Dev­ina Sing­ha­nia’s pack­ag­ing brand, le JAHAN, doesn’t sim­ply wrap gifts or box up prod­ucts. She cre­ates an en­tire world of love, ex­cite­ment and joy that re­de­fines the process of un­rav­el­ling a gift.

Marwar - - Young Turk - Text Be­naifer J Mirza

THEY SAY, ‘DON’T JUDGE A BOOK by its cover’. But aren’t we all guilty of judg­ing what’s in­side a gift box from the way it is wrapped? A classy bow here, a pretty knot there, that dainty flo­ral dec­o­ra­tion… they all add to the en­tire gift­ing or pack­ag­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Ever seen a cake that is so pretty that you just don’t have the heart to cut it? A beau­ti­fully wrapped gift is more or less the same. It’s so per­fect and pretty that, at times, you don’t even have the heart to un­string that rib­bon. That’s the magic of pack­ag­ing!

But how of­ten do we ac­tu­ally make the ef­fort to cre­ate that mag­i­cal sus­pense? We just wrap the gift or prod­uct in the typ­i­cal bor­ing, con­ven­tional way and lit­er­ally kill the charm of an oth­er­wise ex­cit­ing gift item or prod­uct.

Dev­ina Sing­ha­nia sensed this gap in the gift­ing and pack­ag­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and launched le JAHAN. ‘Le’ means ‘the’ in French and ‘Jahan’ trans­lates to ‘world’ in Per­sian, and both the words come to­gether to give the brand its name—le JAHAN, mean­ing ‘The World’. It’s the world of in­no­va­tive con­cepts, ex­cit­ing de­signs and, above all, a whole new re­fined and so­phis­ti­cated way of gift­ing and pack­ag­ing.

le JAHAN’s brand phi­los­o­phy is to pro­duce qual­ity prod­ucts that are in­no­va­tive and have a de­sign sense that ex­udes lux­ury. The brand’s of­fer­ings cur­rently in­clude pack­ag­ing so­lu­tions for tea, jew­ellery, food, gifts and sil­ver items.

Sing­ha­nia’s Jahan

Sing­ha­nia be­longs to a fam­ily of suc­cess­ful busi­ness minds who have al­ways en­cour­aged en­trepreneur­ship. Af­ter school­ing from Carmel Con­vent, she went to The Bri­tish School for A-lev­els and then stud­ied Busi­ness, Eco­nomics, and Art His­tory from Bos­ton Uni­ver­sity. The mul­ti­tal­ented girl is a sports en­thu­si­ast too and has been a part of and led sev­eral sports teams and as­so­ci­a­tions for curl­ing (a team sport that in­volves slid­ing stones to­wards a tar­get area, on a rec­tan­gu­lar peb­bled sheet of ice) and ten­nis. Dur­ing her col­lege years, she was also in­volved with the art his­tory and ac­count­ing as­so­ci­a­tions, where she worked on taxes for low in­come fam­i­lies for the State of Bos­ton. Af­ter col­lege, she ap­pren­ticed un­der Mrs Rupika Chawla at her stu­dio, restor­ing art, and trained un­der her fa­ther, Sanjeev Dalmia, in his busi­ness, and then fi­nally launched her dream project, le JAHAN.

Sing­ha­nia be­longs to a big fam­ily and has thus been ex­posed to other ar­eas through her fam­ily mem­bers. One of her many hob­bies is pho­tog­ra­phy, to pur­sue which she has done cour­ses from the New Eng­land School of Pho­tog­ra­phy and then from The New School – Par­sons, New York, mainly fo­cussing on the ar­eas of night and ana­log pho­tog­ra­phy, where she used to shoot and then de­velop her pho­tos in a dark­room. Her other in­ter­ests in­clude an im­mense love for food, which, as she aptly puts, helps her bond with her fam­ily and other peo­ple. She also en­joys sing­ing and is a part of a choir. These apart, she also loves to travel and ex­pe­ri­ence new tastes and new things, which fur­ther in­spire her con­cepts.

Her jour­ney

Speak­ing about what in­spired her to start some­thing so unique, Sing­ha­nia says, “I have al­ways had a keen in­ter­est in pack­ag­ing. We launched le JAHAN in 2012, with a pas­sion and deep ap­pre­ci­a­tion of pre­sent­ing things in a way, so that even one look at a gift or ob­ject would be enough to make its re­ceiver happy. One of the ma­jor rea­sons be­hind cre­at­ing le JAHAN was the lack of avail­abil­ity of this ex­pe­ri­ence. And the other was my strong be­lief in ‘Make in In­dia’. We don’t need to import stylish items; we can pro­duce them too, and pro­mote homegrown qual­ity prod­ucts. They are beau­ti­ful enough for the rest of the world to import from In­dia.”

In­ter­est­ingly, the brand has ex­ported to sev­eral parts of the world and is now com­ing to In­dia, its home­land. The thought process of cre­at­ing some­thing ex­cep­tional and per­sonal is what makes the brand so dis­tinct.

Of course, like any other start-up, le JAHAN too went through its teething phase which was marked with quite a few chal­lenges. Since no­body in the fam­ily was in­volved in this sec­tor, it took some time for Sing­ha­nia and her team to mas­ter the tech­ni­cal pro­cesses. She ad­mits that there was a lot of trial and er­ror and that even to­day they keep ex­per­i­ment­ing on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. The brand’s cur­rent chal­lenges in­clude as­sess­ing dif­fer­ent mar­kets and be­ing able to cater to the needs of those mar­kets, be it in terms of the colour of the prod­ucts, or the items them­selves.

We launched leJAHAN in 2012, with a pas­sion and deep ap­pre­ci­a­tion of pre­sent­ing things in a way, so that even one look at a gift or ob­ject would be enough to make its re­ceiver happy

The six long years of the brand’s pres­ence in the mar­ket have taught Sing­ha­nia many lessons and much oth­er­wise, one of the great­est lessons be­ing that there is no sub­sti­tute for hard work and pa­tience.

Be­hind the box

Speak­ing about the brand’s de­signs and prod­ucts, Sing­ha­nia shares, “The French and Ital­ian ate­liers’ sense of de­sign, in­no­va­tion and sim­plic­ity inspires our brand. We cre­ate pack­ag­ing that is de­fined by age-old lux­ury and clas­sic de­sign. We pro­duce premium wooden pack­ag­ing only, which when com­bined with an ar­ray of colours and con­struc­tions, gives a mod­ern take to time­less de­signs, thus in­fus­ing a touch of nos­tal­gia.”

With of­fices in Mum­bai and Delhi, le JAHAN is cur­rently avail­able of­fline only and by ap­point­ment, as all the or­ders are cus­tom made. How­ever, plans to launch a web­site with some of the brand’s best-sell­ing prod­ucts are in the pipe­line. The prod­ucts are man­u­fac­tured at Sing­ha­nia’s ate­lier in the NCR re­gion.

In­spi­ra­tions and more

So, where does she look for in­spi­ra­tion? “Just about any­where and ev­ery­where,” she replies. Sing­ha­nia has a keen eye for de­tail and is able to im­bibe the in­tri­ca­cies and de­tails of ev­ery­thing around her, be it when she is trav­el­ling, read­ing a book, meet­ing artistes and see­ing and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing their work, or just by be­ing in the midst of na­ture. She feels in­spired at ev­ery mo­ment. And, may we say, she is as in­spir­ing, too!

Talk­ing about fu­ture plans, Sing­ha­nia says, “In the next five years, I would like to see le JAHAN in ev­ery­one’s home and heart! The first thing that should come to mind when you’re gift­ing should be le JAHAN, a brand that stands for el­e­gant de­sign and lux­ury. The giver as well as the re­ceiver should feel proud of the prod­uct.”

Whoso­ever had ever thought of wrap­ping a gift or some­thing as mun­dane as a box of tea to give it ir­re­sistible ap­peal with some out of the box think­ing? Sing­ha­nia had and is now liv­ing her dream by cre­at­ing a world of beauty with her unique brand.

Fac­ing page: Dev­ina Sing­ha­nia Top: English tea trays from le JAHAN; Bot­tom left: Cut­work choco­late boxes from le JAHAN

From top: le JAHAN’s clas­sic tea box; a fes­tive wed­ding box; Hexag­o­nal trays

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