Jayanti Khan Chauhan© HelloIndia

Jayanti Khan Chauhan Opens Up About Her Life Beyond the Boardroom

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Nayare Ali

One name in the pulsating business world shines the brightest: Jayanti Khan Chauhan. As the Vice Chairperson of Bisleri International Private Limited, she commands boardrooms with grace and authority, but there’s so much more to this style dynamo. Brought up in a broad-minded, multicultural environment, she believes gender has no bearing on business. In fact, as the daughter of prominent industrialist Ramesh Chauhan, Jayanti was encouraged to travel, instilling in her the quality of adaptability. trained photographer and stylist, she’s also the

In Conversation With Jayanti Khan Chauhan

Hello!: You have worked your way to the top, beginning your training on the shop floor at Bisleri International. Today as Vice Chairperson, tell us about your journey…

Jayanti Khan Chauhan: I sought a new challenge after returning from Europe. A visit to Bisleri factories in Delhi sparked my interest in manufacturing. Guided by the production team, I learned about bottle production and water testing. Joining the sales team on truck routes provided insights into market conduct and copacker roles. I collaborated with HR, hiring employees who have stayed with the company. Moving to Mumbai, I discovered Vedica, a brand with untapped potential. Guided by the production team, I learned about bottle production and water testing. Joining the sales team on truck routes provided insights into market conduct and copacker. I collaborated with HR, hiring employees who have stayed with the company. With strategic changes, including new designs and expanded offerings like Vedica Sparkling, it has flourished. Your dedicated team and expanded channels have propelled Vedica’s growth beyond expectations.

H!: Having graduated from the Fashion, Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles, how do you apply that knowledge to your current role?

JKC: “At FIDM I studied product development and merchandising. I was lucky to have professors who were understanding and patient with all the students. The principles I learnt can be used in any field.”

Jayanti Khan Chauhan©HelloIndia

H!: What are the challenges of being a young woman at the helm of a ₹5,000-crore business empire?

JKC: “Any kind of work requires a clear strategy; to execute any strategy, you must have the right people in your team. Executing any vision, whether short or long-term, requires the collaboration of individuals who understand and align with your goals. Without a dedicated team, a company remains just a building with a name. It’s the collective effort of every department that truly builds a brand I have been fortunate to have grown up in an environment where gender has no bearing on any aspect of business. Rather, it’s essential to recognise that gender diversity adds immense value to an organisation. Like yin and yang, both genders are required to create a balance and add value to any organisation fostering holistic growth and innovation.”

H!: Does it ever get tricky to handle a much older employee? Any tips for young bosses? 

JKC: “In our organisation, we strike a balance between experience and youthful energy, keeping everyone on their toes! The younger generation brings fresh insights, suggesting trends, songs, movies and influencers, infusing excitement. Meanwhile, our seasoned directors, CEO and CFO, drawing from their diverse experiences, guide us with valuable advice and roadmap creation. This collective environment fosters continuous learning, where each member contributes and learns from one another.”

Jayanti Khan Chauhan©HelloIndia

H!: Your father, Ramesh Chauhan, is an illustrious name in the field. What has your greatest learning been from him, both personally and professionally?

JKC: “As a child, my father always encouraged travelling. That was his way of showing me different cultures, adapting to different situations and at the end, realising humans are all the same if we look past the initial layer. We are all connected universally, and all have one basic need: love. A friendly smile or a compliment to a stranger professionally, he has worked in an era where it was difficult to get things done in a particular manner. Today’s India is very different from when he was growing up. We are all connected today, to buy a machine from Europe is not as big of a deal as it was back then. To seek help from professionals on an international level is a phone call away. I am quite amazed that he achieved what he did at a time when these kinds of solutions were not readily available. He has the kind of gut instinct that comes with a lot of handwork, dedication and sacrifice.”

H!: You have also studied fashion styling both from the Istituto Marangoni in Italy and the London College of Fashion. Have you ever worked as a stylist?

JKC: “After school, I needed some work experience for college, so I interned with a couple of designers in India which was a great learning experience. Today, I can confidently affirm that Vedica reflects my unique approach to style and storytelling, as I’ve consistently been the creative force driving every shoot we’ve undertaken thus far. My team is well-versed in my preferences and flawlessly executes my vision. Naturally, such endeavours demand substantial support; while I’m engrossed in filming or conceptualising a photoshoot, the directors and CEO handle other aspects of the business, keeping me informed.”

H!: What is your sense of style? 

JKC: “A style for me personally is a fusion of sophistication, humility, and a touch of glamour. I choose timeless elegance over trends and would pick a few accessories that catch my eye — ones that suit my personality. I dress for my body type over anything else and my go-to is anything black! Ilove to style myself interestingly.”

H!: Who are your favourite designers and what appeals to you about their work?

JKC: “Since I was a teen, my first and foremost favourite has been Alexander McQueen. While he was alive, I found the work he did for Givenchy intriguing. The show where he incorporated a robot that would paint onto the dresses was the first of its kind!

He was very ahead of his time. After his untimely death, Sarah Burton and now, Seán McGirr, are doing a great job of keeping his style alive. My favourite [Indian designer] is none other than Sabyasachi, who makes one feel like a modern-day princess. However, my absolute go-to is Giorgio Armani for timeless elegance. Over the years so many fashion houses have lost their identity trying to keep up with trends, but Mr Armani stays true to his aesthetics.

H!: You are an avid traveller, and you often post lovely pictures on your Instagram account. What are your favourite holiday Spots?

JKC: “This is an interesting one, as I have some wonderful stories about my travels both in India and abroad. I have been reading Rumi since I was 16 and when I was living in Dubai, I read a book called Rumi’s Daughter… having read this book and now with the combination of Rumi’s Masnavi, I decided I had to immediately head to Turkey! This was in November of 2007, and I did not realise it would be snowing. Nevertheless, it was a surreal experience; not only did I get to see my beloved Rumi’s house and bow at his tomb, but I also travelled to Cappadocia which, in my opinion, was most beautiful under a blanket of snow. As to my favourite holiday spots, I always like to visit places that are rooted in history, a land that has stories to tell to the travellers who listen.

H!: As an animal lover, how do you think the recent cases of cruelty can be curtailed?

JKC: “Stricter laws and heavy penalties. We do as much as we can through our CSR and so do a lot of as we can through our CSR and so do a lot of other people. But until we don’t give animals their rights by passing laws and recognising that we must co-exist, nothing will change.”

Jayanti Khan Chauhan©HelloIndia

H!: You are also passionate about photography. What draws you to a subject? 

JKC: “If it’s a portrait of a human, the eyes. Their aura or smile. But the eyes are the most important. Some are full of joy, some of innocence and some hauntingly beautiful. Engaging with individuals before and after photographing them allows me to delve deeper, often moving me to tears.”

H!: What are your professional and personal goals for this year? 

JKC: “What would delight all of us at Bisleri is to exceed our annual plan goals, to us at Bisleri is to exceed our annual plan goals, to see growth in each of our brands and to create a dynamic environment for all our employees to thrive in.”

Photos: Vidushi Gupta; Creative Direction: Amit Malik

This story has been adapted for the website from HELLO! India’s May 2024 issue. Get your hands on the latest issue right here!