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Inspirational Woman: Rupal Dalal | Executive Director, JD Institute of Fashion Technology

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Rupal Dalal Executive Director JD Institute of Fashion Technology

“So what if you are earning your pocket money during the school vacations. The money that you earn should not be wasted away in buying luxuries.

You must utilize it constructively. You can sponsor the education of an under-privileged child,” told my mother when I shared the idea with my mother that I would buy artificial jewellery, a fancy school bag and sandals from the payment I got for my summer job.

Envision, a girl belonging to a small middle-class orthodox family of Mumbai, playing a major role in the establishment, growth, and development of one of the prestigious Design Institution of the country.

I find a keen interest in the development of Indian fashion retail and adoption of sustainable practices in fashion development including craft cluster development. In academics my interest mainly lies in developing design curriculums and supporting systems of teaching, learning and mentoring. I find great pleasure in promoting and giving a platform to various artisans of my country. I have started numerous programs at our institution to give them the required exposure they deserve. As long as we don’t stop walking or dreaming, it doesn’t matter how slow we are.

Rupal informs that the institute has had a distinctively eminent name in the design fraternity of India for three decades now.

It was founded in 1988 and is looked upon as a nationwide cornerstone for all the fervent aspirants who endeavor to make a lucrative career in the disciplines of either fashion or interiors. She, further, informs that the institute offers several courses with the objective to draw the best out of the hopeful, imaginative designers and highlight their presence in the world. Rupal proudly shares, “JD institute is today the alma-mater of over 30,000 design professionals either employed by selected organization worldwide or entrepreneurs and established names in their own right.”  The institute was ranked 10th in the field of Fashion Technology Education in India by India Today and Nielsen. Further, it has constantly delivered a number of successful fashion entrepreneurs and design professionals employed by marquee-name labels and organizations around the globe. The school boasts of an acclaimed list of alumni – Rocky S, Shane; Falguni, Reza, Gaurav Chabra, Urvashi Kaur, Maheka Mirpuri, Nitin- Isha and Niket Mishra. For more info visit: https://www.jdinstitute.com/

The institute has closely worked with prestigious members of the industry like Fashion Design Council of India and is a regular contributor to the development of the Indian Fashion Industry, participating in exhibitions, fashion weeks and other social and charity events.

Tell us about yourself, your background and what you do currently

I serve as the Executive Director at JD Institute of Fashion Technology, which is an Education division of JD Image Promotions Ltd. Having been established in 1988, JD Institute of Fashion Technology today is recognized as one of the pioneers and the major design institutes in India.

I was born to Smt. Devyani Bhatt and Shri. Shashikant Bhatt in Mumbai. It was a modest family. My father was a senior manager at Khaadi Bhandar and mother was a Principal in a school. The children in the house were brought up with utmost simplicity. They were taught the virtues of unpretentiousness and sincerity.

My mother being a school principal was a very good administrator and a disciplinarian. I found a teacher in my mother. I learnt the greatest lessons of life from my mother. I never saw my mother raise her voice even in worst situations; her politeness was the weapon to win the hearts of the people. Doing well for others had always been important for her.

My mother has always been my inspiration. Some of the greatest life lessons through which she constructed my childhood are something I wish for every child.

  • Respect is earned and not bought
  • Anger can only harm the relationship and one’s health
  • No work is small work, every work requires perfection. It can be as small as cleaning the ground.
  • We are all born with some purpose in life. So don’t waste a moment.

Rupal Dalal Executive Director JD Institute of Fashion Technology 1

Tell us about any current projects or initiatives you wish to promote

I am in utmost peace when I could bring a smile in people. With the help of my students, I have brought up many projects which are channelized through various CSR Activities such as World Elders Day, Spastic Society, Indian Cancer Society, JAGO, CWEI, etc. Apart from this, I have always been supportive of numerous campaigns run by PETA for the welfare of animals like celebrating VEGETARIAN Day with a simple thought – We speak for the animals; because they can’t speak. I and my institution have extended full support to numerous NGOs, in every possible way. Some of them are Akshay Pratishthan and Jamghat – an initiative taken by my students who have volunteered to design the NGO, creating an opportunity for the underprivileged to see design as a career option. Recently, we have also joined hands with Antarkranti- Prisoner Reformation & Rehabilitation Program of Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan ( DJJS), to generate opportunities and employment for the prisoners.  The organization is working to transform prison inmates and to empower them so that they can bid adieu to the path of crime forever and lead an honourable life.

What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?

My biggest challenge would be me. I take a small step at one time, as the longest and the most arduous of journeys begin with a single step. I have always believed in being consistent in following everything that comes as a challenge to me. Most importantly DO NOT lose yourself in the process of excelling. Respect and love yourself Always is my mantra for me.

Ms Rupal Dalal, Executive Director, JD Institute of Fashion Technology 2

What has been your greatest achievement personally?

I don’t think anyone is born strong or courage is an existing trait. Life teaches us to be strong and circumstances help in building that courage. Somewhere around October, the Diwali madness had started in the house. Everyone was busy with cleaning, cooking and decorating. During this celebration time, I met with a severe accident. I was trying to take out a 7 kg diya box from the loft when I fell off the ladder and fractured the D-11 vertebrae. With surgery being a risky affair, the doctor told me that I could never resume my old lifestyle and it would take at least 40 days of absolute bed rest to start the healing process.

Being a workaholic, I found it difficult to stay in the bed and rest. I started meditating and visualized the injured body part and talked to the part to heal it. I had seen my mother meditating when I was young, and I started my meditation and visualization routine. I started to feel some improvement in my condition. The healing process had started. After 25 days when the doctor visited, he was astonished to see me walk with minimum pain and in no time, I resumed office.

My biggest accomplishment has been my role in the institution even though I was from accounts background. My perseverance to excel in whatever I take has once again helped me to learn the nitty-gritty of the design industry in less time. I have been a very keen and passionate learner.

My mantra for success has always been, “Success is a moving target, if you think you have achieved your greatest success you have clearly decided to stop pushing yourself.”

Never say no to any work. No work is small. Do everything to the best of your capabilities

Success can be achieved with consistent, committed and focused work.

If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?

I would be a social reformer.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

My father-in-law Mr. Chandrakant Dalal has been my mentor. He had consistently guided me and motivated me at every step of my journey. It becomes easy if you have a mentor when you are starting out as he brings immense knowledge and vision to the table.

Rupal Dalal Executive Director JD Institute of Fashion Technology 3

What does the future hold for you?

I have always believed in being socially responsible. My team has been preparing and encouraging students, mentors to be part of various Corporate Social Responsibility programs to make them understand humanity and to incorporate the same in their creations. We have organized many events in workshops in collaboration with various NGO’s under the theme of Powering Change; Women in innovation. Such events empowered economically challenged women entrepreneurs by creating a platform to showcase their ethnic craft while reviving India’s traditional dying arts. My commitment to celebrate and empower women entrepreneurs from across India will remain at the priority on my to-do list.

The scope of fashion design does not limit to designing clothes and garments, it can cover wider areas of designs. As per the needs of today’s growing design industry, the consumers require specialized and feasible solutions to their requirements. We are planning to introduce concept based courses at the institution which is a step further to design for the masses.

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