company is serving more than 50,000 happy customers and repeat buyers.
  • TGL is now available at more than 200 hotels, restaurants and cafes across 9 Indian cities including popular properties such as Taj, Marriott, Westin, SOFITEL, Lalit, Hyatt, Hakkasan, Yauatcha, Indigo, Smoke House Deli, The A Club, Fatty Bao and many more.
  • TGL is also retailing at more than 400 points of sales at popular modern trade stores such as Godrej Natures Basket, HAIKO across Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, Kolkata and Delhi-NCR.
  • TGL is also available at the Mumbai International Airport in the duty-free shopping areas and on the in-flight menu onboard GoAir flights.

The Good Life Company - Awards

TGL Co has received the following awards-

  • Awarded Coca-Cola Golden Spoon Award 2019 for “Most Admired Food Startup of the year”
  • Listed in Sutra HR’s “Top 100 Startups to Watch in 2019”
  • Awarded ET Now Global Award for Retail Excellence 2019 for “Food & Grocery Brand of the Year” (Hot Beverages)
  • Recognized as an innovative startup by Amazon and listed on Amazon Select. Awarded Amazon Connect Extra Mile Award for “Outstanding Performance in 2018”                    

The Good Life Company - Future Plans

TGL Co has interesting plans for the future. Some of its future plans are

Product Launches

  • Wellness Range: Introducing tea range specially formulated by botanists and culinary experts with herbs, spices and medicinal ingredients aimed at improving overall well-being including immunity boost, digestion, sleeping patterns, etc.
  • Introducing premium single estate first-flush White Teas at affordable pricing.
  • Introducing high-quality traditional stone-ground ceremonial grade Japanese matcha and its exotic flavors such as sakura, lavender and more.

Expanding Channels of Sale

  • Retail: TGL to launch teas and coffees in retail packs at 1000 Points of Sale across TierI cities in India over the next 6 months.
  • Online: TGL to increase online sales, both own website and third-party online marketplaces. The company is also setting up an international website to be able to serve multiple countries through our own website.
  • HoReCa: Association with popular properties Taj Exotica, Taj Rambaug and Taj Bengal for supplying teas & coffees in rooms as well as on the menu.
  • Alternate channels of Sale - Collaboration and listing with various co-working spaces, gymnasiums and airlines.

Team Expansion

  • TGL aims to grow from a current team of 80 professionals to over 200+ in the next 12 months
Website - The Good Life

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About Chayanika Goswami

Chayanika is an MBA in Finance and a trained Digital Marketer. SEO and content writing are her hobbies turned profession. She is a rover. In her free time, she loves traveling and cracking jokes.