The Write Choice

By Benaifer J. Mirza May 17, 2024

The life of Deepak Jalan, Managing Director, Linc Limited, has been a journey of learning, adapting, and growing amidst the landscapes that shaped him.

Bom M Lachhmangarh in Silcar, Rajasthan, the life narrative of Deepak Jalan, Managing Director, Linc Limited, be, in his cherished native town. His initial foray into education was at Bagaria Bal Vidya Niketan, a place nestled within his memories, alongside the vibrant traditions and historical tapes, of Marwar. These formative experiences are not just recollections of landscapes but deeply imbued with the cultural essence of Rajasthan—a seamless blend of history and tradition that constitutes an indelible part of hi, identity.

He tells us more about his journey. “A pivotal shift in my life’s journey occurred at the age of seven when my family relocated to Kolkata.

I was enrolled in Khalsa High School for my elementary education. This institution played a significant role in my upbringing, nurturing me from Grade Two to Ten. Then I went to Hindi High School for my higher secondary education.” He adds, “As for my collegiate ambitions, I faced a setback for not securing admission into St. Xavier’s College, a longstanding dream of mine. I then pursued my B.Com Honours at Bhawanipore Education Society College. Following which, I completed a Business Leadership Program from IIM Kolkata. Through these varied experiences—from the cultural bedrock of Rajasthan to the academic halls of Kolkata—my life has been a journey of learning, adapting, and growing amidst the landscapes that shaped me.”

Link with Linc

Linc Ltd. was founded by his father Surajmal Jalan in 1976. Deepak Jalan’s journey with Linc Ltd and Pentonic has been a remarkable exploration of innovation, along with challenging industry norms. In a market saturated with similar products, the guiding principle at Linc has always been to standout through innovation.

One such example is the creation of the Linc Twinn, a pioneering product that combines the functionality of a pen and pencil in a single body. Another standout is the Linc Touch, integrating a pen with a stylus to cater to modern users navigating digital interfaces.

The introduction of Pentonic pens in 2018 marked a revolutionary departure from traditional designs, characterised by bold aesthetics and an unconventional build.

A proud Jalan shares, “Pentonic’s unique success story lies in its departure from industry norms. Despite resistance from trade partners, the internal team, and the industry at large, we introduced Pentonic at an affordable price point without traditional features, such as metalised parts, a metal clip, film on the body, or individual packaging. This bold move challenged conventions and reshaped the market landscape, illustrating Linc’s capacity to prioritise consumer needs and successfully marry innovation with tradition in a competitive market. The Pentonic example vividly showcases our ability to defy expectations, challenge industry standards, and set new trends through unwavering conviction and a commitment to excellence.”

Focussing on business strategy

Sharing his business strategies that he put into use through the years, Jalan says, “In the ever-changing world of pen manufacturing, being adaptable is the key. I aim to lead with a forward-looking mindset, always ready to spot market trends and welcome change.”

He further says, “To boost our export business, we focussed on a strategy that emphasises the importance of high-quality products. Top-notch products will naturally attract the right customers, and our commitment to excellence has helped us maintain an impressive 20 per cent export turnover. By targeting markets with strong growth potential, we have seen significant increases in our export earnings. Our diverse product line-up—especially the Glycer, Offix, and Pentonic series—has enjoyed widespread success in various international markets.”

Linc has strategically broadened its international reach. It is now present in more than 40 countries, and Linc and Pentonic are registered in more than 50 countries. They are one of the top-selling brands in countries like Myanmar, Yemen, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, which clearly highlights the success of their strategies for entering new markets. Despite challenges like trade barriers, the Covid-19 pandemic and Ukraine war, the brand’s persistence has fuelled a positive trend in its export growth.

Generations of geniuses

The operational affairs at Linc and Pentonic are now extensively being handled by Deepak Jalan’s son Rohit. Speaking about his remarkable journey, Jalan says, “From being a second-generation business owner to guiding my son, Rohit, and my nephews, Aakash and Utkarsh, alongside my younger brother, Aloke, it has been a truly rewarding and transformative journey. It is a story that crosses generations, highlighting the importance of never giving up, always pushing forward, and having a clear vision for the future.”

Jalan further elaborates, “Taking on the mentorship role for my son and nephews feels like a natural step in continuing the legacy that my father started. This adventure is all about sticking to our goals, facing challenges headon, and always striving for the best. Together, we are keeping alive the entrepreneurial spirit, which is at the heart of our family’s success story.

Our joint efforts make sure that our drive for hard work, vision, and achievement not only continues but also shines brighter, lighting the way for what we do next.”

Ethos, hobbies and more

Having joined the family business alongside his father, Jalan was driven by the grand vision of building a prosperous empire. Starting as a frontline salesperson, he gathered invaluable industry insights, learning the significance of persistence and a resilient ‘never say no’ attitude. As a proud member of the Marwari community, he deeply values its unique traits—exceptional networking, keen business sense, a commitment to ethical practices, readiness for calculated risks, and humility—all of which have been pivotal to his and the brand’s success.

He says, “The Marwari ethos has taught me to cherish strong interpersonal relationships, think strategically, and conduct business ethically. It is the community’s spirit of entrepreneurship and prudent risk-taking that guides my approach to both challenges and opportunities, while humility remains a core value, nurturing positive and lasting relationships. My path in the family business is an ongoing journey of learning, greatly enriched by Marwari principles, steering us towards continued prosperity.”

In 2023, Jalan put pen to paper to bring out his book Pentonic—The Game Changer and he talks at length about his inspiration behind it. “Pentonic has gone out of the box and made a mark as a brand, and received constant appreciation and interest from various business, competitors, colleagues, external audience, media, etc. We decided to pen its story not only to share its journey but also as a statement of gratitude because it has taken the collective hearts and brains of so many of us to make this happen.”

Outside work, Jalan engages in activities that promote personal well-being and offer relaxation, such as reading, with a particular fondness for autobiographies. He loves to travel and has explored India and more than 50 countries globally, albeit mostly for business purposes. According to him, this deliberate dedication to personal enjoyment and relaxation is the key in managing the pressures of a dynamic business environment, thus helping to maintain a fulfilling work-life balance.

Jalan concludes by saying that, “One must remember that entrepreneurship is as much about personal growth as it is about business success. Stay true to your values, keep learning, and enjoy the journey.”