India is today the world's largest producer, exporter and consumer of tea. In 1995 India produced 760 million kgs of tea, of which 590 million kgs were consumed in the domestic market and the rest exported.
There are three major tea-growing areas in the country: Assam, which accounts for more than 55 per cent of total tea produce in India, Darjeeling, which produces 2 per cent, and the Nilgiris and other areas that provide the balance 43 percent cent. These areas have been specially developed because of the suitability of the climate for the healthy growth of the tea plant.
Those who work in the tea industry have necessarily to live in the areas where tea is grown, or be located in the major tea auction centers. Life on tea plantations can be lonely and isolated, but there are compensations in terms of handsome salaries, benefits and a comfortable lifestyle in healthy non-polluted areas of the country, for those willing to lead an outdoor life.
However, there are not many women who have taken up this profession, although some tea companies in Calcutta and the Nilgiris do have women professionals working in the marketing of packaged tea.