In India, Kulhad or clay pots have been an integral part of our lives for decades and so does chai or tea. Kulhads are handmade pots made of clay and the art of making kulhads goes back to the later Indus Valley Civilization in India.
These earthy clay cups are a tradition from ancient India that has been used for generations because they let us enjoy chai in a whole different way.
The earthy feel and aroma of these cups, which are made entirely of natural materials and do not have a glazed surface, gives us a different feeling.
The hot liquids that are put into the kulhad have a tendency to soak up some of them. Therefore, when you pour hot tea into a kulhad, some of the tea soaks into the clay combining to give an earthy flavour that everyone enjoys.
As a noted environmentalist, Vandana Shiva once said, “The kulhad is the symbol of an earth-based, crafts-based culture—the ultimate sustainable economy.
Today, if we can revive and relive this culture of ours, it will not only provide us happiness but also provide a sustainable economy for our country.”
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Kulhads are biodegradable and Kulhads can be broken or thrown away without becoming hazardous like plastic.
Kulhads are less expensive as compared to glass or plastic containers.
No other substance can give the beverage an earthy scent as Kulhad can.
Since they can’t be used again, you don’t have to be concerned about germs and pathogens persisting.
These kulhads are inherently hygienic because they are manufactured in a kiln, a sort of oven with a specified temperature used to harden or dry clay things.
Understanding the unique benefits of kulhads and the Indianness associated with them, Anubhav started serving all kinds of beverages in Kulhads. This was something nostalgic for the city of Indore. At that time most tea shops or tea cafes were selling tea in plastic cups or china bowl cups.
Kulhad chai gave the traditional vibe of India to Chai Sutta Bar. At the beginning of the cafe franchise, everything from procurement of raw materials to serving tea was done by the young duo.
It was then, they got a real picture of the status of potter communities in India.
Pottery, an ancient and well-known craft in India, has endured for centuries and generates a significant amount of employment in both rural and urban locations.
Artisans should always get their worth. But in a developing country like ours where many sectors developed, traditional art got lost in the maiden.
We are still working to close the wealth gap, and nobody seems to be sharing the cake proportionately.
The community of potters in India is one such marginalized group. They put in an incredible amount of effort, and the talents they use to create those specific pots are amazing.
However, it appears as though their fate is sailing on turbulent waters because the majority of industries are closed and the majority of artisans are either unemployed or paid too little.
Born on 9th September in the town of Rewa, Anubhav Dubey is synonymous with Tea-Entrepreneur in the world. His role in modernizing the concept of traditional Kulhad has made him well-deserving of the name – The Kulhadman of India.
Anubhav Dubey, a small-town boy preparing for IAS, abandoned his UPSC dream to start a hundred-dollar corporation. And his life is now a motivational tale for everyone.
He is an inspiration to many youths who wanted to be an entrepreneur but lacks both connections as well as finance.
Hailing from an Indian middle-class family, Anubhav Dubey from a very childhood saw the struggles of every family with low income. His father could afford to send only one child to an English medium school and Anubhav got that chance.
After attending the local school, Maharishi Vidya Mandir at Rewa till class 8, he was transferred to Columbia Convent in Indore.
It was in this school he met his now business partner and best friend, Anand Nayak. And it was their dream to start a business one day on their own.
However, Anubhav’s family always wanted him to have a secured public job. They even sent him to Delhi’s IAS coaching centre.
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He liked the knowledge he was gaining, yet felt something was amiss. At that point, his best friend, Anand Nayak called him and told him about his situation.
To help out his friend, Anubhav took the next train from Delhi to Indore without knowing that he will never return back to the city as an IAS aspirant. It was in Indore where the two friends reunited, and remembered their forgotten dream to start a business.
However, they did not have much with them to finance their business. Anand’s family lend them the 3 Lakhs Rupees which were their only savings.
The two young boys started researching which business they should invest in and Anubhav got the idea to sell tea. But everyone who lives in India knows, there are too many tea-sellers.
Why will people go to have tea from their store? This question made them both restless for days. When one day, Anubhav thought about serving tea in “kulhads”. This will be their USP.
With these two concepts – “Chai” and “Kulhad”, Anubhav and Anand started Chai Sutta Bar! & which is now one of the most profitable startup in India.
When Anubhav started getting kulhads from these potter communities, he got a close look into their lives. He understood their problems as he faced the same when he was young.
But, the potter’s family were more vulnerable. They have to wait for festivals like Diwali to sell their products. They have seasonal jobs.
Rest of the year, they faced acute crises. Their children could not go to school nor they could have enough for medical purposes.
Their sufferings impacted Anubhav a great deal. He vowed to help them. Everything that is sold in Chai Sutta Bar is served in kulhads.
He started giving the potters a regular source of income. Now on a daily basis, 4.5 Lakh kulhads are sold in Chai Sutta Bar.
The children of potters are going to school and are not worried about their future like earlier. They are learning the art of pottery as well.
The tradition of handicrafts in India is no more a meagre job with low pay. Seeing the impact and brand power of Chai Sutta Bar, many competitor brands as well started investing in kulhads.
This boosted the economic power of potters. They are confident about their future.
It is the kulhads made by the potters of India that made Anubhav say in the interview that he wants everyone to touch the soil of India through kulhads.
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Anubhav Dubey though is known today as the Kulhadman of India for bringing back the glory of kulhad chai. However, the young social entrepreneur never likes drinking chai. In an interview, he admitted, ‘I do not drink chai, but 90 percent of Indians does. It has never been about what I like, it’s always what my people like.”
Anubhav’s journey to becoming Kulhad Man of India taught every one of us that our small steps in the right direction can have a massive impact. It is his sheer determination and connection to the masses that led him to be the “Kulhad Man of India”.
“The goal has always been to change the life of people and to make India proud. We do it by making the world kiss the soil of India from the kulhads made by the potters of India”.- Anubhav Dubey