Tuktuki Das and her ‘MA English Chaiwali’ tea stall at the Habra railway station in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas is going viral now. By attaching her degree to her brand of brew, she stated “I always wanted to start my own business and with the limited capital that I had, this was the best option to realise that dream.”“In most middle-class families, children are always encouraged to study hard and get a government job. It was no different for me.” and Dad went for MA English Chaiwali, habra station tea stall.
The young entrepreneur completed her masters degree from Rabindra Bharati University in 2020 and was inspired by the success stories of MBA Chaiwala Prafull Billore and Chai Walli Uppma Virdi from Australia. She said, “I had been giving tuition for years and had saved up little by little. Although I liked teaching, it kind of felt stagnant, and I was hungry for more.” With a capital of Rs 10,000, she opened her stall on November 1 and said “I seriously had no idea opening a stall in a railway station was this big of a deal,” talking about her story.
Well, she also said that she is not very happy saying, “It honestly pains me to see how people think selling tea or being a hawker at a railway station is a lowly job. All jobs should get the respect that they deserve, as it all requires a great deal of hard work.” “While researching about the business I short-listed three places where my business wouldn’t tank: hospitals, colleges and railway stations,” Das explains further. Her parents were supportive and thus she set up her stall at the railway station. She further said, “Although they weren’t actually thrilled when I proposed the idea, for them the location was never a concern,” she adds. They just wanted job security for the youngest of their three children.
“I too grew up listening about two options — government service or marriage. I’ve always had bigger aspirations, and I’m glad I have been able to kick-start my career on my own terms,” she stated. “By god grace, business has picked up and I’m selling well. Not only have I managed to get some regular customers but also enthusiasts who simply travel to see me,” says the entrepreneur. Tuktuki Das is trying to expand her brand and is determined to pave her own path.
She said, “I don’t want to hear later that I became successful because of the help from others. Good or bad, I want to face everything on my own and show the world, no girl is too small to dream big.” On Day 1, she offered free tea for over two hours. “I wanted to build a rapport also do a quick sampling of the products to see if any improvements were needed. However, thanks to the pandemic, it wasn’t easy to coax people with free tea,” she said laughing. Her focus is now to come up with more variety and tea blends to cater to all kinds of taste and to expand her brand more.
She is planning to expand her business, opening more outlets and said, “While the Habra shop will forever be, as it’s my first shop, I would love to open stalls in Kolkata. If things go as it is now, I think it’s definitely possible in the near future.” Netizens were amazed by her story and also found it very inspiring and motivating which made her story hit the headlines today.