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A 27-year-old Melbourne woman has made to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.
Forbes 30 Under 30 is a community of “aspiring and inspiring” makers and entrepreneurs that recognises business and industry figures in the lists issued annually. In 2016, it recognised 600 people in 20 lists from different industries.
Ms Virdi has been recognised for her work in the Retail and e-commerce sector with her Ayurvedic tea business- Chai Walli and using social media to share Ayurvedic blends of tea and the unique Indian culture of chai.
“When they [Forbes] approached me to apply for the Under 30, I was honoured. But I didn't think I would make the cut. When a few months later I received an email saying I had actually made it, I couldn’t believe it. I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming,” she told SBS Punjabi.
Ms Virdi attended the three-day Forbes 30 Under 30-Asia conference in Manila in the last week of July.
She says the conference was a great opportunity to interact with people from other fields of business.
“When you are running your own business, you are sort of confined to it. But when you go to events such as this, you remember there’s so much more out there. There are so many incredible people doing amazing things and it just allows you to appreciate the other fields of work. It allows you to network outside your field and think of new ways of doing business, creative partnerships and cool ideas that you may not have thought before,” she says.
Ms Virdi recently quit her day job as a commercial lawyer to devote herself fully to the business that began a couple of years ago with the idea of preserving her grandfather’s traditional Indian medicinal concoctions. She says the business is inextricably connected to the legacy of her grandfather who passed away recently.
“Going through the rituals [after her grandfather’s death], I realised that Chai Walli has so much more meaning now.. there’s so much riding on this to preserve his legacy,” she says. “It adds so much more fulfilment to my life.”
Ms Virdi also shared her grandfather’s story at the Forbes conference.
“I made sure that everyone I spoke to understood the passion and meaning behind my business. It wasn’t just an idea I had to turn into a profitable business. It was a dream that I worked hard to turn into a reality to share with everyone.”
Being able to focus on her business singularly, she is now planning to extend her footprint across Australia and overseas.
Uppma Virdi was also chosen as the business woman of the year-2016 at the Indian Australian Business and Community Awards.