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The Next Generation: Harsh and Akshra Dalal Leading the 35-Year Legacy of Design Education

This captivating story follows the thrilling expedition of a dynamic Brother-Sister duo, pioneers in the field of design education, who have upheld a remarkable 35-year legacy and set unparalleled standards in the industry. Carrying forward the vision of Mr. RC Dalal and Mr. Chandrakant Dalal, the visionary minds behind the inception of JD Institute of Fashion Technology in 1988, Harsh Dalal and Akshra Dalal embarked on their extraordinary journey.

Their noble aspiration was to democratize design education, acknowledging its fusion of artistic creativity and scientific application across diverse disciplines such as fashion, interior design communication design, global event management. In an exclusive conversation with these visionary individuals, we delved into various facets of their venture, leading to the creation of this remarkable narrative. Let us now plunge into their captivating story.

Company at a glance

The foundation was laid by Mr. RC Dalal, along with the continued efforts of Mrs. Rupal Dalal (Managing Director of JD Image Promotions Ltd). Over the course of three and a half decades, JD Institute has cultivated an ecosystem that nurtures the growth and triumph of its students. What is worth mentioning is the fact that its well- accomplished alumni such as Rocky S, Shane Peacock, Urvashi Kaur, Aanchal Gulati, Sanjeet Singh, Isha from the brand Aikyah, and Nitin Kartikeya, Sanjeev Parmar (the costume designer – “Samrat Prithviraj’’ starring Akshay Kumar & Manushi Chhillar) have emerged as revered veterans and leaders in the design fraternity.

Additionally, Jediiians have secured prestigious positions with renowned brands including Reliance, H&M, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Sabyasachi, Pepperfry, Reena Dhaka, Rohit Bal, Manish Malhotra, Tarun Tahiliani, Diesel and many more. The Institute has a pool of international talent and global design associations like Cumulus, University Arts London as knowledge exchange or educational partners, accreditations with Govt bodies like AMHSSC, MESC, NSDC, Skill India etc

With its headquarters situated in Delhi, the institute has expanded its footprint to encompass 35 cities throughout India, successfully fulfilling the vision of its founders. The institution’s rich heritage has not only facilitated its students in establishing themselves within the industry but has also enabled them to carve out distinctive niches for themselves. As pioneers in bringing design education to India, JD Institute is determined to transform India into a design capital, showcasing its commitment to innovation and excellence.

Meet the leaders nurturing the legacy

• Harsh Dalal

“Look what’s beyond by looking within”, he affirmed his mantra to success. As the Director of JD Institute of Fashion Technology, Harsh Dalal is driven by a steadfast focus on propelling the institution forward. He diligently explores future prospects and analyzes the natural evolution of the institute’s internal structure. Harsh’s true passion lies in enlightening young Indians about futuristic design solutions and empowering them to compete in the global market.

Firmly believing that the Indian design industry can challenge and thrive in the fiercely competitive global market by combining cuttingedge technology with creativity and original content creation, he is committed to carrying forward the legacy of his forefathers. Harsh’s vision is to elevate Indian design on the global stage while ensuring that JD Institute remains at the forefront of design education. He draws inspiration from his mother, Mrs. Rupal Dalal, who is also the company’s Managing Director.

By fostering organic growth within the organization, Harsh believes they can stay ahead of the curve and navigate the dynamic landscape of the industry. His unwavering dedication lies in nurturing talent, fostering innovation, and promoting a culture of continuous learning within the company.

• Akshra Dalal

“Design is a religion that only leaders follow”, reveals Akshra, her secret sauce to success in the industry. She is the driving force behind the academic pursuits of JD Institute of Fashion Technology and assumes a leadership role in both domestic and international contexts. Having completed her education in luxury brand management at Regents University in London, Akshra staunchly advocates for the creation of hedonistic sustainability through design within the institute’s campus.

• To provide Jediiians with access to global experiences and simulation projects, Akshra spearheads the London Research Programme. This initiative allows students to broaden their horizons and gain exposure to international perspectives. Under her supervision, the academic team has played a crucial role in expanding the institute’s presence overseas, infusing a fresh, global vision into the academic structure. JD Institute’s unique approach to design education has garnered recognition & acclaim, with its achievements featured in prominent publications such as Cosmopolitan India, India Today, CII, Hindustan Times, and Business World, among others.

Business Expansion

JD Institute of Fashion Technology has a mission to make quality design education accessible to all. With this goal in mind, they have successfully established campuses in 35 cities across India, including their Head office in Delhi. They continuously work on simplifying training curriculums to ensure that students from all cities receive the best education possible.

The institute also emphasizes the exchange of faculties between the head office and regional campuses to enhance the team’s expertise. Their vision has led to the institute’s current expansion plans, aiming to establish a presence in 20 more cities nationally and internationally by 2024. One of the notable events organized by JD Institute is the annual I Festival, where 800 selected students from various campuses gather to showcase their exhibits and collections.

This grand event, held at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, attracts an audience of 12,000 design enthusiasts. It provides a platform for students to network with industry professionals, top brands, and influential personalities, ultimately assisting them in securing placements in the industry.

The previously organized events have witnessed the presence of esteemed personalities such as Deepika Padukone, Shabana Azmi, Madhur Bhandarkar, Prachi Desai, Rohit Bal, Meera Muzaffar Ali, Anju Modi, and Rocky S. Getting an edge in the market When asked to shine some light on what makes JD Institute stand out in the crowd, Harsh and Akshra were delighted to reveal a competitive edge that is based on its strong design curriculum and its integration of real-life events aligning with future industry demands.

The institute participates in a range of prestigious design events in India and abroad, such as IFWL – India Fashion Week London, which is in its 8th year now attracting an audience of 6000 visitors in London and Master Seminars featuring notable industry leaders. At JD Institute, learning extends beyond the classroom, with students exposed to live events, simulations, and seminars that allow them to apply their classroom knowledge in real-world scenarios.

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