Employed in an automotive company I travel to my manufacturing plant everyday which is in small town of Pithampur, some 40 kms away from Indore. The shifts begin at 8.00 am and hence my morning starts really early. One day as I waited for a friend of mine with whom I would go to the plant I captured a pic of a tea stall which starts around 7.00 am. It is the age of smartphones and the picture was there on facebook in minutes with the caption “What would India be without its favourite Chai ki Tapri”. Seriously what would happen if these small stalls were not to exist, if we were to speak hypothetically. The corporates would have been seriously impacted. They would have been deprived of serious brainstorming which happens over a cutting of chai, making these stalls pseudo meeting rooms. People would have been forced to stay in there cubicles staring at the screens in front of them. No fruitful discussions over the direction of the company would take place, and of course no action plans and strategies. Whether India is playing with the right team no one would know? And who is getting the next promotion would be anybody’s guess? Not that we get answers in these Tapris but still the out of the box thinking is definitely fuelled, ideas come through. It is the only place where cross functional teams willingly meet in the organisation calmly sipping their Tea some in the glasses and others in ” Disposal” (which is actually disposable) cups . These tapris are an important part of the daily routine of corporate india where discussions take place, fresh informal bonds take shape, away from the usual setting of their cubicle. It is a welcome break away from the closed demeanour which tends make silos.
These tapris are the meeting grounds for millions across this country.There are no codes of conduct involved .Whether you are a pedestrian or owner of a fancy premium car you just need to stop at one of these and you would be assured of ek cutting chai in a matter of minutes. If you are lucky it might have some ginger and tulsi and would taste really awesome. These tapris are the Starbucks of India built without any brand and marketing !