Integrity, honesty and an understanding of the customer's needs were the only assets that the late founder of Saraf tea, Shri. Vithalrao G Saraf possessed when he started Saraf tea in 1948. An enterprise that had a humble beginning flourished into a highly respected name in the tea industry within and outside the country over the decades.
Saraf entered the export market in 1956 and soon went on to become the largest exporter of bulk tea to the erstwhile Soviet Union from the South of India. The entry into value added teas followed in the late 1980s and since then there has been no looking back. Today having entered the herbal infusions market the organization strives to provide the best and cleanest teas to discerning consumers in all the markets it caters to without compromising upon the three values its foundation was built upon.
The founder left a legacy of integrity and customer delight. This was taken to new heights by the current stalwarts of Saraf Tea, Mr Aravind V Saraf & Mr Ulhas V Saraf. Both Directors have an illustrious track record that few in the industry can stake claim to.
Their standing in the Tea Industry and their contributions to the same cannot be told in a matter of few words. Nevertheless, a glimpse into their illustrious careers:
Shri Aravind V Saraf
Born in 1939, Mr Aravind Saraf has seen the birth and steady growth of the organization and has played a critical role in steering the company through the last 5 decades. An expert tea taster trained in the UK, his astute leadership has resulted in him not just leading the company through times good and bad but also in being entrusted with responsibility in a variety of fields as can be seen below.
Former Trustee: Cochin Port Trust
Former Chairman: Tea Trade Association of Cochin, Tea Buyers Association
Past President: Cochin Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
Past Director: Cochin Education Society, Indo-American Chamber of Commerce
Former member: Various Committees of the Tea Board of India
Delegate/ Representative: Ministry of Commerce on various Committees for promotion of commerce/tea exports.
Shri Ulhas V Saraf
Born in 1941, Mr Ulhas V Saraf who spearheads Saraf tea today has played an equally instrumental role in the development of the organization over the last 45 years. He has been the brain behind transforming the organization from a trading firm into a hi-tech processor and manufacturer of value added teas & herbs. An active and highly respected member of the Tea Trade in India he has many a feather in his cap as can be seen below.
Chairman : Tea Trade Association of Cochin (83’-84’, 94’-95’)
Chairman : Tea Trade Association of Coimbatore (95’-96’,96’-97’, 04’-05,06-07’)
On the board of directors : Cochin College of Commerce
Former president: Cochin Tea Buyers’ Association, Coimbatore Tea Buyers’ Association, Cochin Port Lease Holders’ Association, West Coast Employees Federation.
Convener: Tea Board’s National Convention held at Coimbatore & Ooty, Tea Trade Association of Coonoor for construction of the auction hall.
Committee Member: Various sub-committees of the Tea Board, International Convention representing South Indian Exporters’ Association to be held in Guwahati in Sept. ’07, Indian Chamber of Commerce & Customs Public Grievances Committee. Oldest serving member of Coimbatore Tea Trade Association.
Corporate Social Responsibility…
The V G Saraf Memorial Hospital was inaugurated in 1999 in memory of the founder of Saraf tea, Shri Vithalrao G Saraf. A multi-specialty 200 bed facility aimed at providing affordable healthcare to the populace of Kochi city, it is run with the same personal touch and eye for detail as is the Tea & Herbs business. Be it the monthly charitable lunches or just service with integrity, for Saraf, the hospital has become the vehicle for giving back to society.
To know more visit: www.sarafhospital.in
Saraf Enterprises (I) Pvt Ltd is also the currently the largest warehouser of tea in the Coimbatore Tea auctions. This has been the case for 9 years in a row and just goes to show the trust estates place in the name Saraf when it comes to reliability.
Saraf also has its own unit for manufacturing corrugated boxes, Saraf Investments Packaging Division for captive as well commercial purpose.
Saraf Sons Traders Ltd. has for many decades had ties with institutions for sale of black tea in bulk and also does third party packing for spices in Western India.
The Path ahead…
To look into the future and give the consumer what is healthiest has become the motto at Saraf tea. Hence the focus is on transforming the organization into a core 100% organic herbs & tea manufacturer. Saraf tea has chosen to do this through its flagship brand SUNTIPS.
SUNTIPS will be serving up 100% organic tea & herbs, flavored tea & fruit tea.
Nevertheless at Saraf any form of value addition, be it even for private labels is undertaken as this is where the company’s operations have their roots.