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Himalayan goldmine

Updated: Jul 21







In My Experience… Pravin Shah and Shweta Shah, Co-founders, The Pahadi Story















Highlights:

  • Pravin Shah was inspired to start The Pahadi Story after a trip to Uttarakhand when he spoke to some women farmers.

  • The brand is based on two principles, promoting holistic wellness and empowering the community.

  • Farmers and women behind the brand’s products are empowered and given livelihoods through this two-year-old successful brand.

  • The brand unlike other tea brands focuses solely on empowerment from the ground up and authentic ingredients straight from the Himalayas.

  • Profits and purpose are both equally important for this brand.

  • “Be different and try to be distinct as compared to other similar brands, "founder’s advice to budding entrepreneurs.


When you think of the Himalayas what comes to mind is scenic snow-capped

peaks and green trekking routes straight out of a fairytale. However, the

The Himalayas have been known to be a treasure trove of precious herbs and

medicinal plants for centuries. It was this thought that drove Pravin Shah

and his wife Shweta to start The Pahadi Story a mere two years ago.


The two-year-old company does not just provide a number of wellness

products, including herbal teas, but also empowers and provides the people

in the mountains with livelihoods. The brand’s philosophy works on two

pillars, promoting holistic wellness and community development from the

ground level. In this interview, Pravin Shah tells us about his journey, what

sets this brand apart from other similar brands and their strategies to stay

relevant in this age of social media.


Excerpts:



Q: Please provide us with a quick background bio of yourself, and

your journey towards building the brand — The Pahadi Story.

A: I have been a marketeer for almost two-and-a-half decades. During one

of my visits to Uttarakhand, which is in the Himalayas, I came across

some women farmers. I had a five-minute chat with them, which was

inspirational. They had dreams and a vision for the future. I returned and

in October 2019, I wrote a document detailing ‘The Pahadi Story’. Then

Covid-19 hit and I decided to put it aside. Later, in April 2020, I went

ahead and launched the brand.


Q: What is your brand purpose that sets ‘The Pahadi Story’ apart

from other tea brands in the market?

A: After years of being in business, we often tend to focus on profits. Then

you decide to give purpose and profit equal priority. My wife and I thought

about building something that can also give back to the community, gives

people a livelihood and creates a marketable business. We wanted to create

a balance between purpose and profit. That is the crux of ‘The Pahadi

Story.’ Our first priority is to give back to the community. Our second

priority is providing the world with holistic health benefits.


Q: How did you position The Pahadi Story in the mind of the

consumers to make it distinct?

A: During Covid, the concept of wellness picked up. Every consumer was

looking at products built around that concept. Tea became the next

superfood and consumption shot up around the globe during Covid.

The trend still continues. In our case, tea was blended with superfoods

such as ashwagandha and turmeric. These were immunity boosters and

were meant to detoxify. We were pushing tea as not just green tea but

wellness tea for holistic wellness straight from the Himalayas. These were

the key differences that helped us position our brand in the market.


Q: What were the strategies you used for the brand to gain the right

visibility, in terms of being in the luxury market?

A: Let’s take the real estate, for example, a developer would have three

categories: affordable, premium and signature. Every brand needs to

devise a portfolio that caters to every segment, drawing from its legacy.


When we use this philosophy in our brand, we cater to the premium

segment but we also launch some distinctive limited edition products as

well. We launched a first flush tea that is very exclusive and is 10 times

more expensive than green tea. There are tea connoisseurs who appreciate

this tea and can also gift this to other like-minded individuals. This is how

we differentiate between the premium and luxury markets.


We built the brand through social media channels. It is important to

make sure the brand narrative is fixed and does not go wrong. Firstly, we

talk to conscious consumers. Secondly, the Himalayas are at the core of

our brand, thirdly we talk about the community and lastly, the authenticity

of the ingredients. We make sure our content is based on these four points.

The second method we used was direct marketing.


Q: We are living in times where quality has become a prerequisite.

Brands now aim to embrace sustainability as another prerequisite.

How is the brand approaching the challenge of being sustainable?

A: Sustainability starts at the ground level, which is empowering farmers

and giving them a livelihood by increasing their income. In our workshop,

we constantly try to focus on rainwater harvesting. We are reducing our

carbon footprint by using eco-friendly packaging too.


Q: What would you advise an entrepreneur wanting to launch their

own brand?

A: The main thing is to differentiate themselves from other similar brands.

This is something everyone will really need to work on.


The two-year-old brand has grown slowly but surely and now has a

devoted customer base. The company continues to empower farmers and

women proving that building a brand should begin from the grassroots

level.


To watch the full conversation on our YouTube channel just click here.

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