The best kind of entrepreneurs are believed to be born, not made. They are perceived to be impulsive and inventive types who never shy away from taking risks to blaze new trails.

Although Lalchnd Group founder chairman Sunjoy Hans was born into a business family and had an early exposure to the world of commerce while assisting his elder brothers as a helping hand at his father’s shop in Market Building, Bhubaneswar, he was not born to run the family business.

His first foray into entrepreneurship could not have been farther from it, both figuratively and literally as he committed himself to providing food supplies and essentials to an Australian company contracted by Oil India to drill off the port of Paradip. He did his job so well that he received two more contracts from the company to do the same thing in neighbouring West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.

After a few years of heavy touring to successfully complete those contracts, when Sunjoy decided to settle down with a silver gifts shop in his hometown, many business experts advised him against doing so due to the dismal state of the jewellery sector in those time.

Instead of being discouraged, he took that situation as an opportunity to change the jewellery scene in Odisha for the better, and for good.

By introducing the people of the state to BS-hallmark gold jewellery and raising awareness about the importance of having pure gold, to bringing in the finest jewellery design from across the nation and world, to implementing best-quality customer service – all under one roof at Lalchnd Jewellers – Sunjoy managed to achieve that.

And he deservedly reaped the benefits. As Odisha’s most trusted luxury brand, LCJ now boasts of three of the largest jewellery showrooms in Eastern India. A fourth one – the largest of them all – will add another 35,000 square feet to the 90,000 sq ft that LCJ showrooms occupy at prime locations in the twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.

Similarly, when Sunjoy branched out into the hospitality sector many years ago, industry pundits had warned him against doing so – firstly, because jewellery and hospitality are poles apart as businesses; and secondly, because he was starting out with the once-popular Prachi hotel that had been infamously bearing heavy losses for a long time.

“What those people never understood is that I was always looking for challenges. It is these challenges that push me to work harder and give my best. The sense of achieving something good despite the odds is unbeatable,” Sunjoy says.

The troubled establishment registered profit within a month after being taken over and rebranded as The New Marrion under the Lalchnd brand. There has been no looking back since then. Apart from having one of the grandest hotels of Odisha in the heart of Bhubaneswar, the Lalchnd Group also boasts some of the most popular restaurants in the state capital.

Even when the mother of all challenges presented itself last year in the form of Covid-19, Sunjoy responded in a unique way. At a time when a nationwide lockdown following the outbreak of the global pandemic saw businesses closing down and mass layoffs trending upwards at a frightening rate, he set up the Lalchnd Foundation to help the most underprivileged sections of society survive the coronavirus onslaught.

When posed with questions about the practicality of that decision, he was famously quoted by the media as saying: “There’s never a bad time to do a good thing.”

Besides, those who know about the history of Lalchnd Jewellers are well aware how Sunjoy has strongly supported the traditional tarakasi filigree artisans (who had been struggling for survival) by employing the finest among them at LCJ to craft exquisite jewellery designs for diverse tastes and markets.

Therefore, after winning a laundry list of prestigious awards for himself and his group from the industry over the past decade, Sunjoy has now deservedly earned another feather in his cap – the Business Eminence Award from the Dharitri Group.

Sunjoy Hans is the founder chairman of Lalchnd Jewellers.

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