Kat in India

A graduate student at SMU’s Temerlin Advertising Institute, Kat is participating in SMU-in-India during summer 2010, doing in-class coursework in Ahmedabad, as well as two weeks taking field trips.

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Newest loyal Wagh Bakri tea drinker

Kat1.jpg Yesterday was quite the experience! We went to visit the first corporate office on our tour around India – Wagh Bakri.

This is a brand that’s been around for over 100 years, and they actually started in South Africa but made the move back to India in the early 1900s.

We were greeted with a wonderful welcome, and our visit shifted from the factory to the corporate office throughout the day. I was in for a surprise to see how much detail goes into creating one of their tea blend packets, which are available in the US!! One tea we saw on the blend line had 31 different tea types blended together for the taste of Wagh Bakri perfection!

Kat2.jpg One thing I learned – Americans are incorrect when they talk about Chai tea. Chai=tea – therefore it makes no sense to say can I have a tea tea latte when going to Starbucks or any other coffee/tea shop. From now on anytime I want Masala Chai I’m going to ask for it like it is, so as to defend the identity of the Masala Chai.

By the way, Masala Chai is a type of spiced tea, which I drink fairly regularly in the States.

We learned so much about how advertising to the different states’ cultures is so crucial for brand growth for companies, and I truly believe that Wagh Bakri has done a great job to grow from a small state brand to the third largest brand in the nation! Their advertising messages are evident of the diversity they embrace.

The name Wagh Bakri stands for “tiger goat,” which basically means that those who drink Wagh Bakri tea can co-exist and become friends. Or as their Facebook page says, “We believe all differences can be dissolved over a cup of Tea!”

Not only were we greeted by a group of wonderful staff members at the factory, but we were greeted at the corporate office with single-stem roses for each person in our group. We were even sent off with our own box of Wagh Bakri Masala Chai to bring back to the US, pens inscribed with our names on it and tons of other goodies. The chairman of the company even came and sat in on lunch with us! What incredible treatment we were given!

We’re off on our first tour around India tomorrow morning. Hoping to get a full night’s rest before the flight. I look forward to updating you all soon!

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