This bespoke luxury packaging brand aims to elevate gifting to the next level
Delhi-based luxury packaging brand Le Jahaan manufactures ornate boxes and trays that can be reused as fashionable home décor.
What’s more special than receiving a gift? Receiving gifts that are beautifully packaged.
Since its launch in 2012, Delhi-based brand Le Jahaan has been making gifts more aesthetic by customising stylish trays and boxes to be used as containers for gift items or to liven up intimate experiences.
“Whether it’s a romantic breakfast in bed or a royal wedding gift – at Le Jahaan, we don’t just wrap gifts or box up products; we aim to redefine the process of unravelling a gift,” shares Devina Dalmia, Founder and Creative Head of the brand, with YSWeekender.
How it all started
Devina studied at The British School, New Delhi before heading to Boston University to pursue a degree in Business, Economics, and Art History. This gave her an international outlook and allowed her to combine her creative skills with entrepreneurship. Later, she attended design courses at Parsons School of Design, New York and the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) Delhi, to elevate her designing skills.
After returning from Boston University, she worked with her father in his oil and gas business. “I soon realised that I liked the manufacturing aspect but my creativity wasn’t being put to use,” she shares.
On a visit to Japan, she came across gorgeous and thoughtful packaging, which inspired her to create her own bespoke luxury packaging brand. She wanted to enhance the value of gifts that people share with loved ones, and so she started Le Jahaan.
The name is a unique combination of ‘the’ in French and ‘world’ in Urdu. Devina says she drew inspiration for the name from the concept of “being part of the world, while also drawing inspiration from it”.
“I have always enjoyed presenting things in an attractive way so the recipient of the gift is happy. I’m also a big advocate of ‘Make in India’, so I wanted to be able to produce our own stylish products to replace those being imported from abroad. Nobody was doing this kind of high-end packaging back when we began,” says Devina.
What’s on offer
A team of 30, Le Jahaan assiduously caters to the client’s demands of colour, cut, size, and design to achieve the desired aesthetics. They work entirely with wood and incorporate age-old techniques of carving, cutting, and assembling.
The package is meant to be reused as ornate storage containers for trinkets on vanities, or can be used as décor for coffee tables or in bedrooms.
Devina says her designs are largely inspired by her frequent travels around the world. “I once saw lovely tiles in Turkey and decided to insert similar tiles in one of my box collections. I believe my design aesthetic is very international – the kind that one doesn’t usually see here,” she adds.
Though Devina designs the products herself, the client’s tastes and preferences are taken into account as well. Patrons can choose from a catalogue of designs, or can request customisation based on a theme or guidelines provided. Unique and interesting requests are challenging but fun for the team to attempt.
She fondly recalls the stories of Billi Hu, a freshly roasted coffee brand that requested a unique tiffin style box to be used as a pour-over for their products, and a customer who asked for a baby mobile to hang freely from a tray.
Devina explains that when she first launched her business, no one in India understood the value of luxury packaging. “They were willing to pay for a lehenga but not the box it came in!”, she exclaims. Over the years, she says things have changed significantly and people are happier to pay a premium price for things that add value.
A B2B startup, Le Jahaan now has a long list of clients in India and abroad.
A few forward-thinking brands were her first customers. These included premium jewellery houses that were aware of the importance of evergreen packaging for treasured heirlooms. Many of these brands were importing packages from China at the time, and were unhappy with the mismatch in quality of every batch.
By offering high levels of customisation, Devina’s team was able to muscle their way into this segment. Gradually, individual buyers also realised the importance of bespoke packaging for weddings, trousseaus, and festive gifting. “I feel that earlier, many people just didn’t know that such a product existed, or that it was a possibility, and they really appreciated it when they found out,” explains Devina, who recovered the Rs 50 lakh she invested in her bootstrapped business after 36 months.
“We offer reasonable pricing within a range of Rs 1,500 to Rs 6,000 per product,” she says, adding that she is often contracted for special limited edition packaging for brands, such as the one used to mark the 10-year anniversary of clothing line Raw Mango.
By encouraging the reuse of their products, Le Jahaan promotes a sustainable culture. Devina calls this the most rewarding aspect of the business – to earn money by creating a product that can be utilised and is beautiful.
Despite certain glitches, the pandemic spurred the brand’s growth. During the first lockdown, they had many previous orders to fulfil, which sustained them. However, the festive season in the latter half of the year was particularly slow, prompting them to launch a new vertical for industrial packaging, which became really popular.
Over the last year and a half, Le Jahaan’s revenue has grown by 40–50 percent. Devina says this can be credited to their new product selection, strong social media presence, generous recommendations by word of mouth, and attractive line-up of products that prompt inquiries when received as a gift.
Devina says that during the lockdown, the most popular product was customised pool trays, which became a must for those with access to private swimming pools and their Catan trays for lovers of the board game.
The road ahead
Currently inundated with orders from regular clients, Le Jahaan’s next collection is slated for launch around Diwali and Christmas. Products can be bought only through third-party retailers like Ogaan Home, Ikka Dukka, and The House of Things at the moment, but an online store for direct purchases is set to be launched in the imminent future. Devina also hopes to increase the brand’s international presence in times to come.
As for the future of luxury packaging in general, she shares, “Mixed media is the future, perhaps with collaborations among many people. Sustainability is especially important for Gen Z, who are very conscious about it. Hence, all packaging products will have to incorporate more sustainable and natural materials like raw wood and recycled materials in their making process.”
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Edited by Kanishk Singh