Tranquilitea, as the name suggests, brings one to the state of utter serenity. We started with the vision of making quality tea available to people across India at reasonable prices.
It all started in the land of tea, Darjeeling, where our promoter Payal belongs from. Darjeeling is one of the most famous destination of tea plantation in India, it’s roots with tea dates back to 1841 when Archibald Campbell brought with him a few seeds of Chinese tea from Kumaun region, everything else is history. From plain black tea to oolong and white tea, Darjeeling is a hub of multiple tea varieties. As a child Payal, like every other child, was fascinated by the beauty of tea plantations and tasted various varieties of teas at perfectly reasonable prices. Tea was not a luxury but a regular item of use for her.
She started her career as an educationist, turned restaurateur turned tea blender. Born into a Marwari family, Payal was the fourth daughter in the family and the first for her parents. Though she was born in the nondescript town of Mungpoo in West Bengal, her businessman father moved soon after to Siliguri where she pursued her education till Std 12. With a modest income, her dad could not support her education beyond higher secondary and she was married off at the age of 19.
At an age when most girls would want to see the world and pursue a career, Payal had to contend with a tragedy in her life. Soon after her marriage, she got pregnant and due to some complications, suffered a miscarriage. It was soon after losing her first baby that she thought of starting up a playschool, an endeavour for which she got the full support of her father-in-law. “He was the one who encouraged me to start up the playschool and instil in me the confidence that I could do it,” says Payal. And it was perhaps engaging with these toddlers and teaching them the basics of life that she miraculously conceived a second time.
The birth of her son only meant more responsibilities and Payal did not shy away from any of it. Her husband was into odd-jobs and did not contribute much towards the family income, so Payal got herself a job in the Insurance sector as well, without any professional degree to fall back on.
She learnt on the job and it was an enriching experience to say the least. For five years she worked in that sector and won accolades too. It was her mother-in-law who took care of her son while she concentrated on her stint in the Insurance sector which required her to travel a lot.
But life took another turn and Payal again found herself at the crossroads. She lost her father and her husband moved away with another woman. She got back to her parents’ place and her family now consisted of her mother, two younger brothers and a 7-year-old son. Given the turn of circumstances, she had to give up her job in the Insurance sector as it involved a lot of travel and the playschool too had to be shut because the property on which it was running belonged to her husband.
As the saying goes, when the going gets tough the tough get going. Payal found herself staring at a tough situation. With no formal degree in hand, she was at a loss for a professional choice in life and did not know the way ahead, despite realising her responsibilities and the need to turn breadwinner.
At this point, it was her late father whose words inspired her. “Right from my early days, I used to be fascinated with cookery shows, so much so that my father wanted me to start my own catering unit someday. I thought time was ripe to act upon his advice. With nervousness and a lot of belief in the Almighty, I opened up my first restaurant in Siliguri,” says Payal. Today Payal is the Managing Director of Romharsh Hospitality Group which manages two restaurants and a banquet hall, all in Siliguri.
Her desire to work in the food business comes from her late father’s unfulfilled wish, which she fulfilled by opening a restaurant in Siliguri. Overtime as a restaurateur she noticed how Darjeeling’s organic teas are being sold at extravagant prices in Delhi with little amounts of real Darjeeling tea. Prices were surged as high as a gold plated mug while quality had no comparison to the real leaves brewed in her home land. As a devout patriot of her land, and a experimentalist she decided to change the business culture of this male dominant industry by starting ‘Tranquilitea‘ as you know it today.
Unlike other brands that sell off mixed teas in the name of pure Darjeeling tea, Payal decided to experiment and make blended teas available in different packages with labels such as anti stress, anti ageing and so on….