Mumbai-born and California-based Ami Bhansali has been included in the prestigious list of America’s top “entrepreneurial heroes” released by Forbes, a leading name in the field of business publications. Ami is the founder and head of ‘Chai Diaries’, a brand that offers natural and organic “tea blends.. (which provide) an immersive experience for all 5 senses”.
Ami is the daughter of Smita and Sailesh Bhansali, and granddaughter of Tarachand Bhansali, who had entered the tea business in South India many decades ago. She and her company feature in the Summer 2021’s class of 250 standouts listed by Forbes, a number that will touch 1000 by year end.
The business website describes the ‘Forbes Next 1000’ 2021 list as including “ambitious sole proprietors, self-funded shops and pre-revenue startups… with under $10 million in revenue or funding and infinite drive and hustle”. It adds that the selection is “fueled by… nominations and screened by top business minds and entrepreneurial superstars”.
In its profile of Ami, Forbes notes that “today, her teas sell through Whole Foods, H-E-B and others and have been purchased by over 500,000 customers. Despite Covid, the Mission Viejo, California-based entrepreneur more than doubled revenue in 2020”.
Speaking to Palanpur Online about this recognition, Ami says, “This is a huge honor and we are humbled and grateful to be a part of this list celebrating bold and inspiring entrepreneurs. America is known for fanning entrepreneurial dreams, and being a first-generation immigrant starting Chai Diaries from the ground up with no outside funding, this is a very big milestone for us. It is a huge encouragement for us to continue what we are doing and a hope to keep improving our customers' life through accessible mindfulness over a cuppa tea.”
Ami, who began her career in the fast-paced field of Public Relations, says she always felt her calling was for something more in alignment with her higher purpose and it led her to New York, where, a number of years ago, she started serving wellness blends of her specialty teas to promote accessible mindfulness in daily living. Her audience ranges from high-strung Wall Street professionals to upscale “women who tea”. Chai Diaries teas can be found in reputable grocery chains in North America such as Whole Foods, H-E-B, along with yoga studios and specialty boutiques.
Shortly after, Ami moved to a more organic and nature-based life in California, where the inspiration for the #ChaiAndChill movement was further strengthened by her “memories of summers visiting her family’s tea estates in Southern India – how could we build a brand that invested in our customers’ wellbeing and incorporated the importance of mindful living in this era of instant gratification?”
Chai Diaries’ tea blends are catered to building immunity, naturally. Whole leaf teas are blended with botanicals and fruits to provide a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Hand-blended and packaged, Chai Diaries provides an immersive experience for all five senses – creating the perfect mood for meditation and manifestation: both imperative to living a more purposeful life.
“Mindfulness doesn’t necessarily need to be one hour of yoga – it can also be the three to five minutes it takes to steep your cup of tea, in the middle of a busy day,” Ami concludes. “This is the philosophy behind Chai Diaries and our mission is to make mindfulness accessible to everyone.”
View the Forbes 1000 list and Ami Bhansali’s Profile on it
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