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Chai and the digital high

I am on a digital high all the time. One second I am looking at my face book account and zap I am off to bookmyshow.com. In between I am toggling my Whatsapp. And WeChat too – wow! Boom – I am on a call from a colleague on a new deal that is crucial for us. Finish the call and then look at my pad and revisit my emails.

Ad infinitum – Dee-dah, till I feel the energy drain a bit and I saw to myself “Got to hit the gym soon”.

Is there an escape to this? Yes but only first if I realize that I do need to escape.

Do I need to escape? Of course, for I need to live. Not just for the moment – aware now and more tomorrow and then day after.

I am no yogi. Sometime I will find my balance and be in control. More often I will be on a digital high – driven by constant pings. Zing, Zing and Zing!

I realize that I have walked over and I am already there. I flick my mobile wallet at the counter and soon get my cup of Chai. A smile and a tilt of head to thank the Chai master – who knows me all too well. I am myself now. Thinking calmly and focusing on the tasks at hand. Refitting my day and plan with just a trace of a smile.
I need to come to our nearest Chai Point store more. Retool myself at a simple and smart place that knows I am a digital animal but all too human. I need to talk to myself and listen too.

Time of the day matters – morning its Dum Chai and evenings these days? It’s a new blend that I am relishing deeply – an orthodox and black tea blend from upper Assam – so crisp. Not there at Chai Point yet but coming soon – perks of working at Chai Point.

Chai Point is all about fun-filled passion @ Work

As you walk up to the 3rd floor you will find all the heads zooming into the pantry to grab their day’s first refreshing sip of the energiser before they enter into the buzzing morning session. While you try to hold on to a seat & settle amongst the gathering, an affirming voice greets you, “Goodmorning Team, so what’s brewing today?”, and an unanimous answer reverberates across the ceiling…….”CHAI”, with a wide smile on every gleaming face.

Welcome to the Sports Team of Chai Point. A bunch of crazy chai lovers who drinks, sleeps & dreams Chai. The passion for the leaves has been so intoxicating that it has got into their blood and turned the nerdy IT rat-race chasers into delight mongers of the country’s most consumed beverage. CHAI. Amuleek Singh Bijral, the CEO & Founder of Chai Point, along with his fellow good (wo)men believes that a cup of freshly brewed Chai can actually trigger efficiency amongst the working Indians as a strong fuel. As passionate chai lovers he & his team works tirelessly to inculcate an honest work culture with most authentic & hygienic chai.

Team Chai Point is always abuzz ensuring all the 3 verticals of it’s business, Chai@Work | Chai-On-Call | Retail, operates uninterruptedly. Culture is what you follow, and hence, there is no glass door inbetween CXO-s, mid-level management and operation team. The free flow of ideas keeps the place enormously positive & productive. Also the cult of being accredited as a “Partner”, instead of an executive, instils a sense of ownership across every level in the team. Although Chai Point has outgrown the toddler stage of being called just a start-up, since 2010, yet still the work culture stays as fresh & young at heart, as it started.

Chai Partners is-to Chai Point as Commando seal is-to Indian Army. Chai Point’s inhouse operation team is a vigilant lot, who believes in their own rule of customer delight. They operates across the 98+ retail stores and 55+ corporate offices across India everyday taking care of the other Three business engines of the company to flow smooth & steady. The leafy affair has been so close to heart of this Sports team that they truly, madly, deeply believes in running for chai every single day with more passion and vigour to fortify that behind every successful smile of a working Indian is only a cup of Good Chai. Cheers!

Eco-friendly : A motto

This Sunday evening I had a few friends over for Chai. Questions about Chai Point were inevitable but the discussion also meandered to traffic woes and overall quality of living in the cities.  I was lucky to be hosting an especially smart and alive group. Soon the question on the table was the right avenue for doing something for our cities.

Now we spend about 40% of our working week at work (including traveling). Add sleep and getting -ready time and that leads to about 65% of the time in a normal week. If we have to make impact on our surroundings then having it integrated with our work is just so crucial – where else is the time.

While the discussion was on, I realized that we need to double down our “Clean Earth” initiative. As a consumer company we do take a toll on the environment. But technology and innovation – one of our core operating principles – today can lead us to neutralize our foot print. We have to be always alive on this front.

As a company, we were amongst the first ones to roll-out bagasse (from sugar cane fibers) based use- and-throw plates. An even simpler initiative had been identified by our team earlier this year – rolling out simple mechanical inserts across all the taps in our stores that will help reduce water consumption by 30%. Time to get this rolled out at the earliest.

Chai with friends had pushed me forward. Here is to wishing that we are able to drive change through our daily work lives.

THE OFFICE

I am sitting here hunched over my laptop as my order arrives at my workstation. Night has started to descend, and they have started switching off most of the lights in the building. I am one of the few souls still in office.

I am over-worked, stressed out of mind and my frustration levels are approaching saturation point! I have a client presentation to finish by tomorrow and project report to hand in to my boss first thing next morning. Oh, and it doesn’t help that I have reached a complete road-block with both these tasks

I take a sip of my Iced Tea. Aaaahh. I exhale wistfully, looking down at my glass. There it stood, completely chilled, calm, in a total state of total peace. Completely contrasting my current state.

I stare at my blank screen, waiting for some sort of inspiration to hit me.

It doesn’t take too long. Too long for me to get distracted, that is.

I once again fall prey to my old friend, Procrastination.

I plug in my earphones, open my playlist and start my mindless surfing of the Internet, accompanied of course by regular slurps on my Iced Tea.

Half an hour later, as I reached the end of my glass, I closed my browser and am once again greeted by the blank screen. It doesn’t seem so daunting and scary now.

I don’t know if it was the Iced Tea or the music, but I suddenly feel more refreshed and rejuvenated than ever before!

It’s a simple fact that most people choose to ignore. The most important thing required to win the race are the pit stops.

You know, on second thoughts, it must have definitely been the Iced Tea.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I have a ton of work to finish.

TWO MEN AND CHAI

I slumped into the store, completely drained, ordered my chai and settled down by the corner. It hadn’t been an easy day and once again work had gotten the better of me. This was becoming a bit of a routine now.

My chai arrived and each sip spread a warm, fuzzy feeling through my body. I could almost feel the life being pumped back into me, sip by sip.  I started to look out at the street in front; everyone seemed to be in such a hurry, heads bowed, immersed in their phones, hardly ever stopping to converse with anyone. Everything was changing too fast and the gap between my peers and I was getting wider by the day.

I took another sip. Well, at least this was one thing always there for me.

The world which once upon a time seemed my oyster, was moving too fast for me, and the thought of being left behind scared me.

My thoughts were interrupted my a loud CLANG and my chai spilled all across the table. I looked up to see the cause of this commotion.

” So sorry Uncle, didn’t see you there. I was sending out this mail to my boss, didn’t see you there. Sorry ”

Typical.

” Why don’t I get you another cup and we can have our chais together?”

Hmm, this was new.

What followed for the next hour or so, was one of the most interesting conversations I’d had.  To be quite honest, I can’t recall any one topic we talked about at length, but I do know that the just like the chai, the conversation and laughter flowed seamlessly. Phones lay forgotten as we  shared stories,interacting with worlds we had both never quite understood.  A little perspective never hurt anyone.

The chai played the perfect accomplice. Weaving in and out in intricate fashion, slowly pushing and guiding the conversation along . It was social networking the way it was originally meant to be.

At the end of the evening, I left the store a little bit more in touch with the world, and with the feeling that it wasn’t such a scary place after all. And you know what, I think he felt the same way.

banana cake with chai

OUR BANANA CAKE SPEAKS OUT

I lead a very interesting life. Sitting perched on the counter, I get a good view of everyone who enters the shop, and can make a fairly accurate judgment about them. Broadly, I can categorize our customers into 3 groups.

  1. First off,  you have the Morning Birds. They order the same thing each morning and don’t experiment too much. Needless to say, I’m on their list.  Now, I don’t mean to brag, but their day doesn’t start without me. Such people remain immersed in their work, and rarely look up from their phones and give me the attention I deserve. Hmph
  2. Then there are the Lunch goers.  Now, these customers always come in groups and after a quick bite head straight back to work. I’ve noticed that they always show some hesitation before calling for my services. I don’t why they’re so scared of having a cake for lunch; they are the ones who bite, not me.
  3. Now this final group I love the most. They start to trickle in by the evening, and spend quality time with me. They usually enter tired and hungry, but always leave refreshed and smiling. It’s your guess who causes this mood swing. This group celebrates my existence with every spoon. Most evenings it gets so hectic, that I’m not even able to grace all the customers with my presence!

Well as you can see, my job isn’t a piece of cake. Do drop by sometime, and we can get to know each other over a cup of chai.

A WAY OF LIFE

Around 2000 years ago, a Buddhist monk decided to spend 7 sleepless years contemplating the life and teachings of Buddha. In the 5th year of his penance, he almost fell asleep and took some leaves from a nearby bush and started chewing on them. The leaves revived and revitalised him. It was these leaves that helped him get through the 7 years without any sleep. These were of course, the leaves of the tea plant.

A cup of chai means different things to different people. Some drink chai to start their day, some drink to get through it, and there are some for whom chai is a ‘pick-me-up’. Whatever the reason maybe, chai is a daily necessity. It’s more than just a beverage, it’s a way of life.

We understand that it isn’t possible to enjoy tea in the leisurely way it was centuries ago. The people of that time didn’t have board meetings to rush to, deadlines to meet, mails to send out and lines to code. Time is a precious commodity, but that doesn’t mean we need to forgo the simple pleasures of a good cup of tea.

That’s our aim at Chai Point. To make your chai experience expedient yet satisfying. Because we do understand that World runs on Chai.