LAVANYA DESIGN: Hand Carved Bone and Wood Products from the Ganges Plain
Lavanya owner, Pradeep Kumar, holding a business card.
Pradeep Kumar started Lavanya Design in 2009, after 15 years of working for various companies in the wood-carving and bone business. With a wide range of experience, including marketing, quality assurance and sourcing, he was well suited to pursue his own enterprise. Pradeep explains, “It has always been my ambition to start my own business. Throughout my career, I worked directly with people at all levels of industry, from production to senior management. One lesson I learned was that although most of the artisans are highly talented, they need help to translate their ideas into products that meet international standards. My aim is to help them reach that goal.”
Lavanya artisans working in Sambhal, Uttar Pradesh, making Timeless boxes.
With over 100 employees, Lavanya Design is one of the larger groups that Mela Artisans works with. They specialize in hand carved wood and bone boxes, trays, frames and candlesticks. Located on the Ganges plain about two hours north of Delhi, there are two main workshops located in Saharanpur and Sambhal, Uttar Pradesh. Both villages are renowned in the region for their artisan’s skill in the wood and bone sector. It is this plethora of talented artisans in the area that gives Pradeep the recipe for a successful business. Pradeep is proud of the progress these local artisans have made while working for Lavanaya: “Every time we receive a new order, they are learning new designs and techniques. This expands their skill set to make products that are more desirable to a western customer. More desirable products also means more regular work and a dependable income, improving the lives of the artisans and their families.”
An artisan dying the Fantasy in grey and indigo coasters.
Lavanya first began working with international customers in 2011, mostly through web portals such as Alibaba and Indiamart, expanding into European markets. Although they still do not have a website, sales are flourishing. Pradeep explains, “I try to be very cognizant of meeting my customer’s requirements for every placed order, including production deadlines and quality control. We give personal attention to every purchase and are trying to move the business forward in the best way possible, by slowly increasing our capacity to get more work.”
A Lavanya artisan polishing a wood tray in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
Stacks of Lavanya products, waiting for Mela Artisans inspection.