There’s an effortless elegance to Avni Jhunjhnuwala. Many in Hong Kong’s Indian community will know she’s inherited that elegance from her oh-so-chic mother, Sarika (who owned and ran the upscale Indian restaurant, Veda). And those who have spotted Jhunjhnuwala’s fast-paced strut through the streets of Central may know that it runs in the family: father Girish (chairman of Hind Group, and owner of Ovolo Group hotels around Hong Kong and Australia) suffers no fools. And the business brains? Well, she got that in spades from both parents.
“We are a family of entrepreneurs,” says Jhunjhnuwala. “Leadership comes with big responsibility, and it was important to me to gain experience before taking on that responsibility. I believe I’m ready for my own adventure, which is why I launched Ekoshiki last year.”
Ekoshiki’s reusable cotton wraps for gifts, food, books, flowers – and anything else you can imagine – fuse style and practicality with ecological and corporate responsibility. Jhunjhnuwala established the business armed with a degree in finance (from Bryant University in Rhode Island) honed by stints in the family business (“you can check out of the family biz, but you’ll never leave it fully”), and she juggles many roles simultaneously. She’s done events, e-commerce, digital marketing, corporate strategy and examined the way her family’s properties are advertised around the globe. “My underlying interests have remained the same: good design, good function and – for good measure – good fun.
“Looking at what my parents have achieved, it absolutely encourages me to lead my own company,” says Jhunjhnuwala. She’s the eldest of three siblings – younger sister Avisha and brother Shivang, currently a university student, are waiting in the wings – and she shoulders her filial responsibilities with preternatural ease. “Leading by example is an integral aspect of leadership, and being the eldest has given me lots of practice.
“My family business is incredibly cool and thriving. I had the opportunity to experience first-hand, the growth and evolution of a brand [Ovolo] led by my father’s vision. I’d say I’m pretty lucky here as, when I ventured out on my own, I wasn’t going in blind but with solid experience.”