WE CREATE PRODUCTS THAT ARE USEFUL AND BEAUTIFUL: DEVINA DALMIA ON HER BRAND LE JAHAAN - The Daily Guardian
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WE CREATE PRODUCTS THAT ARE USEFUL AND BEAUTIFUL: DEVINA DALMIA ON HER BRAND LE JAHAAN

Founder of Le Jahaan, Devina Dalmia opened up about her luxury gift packaging brand, latest collection, entrepreneurial journey, and more.

Noor Anand Chawla

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Looking to elevate your gifting experience to the next level this festive season? Delhi-based luxury packaging brand Le Jahaan is here to help you out. Founder Devina Dalmia joins The Daily Guardian for a candid chat about her luxury gift packaging brand:

Devina Dalmia

Q. Tell us about your entrepreneurial journey so far?

A. I studied at The British School, New Delhi and then went on to Boston University to pursue a degree in Business, Economics, and Art History. I believe this gave me an international outlook and allowed me to combine my creative skills with entrepreneurship. Later, I attended courses at Parsons School of Design, New York and the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) Delhi, to elevate my design skills.

Immediately after returning from Boston, I worked with my father in the Oil and Gas sector, in his engineering and manufacturing firm. I enjoyed the manufacturing part but felt that my creativity wasn’t being put to use. Soon after that, I visited Japan and saw how beautifully they package things. In India, I could never find beautiful options for packaging – something that was bespoke and luxurious and made the receiver feel special. That’s when I started Le Jahaan—because it’s never just about the gift but also about how it is presented. We are mostly a B2B manufacturer and supply to several online retailers like Ogaan Home, House of Things, Ikka Dukka to name a few.

Now, we have a presence pan-India and are also popular in the Middle East and America, which makes us so proud because our manufacturing is completely Indian.

Q. What makes your brand stand apart from others?

A. To be honest, nobody was doing this kind of high-end wooden packaging back in 2012, when we entered the market, and even now our products come at the most competitive pricing. Our packaging is reusable, both in terms of utility and as decorative items to be used on one’s vanity or coffee tables. In fact, there isn’t really any competition in our segment.

The name of the brand is an amalgamation of French and Urdu and it means ‘the world’ because there are two aspects to the name—we want to be part of the world and we draw inspiration from it too. I travel a lot and the inspiration for my products and designs comes from different parts of the world. For example, once I saw these lovely tiles in Turkey and we inserted the tiles in our boxes. It’s the kind of aesthetic that hasn’t been seen before because it’s very international.

Q. Do you believe there is an acceptance of luxury packing in the Indian market?

A. Oh yes, definitely! We manufacture for a lot of companies and take on special projects too. For example, we did the 10-year anniversary packaging for Raw Mango. It’s interesting when people come to us with out-of-the-box requests because they trust us to do a good job. For example, Billi Hu, a freshly roasted coffee brand requested a unique tiffin style box to be used as a pour-over for their products, and a customer asked for a baby mobile to hang freely from a tray.

Q. How did the pandemic affect your business?

A. Actually, the pandemic was good for us. Since our manufacturing is in-house, we were able to execute most orders despite slight delays. At the same time, we also started our industrial packaging vertical which is doing quite well. It’s fantastic that we have been able to hire more people in these difficult times.

We noticed that the sales of our pool trays skyrocketed as they became popular amongst people who had access to private pools. Our Catan trays, named for the popular board game, also started doing really well in this time.

Q. What have been the biggest challenges you have faced in building a luxury packaging brand?

A. When we began, no one in India understood the concept of luxury packaging – people would be willing to pay for a lehenga but not the box it came in. Fortunately, that has changed. We got a lot of help from brands that were more forward-thinking. Then about 4-5 years ago, festive gifting really picked up. People came to us and said they didn’t know that such a product had ever existed. People are also now becoming aware of the benefits of recycling and reusing because a sustainability culture is becoming the norm. It’s been very fulfilling for me to have a created a product that can be utilised and is also beautiful.

Q. Tell us about your latest collection? What can one expect?

A. Our latest collection is the Terrazzo Collection, and it consists of premium wooden boxes inspired by Venetian mosaics that adorn landmarks like the ‘Hollywood Walk of Fame’. These multipurpose boxes can be used to store gifts, keepsakes, jewellery, crystals and any other useful items. They come in yellow, green, blue, pink and beige colour palettes that embody a classic appeal.

The interviewer pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on nooranand@gmail.com.

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