Persistency Is The Key To Entrepreneurship: Dasumarlin Majaw, Coffeepreneur

I wanted to promote coffee in my area and that's how I decided to start my own cafe which served coffee that is locally grown, handpicked by coffee growers across the state and freshly roasted - Dasumarlin Majaw

Charvi Kathuria
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Dasumarlin Majaw
Dasumarlin Majaw, based in Meghalaya, has fond memories of her childhood. Every winter, her uncle would bring locally grown coffee from their village near Cherrapunji. Her fondness for this locally brewed coffee grew with age. On the contrary, people of her state started preferring tea over coffee. "I wanted to promote coffee in my area and that's how I decided to start my café, which served locally grown coffee, handpicked by coffee growers across the state and freshly roasted. This is how the idea of starting Smoky Falls Tribe Coffee came to me in 2015", she explained.

What makes her café different from others is the freedom given to customers to choose the bean strength and roast profile as per their mood. "Initially, I bought a small Coffee machine and grinder, pan-roasted our coffee and started serving it in our coffee shop. Then later, I started processing and packaging our coffee. I also invested in a German coffee roaster which helped me control the temperature, look at graphs, monitor the roasting time, and other helpful features. With this, our coffee profile improved a lot, and people loved the different profiles of roasting", she informed.

 Important milestones 

 The most important milestone, she says, was convincing people in Meghalaya to drink her coffee since most natives are tea lovers. She organised two coffee brewing sessions and introduced people to her coffee in these sessions. Now, many customers keep getting back to her for roasted coffee, giving her the zest to go on with her venture.

 Besides serving roasted coffee, they also package roasted coffee beans as demand for them is high.

Smoky Falls Tribe Coffee products Smoky Falls Tribe Coffee products


Like every entrepreneur, she too, faced some hardships. Not having sufficient finances, she says, was a major obstacle. She also devoted a lot of time to different farmers from the state to teach them to follow the standard procedure in harvesting techniques and drying. Did these take a toll on her? Not at all. "I knew persistence is the key. I was also quite confident about my product since I had put in a good amount of research into it before starting my venture", she said.

 "I started as a solopreneur. After some time, I roped in someone who helped me clean the coffee beans. And now, I have 11 people working on coffee and other products. I now produce over seven tonnes of coffee in a year sourced from my network of 300+ farmers", she said. Professionalising her business, she believes, is important to ensure its smooth functioning. "Google sheets come in handy for this, and we have separate sheets which the team updates daily, " she says.

 Future plans 

Currently, she supplies her coffee to a score of cafes in the northeast and in retail stores based in cities like Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, and Guwahati and to countries like France, New Zealand, Bangladesh, and South Africa. Her hard work has borne fruit. In 2019, she received the Meghalaya Entrepreneurship Recognition Award from the Chief Minister for popularising indigenous coffee produced in the state.

 Dasumarlin hopes to open a few more Coffee outlets and to be able to supply her freshly roasted coffee to many more cafes in the northeast part of the country.

The interview is published in partnership with Google. 

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