From caretaker to CEO in just over a decade - not a bad leap for self-styled entrepreneur Sanjay Gupta, affectionately called "the Tea Guru." While caretaking is not a bad job, says Gupta, he knew he wanted to do something more than the unplugging of toilets and collecting of overdue rent which financed his graduate school.
Hungry for freedom and intellectual stimulation, the caretaker gladly swapped his utility belt for a corporate nameplate - Connexions Trading International Incorporated.
As Gupta and his newly-formed company waded in and out of ventures ranging from network marketing to commodity brokering to e-commerce to import-export management, he quickly discovered that some could be lucrative, others a money pit. But Gupta never feared trying something new because he knew each venture, successful or not, would provide that invaluable resource - experience.
Ever on the lookout for innovative opportunities, Gupta made several forays into India to research the tea market. Four years of research and development paid off. In India, he made two very attractive discoveries. The first, a beautiful young woman named Suruchi would soon become his wife and business partner. The second, Gourmet Teas Beautifully Packaged would soon become his business.
And so began Tea Connexions in 1997. The entrepreneur immediately recognized the enormous market potential of Gourmet Teas Beautifully Packaged. He learned that only India grows Darjeeling, the world's finest tea, but that Darjeeling comprises less than 1% of the world's tea harvest. He knew he could increase that percentage.
Gupta soon realized his product could be marketed worldwide by the growing sector of home-preneurs. And so began the "Opportunity is Brewing" program in August 2001.
From new moms to nightshift workers to retired accountants, the response was overwhelming. People rushed to take advantage of the products' three distinct marketing channels: the gift, health and tea sectors. These (now) tea-preneurs discovered a bonus - residual income generated by repeat business for the high quality consumable. Says Gupta, more than 50% have already reordered product to replenish their sold-out $3000 start-up inventory.
With so much tea marketing experience behind him, Gupta relishes helping his tea-preneurs achieve their dreams. To encourage their success, Gupta limits membership in the buying group, based on the size of market in each geographical area.
To sweeten the pot, he throws in free customer referrals, below wholesale pricing, personalized turn-key e-commerce websites, drop shipping and private labelling. To further ensure their success, he also provides marketing and business guidance including extensive permission-marketing training which demonstrates how to generate more than $90,000 sales from only 1000 customers.
Gupta's commitment to customer service is clearly appreciated, as this comment from one Canadian distributor demonstrates, "I just wanted to take a moment to thank you. . . . Your support and dedication have surpassed my expectations. I feel good having you as my support and my mentor."
Eager to share his success with others, Gupta now offers this unique business opportunity worldwide, with more than four dozen Tea Connexions home-preneurs now located in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Latin America.
What words of wisdom does this tea guru have for us common folk?
"If you believe in your ability to succeed - set goals, plan and take action, I am confident your success is inevitable because it will result directly from your efforts. Don't be afraid to leave your comfort zone. As my own story demonstrates, you can quickly transform your life once you dare to leave that zone."
Created by: Shirley Collingridge, Wordsmith