I don’t allow the focus of the point I’m trying to make to be overridden by anything: Yahvi Mariwala

But the mansplaining still exists, laughs Yahvi Mariwala. In conversation with the Managing Director of Nandan Coffee this International Women’s Day 2022, we navigate what it’s like to be a woman in leadership.

Coffee culture, with a particular focus on specialty coffee, continues to grow in India. Parallely, conscientious consumers are starting to demand sustainable offerings. At the nexus of it all, is Nandan Coffee, helmed by 3rd generation coffee roaster Yahvi Mariwala. 

On women in leadership, in the coffee world, and family businesses with yahvi mariwala, md at nandan coffee for international women's day 2022.
On women in leadership, in the coffee world, and family businesses with Yahvi Mariwala, MD at Nandan Coffee for International Women’s Day 2022.

Smoothly navigating the workings of a mostly male-dominated profession, Yahvi has big plans for the brand. Speaking of a ‘complex commodity sold as a luxury good’, she’s evidently passionate about their single-estate organic farm-to-cup approach. That doesn’t, however, come without its occasional share of men trying to explain her business to her, she adds with a laugh. “You cannot give weight to such things, they’re only as [important as you make them],” Yahvi clarifies.

A burgeoning business aside, Yahvi is also established as a sportsperson. The former Junior National Champion, she was the sole female member of India’s Show Jumping team at the South East Asian Championships in Seoul, South Korea. 

Acknowledging the split between her office staff and baristas as female and male respectively, she’s all for championing women for the latter. “I think having women on your team is such an asset. I would love to have a female barista, I think they’re so much more personable and intuitive to people’s needs and requirements,” says Yahvi. 

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