An economics scholar from George Washington University, ace designer Tarun Tahiliani’s son Jahan may not possess the design and creative instincts like his father, but he certainly knows the ropes of the business.
For the CEO and Promoter of Ahilia Homes, an interior and architectural unit from the House of Tarun Tahiliani Designs, joining the family business was not Jahan’s first choice. Instead, the 28-year-old started his professional journey working at CBRE in the capital market department.
“That gave me exposure to the real estate market and how the developers work. At the same time, dad used his love for design and architecture to build his first home in Goa. But then while working at CBRE, there came a point when I was ready to leverage the love for architecture and design. I was ready to work together and built something that isn’t just a passion project, but a separate identity,” shares Jahan, who converted his father’s part-time passion project into a full-time business.
An extension of Tarun’s architecture outlook, Ahilia Homes does interiors, apart from building primary and secondary homes with a lot of Indian flavours. “We do everything: From design consultancy to architecture, redevelopment, and interiors. The design categories we work on are classical, contemporary and India Modern, but the basic design principle that we follow is built to suit where we build something according to one’s needs,” explains Jahan, who oversees the operations right from sourcing the land, financing, project management, sales, and post-sales services.
However, he says the challenge lies in building a primary home in a cityscape. “Everything is based on the idea of Indoor-Outdoor living. How much can we bring in nature, light, and air. Our primary and secondary homes are equipped with courtyards, water bodies, and green spaces,” he says.
Talking about the inspiration for their designs, Jahan says that the aim is to promote the Indian artisans and craft. “We work on India Modern philosophy. We are not interested in bringing the West into India or trying to produce Italian style architecture,” he says. “It is our duty to bring out our identity in the designs, we use Indian stones because these are stones suited to our Indian climate,” he adds.
As for how often does he run to his father for professional help or advice, Jahan laughs and says, “We complement each other. We both have a different function in the business and it doesn’t overlap. He takes cares of the design part, and I the operations. We have a wonderful working relationship. And since our work doesn’t overlap, I run to him only when the budget gets over-board or for a delayed deadline.”
And with a lot on his plate, the CEO finds solace in sports and travel. An avid sports fan, Jahan plays football, cricket, and golf regularly and has been attending every World Cup and Euro Cup with his family and friends since 2002.
“I am part of the Sunday League Football (Camden Rovers FC). I have also cleared my third level of coaching, and coach football on weekdays at the British School, New Delhi,” he says. For the businessman, even his holidays are oriented around athletic activities like skiing or trekking. “I make sure that I do at least three ski trips either to Kashmir or Switzerland in the winters and it is so much fun,” he smiles.
And since work hasn’t given him enough time to travel, Jahan reminisces his trips to South and North America, Europe, and Africa. However, taking a little time off from work he plans to travel to Spain and England in July.
“I will be visiting some friends in Spain for a few days and we will be attending the Bilbao BBK Live Music Festival. Then I plan to fly to England for a week and catch one game of the World Cup,” he says.
However, if given a chance to drop everything and take off right now, Jahan would love to travel to Australia since it is the sports mecca.