With 100 years of history and over 100 stores in the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, the name Jashanmal has become synonymous with retail and wholesale in the region. The Jashanmal Group’s journey began as so many entrepreneurial success stories do: with a leap of faith.

Anticipating the economic potential and needs of British interests in the Middle East, the late Rao Sahib Jashanmal moved from his home in Karachi, in present-day Pakistan, to Basra, Iraq. In 1919, he founded the first Jashanmal store, which sold books catered to the then consumer. Soon, his son Naraindas joined him in the business. They diversified their products and internationalised, following growth markets like Bahrain and then Kuwait in 1935. In 1956, the Jashanmal Group opened its first department store in the UAE where, eventually, members of the  Jashanmal family would relocate to further increase their focus on the Arabian Peninsula.

Aside from a penchant for seeing past borders and an affinity for building relationships, the Jashanmal family shares unwavering flexibility in the face of disruption – geographical or otherwise. Their business is built on a culture of customer satisfaction, the courage to follow entrepreneurial intuition and an appreciation for professionalism.

Shafali Jashanmal, a third-generation family member, reflects on this legacy through the lens of her new business, Selvatika Foods, which currently distributes a speciality Colombian coffee – Amor Perfecto -throughout the Middle East. Shafali, along with her partner, Marcela Saouda, hopes to expand to other food products as the business grows. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, Shafali looks forward with the global perspective that increasingly defines next-generation immigrant family business owners.