With an ambition to ship out the best assortment of Indian fruits and its freshness to the world and solve the problem of wastage and mishandling of produce due to supply chain mismanagement—Jitender Lohani, a third-generation entrepreneur with prior family experience in the world of fresh-produce jumped in the bandwagon to give the world a taste of finer Indian fruits.
He started a company called Indian Fruit Centre (IFC) in the year 1993 right after completing his college. In the very first year of the company’s foundation, IFC successfully accomplished sales of US $1,00,000 including a first-ever apple shipment of Himachal Kinnaur Apples to Sri Lanka.
Mr. Lohani was quick to learn the ropes and when the government lifted the barrier for import of fresh produce in 1998, the company diversified its operations to import produce from the various growing regions across the world for the growing domestic consumption.
Buoyed by the success, Mr. Lohani formed DJ Group of companies with two arms viz. IFC Overseas, which became the export arm, and DJ Exports Pvt Ltd which started undertaking imports and domestic marketing.
Earlier Oranges could only be shipped from Delhi to a maximum distance of Gujarat or Maharashtra. A good organization is one that gives it back to society and therefore in a collaboration with the government of Rajasthan. The Company conducted workshops and educated the farmers about the scientific and correct ways to harvest the oranges and increase the yield. The company pioneered and invested in new technologies and began marketing the fruits across the Indian borders to the Middle East countries and the South Asian region.
Domestically, the lucrative South Indian market opened up for the farmers who put their blood and sweat in growing these tender fruits that the whole world had now started enjoying.
The journey, as they say, has been ‘fruitful’ ever since then. The ingenuity of the founder and the persistent efforts of the company further yielded fruits when the company in the year 2004 inaugurated its first packing house cold room facility in Narayangaon, Maharashtra.
The success story continued further when in 2013, DJ created its first cold room distribution center in Navi Mumbai with the capacity of 2500 pallet space.
The last seven years have been a fairy tale of sorts for the company as the company now owns four packaging house cold storages across the country viz. Nashik, Narayangaon, and Baramati. Over 4500 MT of produce is packaged and shipped from these units in a year. To handle imports and domestic marketing the company has offices in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore.
The venture that started off from selling apples has now grown to shipping mandarins, grapes, pomegranates, onions, potatoes, and importing Apples, Kiwis, Pears, Oranges,Grapes, Plums, Nectarines, Avocados, Cherries, Blueberries, and fruit baskets for brands. Now we represent Global brands in India Such as Zespri, Frusan Chile, Vicanto Chile, Globbo Chile, Mr Apple New Zealand, Deliza Italy, Washington Fruit USA, Chelan Fresh USA, CORE South Africa, UniChoice South Africa. In this journey, we have made sure that the producers and the consumers remain our top priority. Safe to say, 26 years down the line and several obstacles later, we are going stronger than ever, all whilst maintaining the quality standards we have set for the entire industry.
We are the bridge that delivers joy and happiness to the consumers from the producers, safe, and intact with the nutritional values. At DJ we believe in turning the wheel and making all the stakeholders’ part of our little initiative. Through our cool chain units, we strive to empower the backbone of the country—the farmers and the women by providing financial independence with equal opportunities and a safe and healthy working environment.
We are asked this question a lot and our answer is always the same. In the day and age of cut-throat business competition. We have created an ecosystem within the company that is entirely value-driven. Relying on our core ethos of integrity and sincerity, DJ is all about reaching the highest levels of excellence —‘Pear-fection’ as we like to call it.
The produce is sourced locally from the farms from our meticulous and nurturing farming partners. With locally grown fruits and vegetables, the produce is instantaneously packaged and stored right after coming from the fields. In nutshell, the fruits are brought straight from the farm to the conveyor belt to your doorstep.
With top of the line infrastructures DJ also ensures the sustainability of the environment both while growing the produce and while packaging. Strict protocols of hygiene and cleanliness are followed all around the year. With the COVID-19 pandemic around, the protocols have been further ramped up so that you get the safest and freshest food for your family.