In India, tea is much more than just a drink, it is an emotion. It is a permanent
staple in crores of Indians’ diet. The tea industry is roughly 170+ years old with
India being the second largest tea producer in the world.
Damodar Shivram & Company is a leading tea manufacturer in this industry with a
glorious heritage of over 75 years. Having their roots in Devrukh, a town in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra, Hari Pandurang
Gadre, was a teacher by profession. Hari Pandurang Gadre was a visionary man.
He started a small retail outlet in Devrukh. He had three sons, namely Anant,
Damodar, and Shivram, who used to assist their father in his retail outlet. Both the
sons used to visit Assam on a regular basis to buy paddy(rice) crops. It was there
when they discovered the heavy demand for Tea. Damodar and Shivram soon
started the business of tea trading at various places including Kolhapur.
Instead of simply buying tea from Assam and selling it in Maharashtra, the Gadre brothers decided to start their own brand. Under the brand name of Damodar Shivram, they introduced their brands Lal Chatri and HP (in memory of their departed father Hari Pandurang Gadre) in the market.
This was during the year 1930. Soon, the next generation stepped in. In no time, Gadre brothers gained proficiency in tea auctions, tea buying, and distribution but they were still not much aware of tea blending and tea tasting. So at the tender age of 18, Dattatray alias Shamrao Gadre relocated to Kolkata and gained proficiency in tea tasting and blending. Keshav, Pandurang, Vijaykumar and Suresh started to look after the branches in Konkan regions of Maharashtra. The branch at Karad was looked after by Arvind.
During the year 1950, Madhav Gadre relocated to Kannur, Tamil Nadu and he expanded the business at Kannur. Soon, Sharad Gadre took over the business in Kannur and Madhav relocated to Pune, and he opened a new branch in Pune, which he handed over to his brother Raghunath.
By the time, the skill of blending tea was mastered by Shamrao which was learned from him later by Prakash Gadre. Prakash relocated to Guwahati in the years of 1970 to 1994 and acquired the necessary skill sets which was later also acquired by Abhijit.
In the meanwhile, the company opened its branches in Karad, Sangli, Chiplun, Sangameshwar, Nipani, Goa and many others. The business activities at Kolhapur were handled by Chandrakant Gadre. The blending activity was carried out in Shiroli (Kolhapur). In 2000, the company started its processing unit “Sonrise Tea Processing Co. Pvt. Ltd.” at Hatkanangale, Kolhapur where the whole process of tea blending and packaging takes place, under the able guidance of Chairman Prakash Gadre.
The fourth generation of Gadre family is currently looking after the business. Subodh, Abhijit, Santosh, Kanchan, Sandip, Satyajit, Tushar, Rahul, Abhay, Pradip & Prasanna are looking after various branches as the Directors all over the country.