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Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Mr. Saraf at the Tea Traders Association of Coimbatore AGM

Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Mr. Saraf at the Tea Traders Association of Coimbatore AGM


Mr. Ulhas Vithal Rao Saraf, Chairman and Managing Director of M/s Saraf Trading Corporation P Ltd was presented with the first Lifetime achievement award by TTAC for his yeoman service rendered to the Tea Industry and his lifelong support to the association. The award was presented during the 41st Annual General Body Meeting of Tea Traders Association of Coimbatore held in the city on the 30th of September 2023.

Mr. Ulhas Vithal Rao Saraf is the senior most buyer member, a long-standing committee member of the association and chairman multiple time.  He is a philanthropist and is a part of Saraf Hospitals, Ernakulam and is a respected personality in both the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala for his active services on the tea associations across the two states.

He has been an inspiration to a lot of entrepreneurs in this tea industry and has an immense and sharp memory that has been one of the most coveted traits that helps him remember the prices yesterday and today. The industry has seen him in different avatars for over 60 years now.

It was a joyous occasion for everyone to salute the doyen of the industry as he took to the stage to receive the award.

Mr. Manoj, South India Tea Buying Head Tata Consumer Products escorted him to the stage and he was presented with the award by Mr. Dipak Shah, Chairman, TTA Coimbatore in the presence of Mr. P S Wallia, Senior Planter and Past President, UPASI, Mr. M Bhojarajan, Senior Planter and Past Vice Chairman, Tea Board, Mr. Ganesh Deivanayagam, Eswaran Exports from Sri Lanka, also an executive member of Tea Board Sri Lanka, Mr. Anil George Joesph, Vice Chairman of TTAC.

During the proceedings of the Annual General Body Meeting with the theme of Connecting Stakeholders, Mr. Dipak Shah, Chairman, TTAC, outlined the activities that are important to stay relevant with the world economy in dire straits the Ukraine war having its impact on the tea industry and how we can cope up with new realities. He also said there is a plan for a new Tea Park to be opened in Coimbatore and the lookout for land for the same has been taken up. This will herald a new opportunity for the industry to spread its wings from Coimbatore.

During the open house, some of the stakeholders wanted the auction system to be relooked in the perspective for all the stake holders to be in a win-win situation. It was decided to collectively address these issues to the Govt and the Tea board etc.

During his address, Guest of Honour, Mr. Wallia, enthralled the audience by taking them through some of the best times the industry came through and how South Indian Teas made a mark in the Global arena. Sprinkled with personal anecdotes of his sales man days to getting Mr. Jaitley to an event and his repartee to the Minister on being asked everyone in the meeting is in suits to a lot of other events, it was a trip memory down the lane for the members. He said the things will move on and the industry needs to just get it going. He said quality issues needs to be addressed in total giving the perspective of what all changes has been done here to achieve efficiency in a way to achieve the quality standards etc especially with respect to the pesticide issues.

Addressing the meeting, Guest of Honour, Mr. Bhojarajan also said he was aware of the struggle that the industry is going through and they are also on talks with the Govt and the responsible ministries and hope to have some positive impactful news at the earliest for the betterment of every stakeholder in the value chain. The issues of the quality and the betterment has been taken up and this would change the way the international markets looked at the South Indian teas.

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Mr. Ganesh Deivanayagam, special invitee and guest at the event, recalled his association with India and Tea Board and also how the auction system was being operated in the Sri Lankan tea industry. He said the coming together of all the stake holders will work effectively and get the results that we are looking at. He also said that if the trade can do things at their own pace, then things can get better and need not look at govt.

Mr. Anil George Joesph, proposed the vote of thanks during the occasion and said that ‘Tea’ will be there forever come what may and it’s just a cycle.


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