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Auction for Darjeeling Tea goes Online, will not be “hand-gaveled” Anymore

The first trial plantation of seed was planted at an altitude of 700 ft. by Dr A Campbell and an experimental nursery was set up in Darjeeling in 1845

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A tea estate in Darjeeling. Image Source: Firstpost (Jeff Koehler)
  • Darjeeling tea comes from only about 87 estates producing about 8 million kilos out of which 2.5-3 million goes directly under Choudhury’s gavel
  • Darjeeling was the last to give into the digital auctioning which took over all the other varieties of tea
  • The first trial plantation of seed was planted at an altitude of 700 ft. by Dr A Campbell and an experimental nursery was set up in Darjeeling in 1845

Darjeeling tea, the most sought after and highly valued tea is still manufactured using the “Orthodox” method instead of the curling, tearing and crushing (CTC) method followed in the plains. The combination of natural factors like the cool and moist climate, the rainfall and the sloping terrains, the soil and not to mention the people of the land makes the tea unique in all aspects. But this year, there has been a slight change in the rituals generally performed. In June the last gavel fell on the live auctions of Darjeeling tea. Darjeeling was the last to give into the digital auctioning which took over all the other varieties of tea.

“Personally, it completely seemed like the sky had fallen. Very few auctioneers wear ties anymore. We ensure we look the way we looked 30 years ago, ”says Anindyo Choudhury Choudhury took who is now probably the last manual auctioneer standing. Choudhury is the auctioneer for J Thomas, the oldest and largest tea auctioneer and broker in the world who has been selling tea since 1861. His office in Kolkata is lined with bound volumes of the Cochin Tea Market report and Monthly Tea Reviews dating back to the 1970s, said the Firstpost report.

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Darjeeling tea comes from only about 87 estates producing about 8 million kilos out of which 2.5-3 million goes directly under Choudhury’s gavel. The rest are sold through private deals. But 40 million kilos are sold on the market as Darjeeling.  “Our company sells about 200 million kilos of tea a year,” says Choudhury. “Only 2.5 million is Darjeeling. But the time it takes to sell that 2.5 million kilos is more than what it takes to sell the other (almost) 200 million. It takes that much nurturing,” says Choudhury to the Firstpost.com.

Tea Garden. Image Source: Wikipedia Commons

Choudhury knows most of the people who come every Tuesday to bid. He coaxes the process along, sometimes pausing to gently rib them. He even scolds the buyers if their bid is low. These three million kilos were what held the giant industry as a heritage, a tradition. The relationship between the auctioneer and the buyers and the tea and its people is what made Darjeeling tea special. And now, it has become mechanical in many ways. It may have become more efficient, and may even sell at higher rates but the one ritual that connected the tea to its lovers has become replaced.

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Now, tea buyers can log in from around the country to make a bid. But, J Thomas will have to send out more free samples ahead of time putting a strain on an already tight market. It will also mean that there is going to be a lot of silence- no more noises or squawking, just people looking at computer screens and pushing a button, states the article.

The first trial plantation of seed was planted at an altitude of 700 ft. by Dr A Campbell and an experimental nursery was set up in Darjeeling in 1845. Mazumdar, a tea producer and buyer told Firstpost, that Darjeeling is the “biggest and best-organised gift by the Britishers to India.”

-This report is modified by Ajay Krishna, a staff-writer at NewsGram.

ALSO READ:

  • Aparna Gupta

    As India is heading towards digitization with its Digital India Programme, it is a great initiative This would ensure larger participation and good rates.

  • AJ Krish

    Rituals followed for years are hard to replace. The human touch and the link between buying and selling is now taken over by machines. It is difficult for those who have witnessed and been part of the auctioning to accept the change.

SHARE
  • Aparna Gupta

    As India is heading towards digitization with its Digital India Programme, it is a great initiative This would ensure larger participation and good rates.

  • AJ Krish

    Rituals followed for years are hard to replace. The human touch and the link between buying and selling is now taken over by machines. It is difficult for those who have witnessed and been part of the auctioning to accept the change.

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Oracle Dials SaaS 2.0 to Help Indian Businesses go Digital

Oracle, which is set to organise 'Modern Business Forum' in Mumbai on December 17 to tell a story about how it is accelerating customers' digital transformation in India, embeds AI and ML into SaaS applications

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Oracle
Oracle office. Wikimedia Commons

BY NISHANT ARORA 

Before the noise of Hybrid Cloud, multi-Cloud and various ‘As-a-Service’ offerings took over our minds, it was Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Cloud model that ruled the industry as an ‘on-demand software’, which is only gaining momentum with the Industry 4.0 era.

California-based Oracle, which has been a pioneer in helping enterprises run their daily affairs across sales, marketing, HR and finance verticals with its Cloud applications, is now set to empower both large enterprises and small and medium businesses (SMBs) in India with the next-gen SaaS solutions.

According to Prasad Rai, Vice President, Applications, Oracle India, in India and globally, the number of companies choosing Oracle SaaS solutions over the competition is increasing.

“These customers are a mix of large firms, mid-size SMBs and Cloud natives. We have helped large and older firms like Indian Oil, Hindalco, Indian Hotels, SBI Card, Genpact and Sandhar Automotive in their digital transformation.

“At the same time, we have Cloud-native disruptors like Oyo Rooms, Rivigo Systems and KLAY Prep Schools in our customers’ list,” Rai told IANS.

The requirements for both the set of organisations is very unique.

“Oracle has understanding and dexterity to support customers of any size, with every thinkable requirement from any sector. We have customers from sectors like manufacturing, retail, hospitality, social welfare, engineering and construction, logistics, oil and gas, among others,” Rai elaborated.

According to Gartner, the SaaS market will grow up to $110.5 billion by 2020, from the current $94.8 billion.

Oracle Launches Intelligence Map for Close Look at Internet.
Witnessing double-digit growth in India for past 3 years: Oracle. IANS

SaaS has become a common delivery model for many business applications, including customer relationship management (CRM), management information systems (MIS), enterprise resource planning (ERP), invoicing, human resource management (HRM), talent acquisition, learning management systems, content management (CM), office software, payroll processing software, management software and so on.

According to Rai, Oracle Cloud applications, built on Machine Learning, offer the most complete application suite with the best technology, enabling fast innovation with a modern user experience and customer-first approach.

“In 2020, emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), automation and Blockchain will cease to be emerging and will become the mainstay of Cloud computing in general and of the SaaS, in particular,” said Rai.

Businesses will invest in SaaS applications for churning out business intelligence.

“The organisations will incorporate analytics-based AI and ML to monitor and improve their core as well as secondary functions. In 2020, marketing and automation are likely to become more synonymous as marketers will use automation across their tech stacks, from their email marketing tool to their accounting system and CRM,” he explained.

Till now, businesses are using SaaS on providing core functions like HR, finance, operations, etc.

In the coming times, according to the Oracle executive, businesses will seek vertical-specific SaaS solutions.

“Though Blockchain has not gained much steam in SaaS, in the coming year, however, it could pick up a significant amount of speed,” he added.

The SaaS market has been growing over the past few years and with the advent of the industry 4.0 era, the scope of the growth of the SaaS market is not going to diminish soon.

Also Read: Study Says, Flavours Attract Youth and Adults to Use E-Cigarettes

According to Rai, the real opportunity for technologies like AI and ML, IoT, Blockchain, containers and serverless and human interfaces is to enable companies to embrace innovation on a scale as we’ve never seen before.

“Enterprises have gone from experimenting with these technologies in a sandbox to implementing them for mission-critical applications, to building new business models and creating business value,” he said.

Oracle, which is set to organise ‘Modern Business Forum’ in Mumbai on December 17 to tell a story about how it is accelerating customers’ digital transformation in India, embeds AI and ML into SaaS applications.

“For example, built-in AI tools are integrated into Oracle CX applications that better predict account health, deliver next-best-service actions, automate answers, and provide a more personalised service,” Rai informed. (IANS)