chai walli

The outstanding journey of 26-year-old Indian ‘chai walli’ : Uppma Virdi


Have ever thought of choosing an unconventional career path about becoming a “Chai walla” (tea maker, male) or “Chai walli” (tea maker, female) in modern era rather than becoming doctors, engineers, fashion designers or actors!! No?? Then it’s about time that we can do. To start a business as “chai walla” or a “chai walli” in Melbourne, Australia was not at all easy for the entrepreneur Uppma Virdi herself, as the country has taken to coffee more than tea. But, Uppma Virdi, the 26-year-old entrepreneur has accomplished a hard job over there which leads her to become Australia’s Businesswoman of the Year 2016.


The “Chai walli” is actually an Indian-Australian lawyer who has started her own company called ‘Chai Walli’ to serve standard Indian tea to the Australian peeps. By doing her day job as a lawyer, Uppma Virdi has certainly set an example for those who scuffle to find the perfect balance between their career and their passions. In just two years of hard work, the brand has obtained a huge recognition, and the crown of Businesswoman of the Year 2016  Indian Australian Business and Community Awards (IABCA) has won by Uppma Virdi, which was organized in Sydney recently.


So…Why “Chai walli”???


After moving to Australia and being a diehard tea-lover, Uppma Virdi felt disheartened about not finding any places to get good tea. So, she became determined to start a business of her own for “Chai” herself and that’s how ‘Chai Walli’ came into being.

Uppma Virdi has communicated with media: “In the Indian culture, people come together through tea. Whether it’s a happy occasion or a difficult moment, tea is all ambient. I tried, but couldn’t find many benignant tea places in Australia,” and she added… “Wherever I go I make tea… My parents’ number one request is ‘Uppma, make some tea.’ When my brother got married, I think I would have made a thousand cups of tea for all the guests. Even when I went overseas to Austria on a scholarship, I used to make tea for everyone. It was a way of bringing people together.”


  • While doing her day job at a law firm, Uppma Virdi started ‘Chai Walli’. She has learned the art of making good herbal tea from her 96-year old grandfather Pritam Singh Virdi, who is an Ayurvedic doctor, slowly; This Chai walli achieved huge appreciation in her social circles.


  • Uppma Virdi has a dedicated online store along with a wholesale division as ‘Chai Walli’ for retail purchase worldwide, which supplies the Indian tea blend to gourmet supermarkets, food stores, cafes, restaurants and yoga centres. The special ingredients of her herbal and ayurvedic tea come with a dash of spices like ginger, jaggery (gur), cardamom (elaichi), dalchini (cinnamon), saunf (fennel), etc..


So, certainly, Uppma’s story reinstates our courage in the idea that if you are really passionate about your dream and are serious about it, nothing can stop you from making it big! She is really an inspiration for today’s women.

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