When the recession hit, Kaushal Dugar was a self-proclaimed ‘excel monkey’ working in a financial modeling job out of Singapore. He was very far from his roots; a multi-generational Indian tea merchant family.

I’ve grown up with tea. My whole experience growing up was visiting tea gardens. I actually thought the people who worked there were magicians, because they have this ability to turn a leaf from a plant to something so amazingly tasteful when it’s produced in the right way.”

Kaushal had been overseas for years when the recession began to take its toll in Asia. But as the financial world was unravelling, his thoughts turned to entrepreneurialism, and how to revolutionize a centuries-old industry in a flailing economy. 

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Cate Cadell

Cate is a tech writer. She worked as a journalist in Australia, Mongolia and Myanmar. You can reach her (in Chinese or English) at: @catecadell or catecadell@technode.com