MLB Alumni Update: Ieva and Abhiuday Chandra '13
You are both graduates of the Master of Law and Business Class of 2013. Why did you decide to pursue a program that combines international business law and international management?
Abhiuday: While at law school I'd already reckoned my inclination towards business. This got me eager to explore business studies, and while not divorcing from law completely, I just felt the MLB to be relevant for me.
Ieva: I just wanted to transcend the limitations of my domestic legal opportunities by broadening them at an international level and not limiting myself to law only. The MLB just seemed the most desirable option.
What were your expectations when you arrived on campus? Has the program met your expectations?
Abhiuday: The range of courses offered was certainly broader than I'd expected. And while I had wished to dig deeper into some subjects, I gained knowledge in a much wider range of subjects this way. I feel that the course provides incredible international exposure.
Ieva: The program being offered in Germany by a German school led me to expect a very rigid teaching methodology. To my surprise the courses had lots of classroom discussions, case studies and group work. The courses offered more practical insights than I'd expected.
Although you are both lawyers, in recent years your interests seem to have shifted to the business side. How did that come about and how did you decide to cooperate on your business ventures?
Abhiuday: My first job after the course gave me the opportunity to orient myself in the field of business. Fortunately, it exposed me to many managerial and entrepreneurial tasks, giving me the confidence to found my own company. In pursuit of this, I met Ieva in Riga to help me set up a company there. Being great friends from the course, Ieva and I exchanged several ideas while in Riga and decided to work together on a fashion venture called Dinari Couture. She was instrumental in product development and designs while I looked at operations and controlling.
Some of your ventures have focused on fashion. Tell us more about your new company and about what makes it special?
Abhiuday & Ieva: Our fashion label, Dinari Couture, is an eclectic fusion of coveted European fashion and royal embroidery techniques from India. The label is purely a fusion of the two cultures that we belong to. Our first few collections are trying to revive the lost royal charms of corsets by romanticizing them with modern, innovative and progressive approach. We have both an offline presence in boutiques and an online presence on www.dinaricouture.com
We have companies and design studios in Europe and India, and the production unit is set-up in India. Along with Dinari Couture we’ve also started a charitable foundation of the same name. The Dinari Couture Foundation funds education and mid-day meals for blind children and job training for marginalized members of society. The foundation is funded by the proceeds of Dinari Couture. We envision growth of this foundation alongside growth of the Dinari Couture label.
How has the knowledge that you have acquired during the MLB program helped you founding your companies?
Abhiuday: I think founding companies is easy. What is difficult is to have a real mission and vision for it. The MLB Program inspired us to do business in a way that uplifts people.
Has your exposure to German culture influenced how you do business?
Ieva: We can only say we’re trying to instill a work culture in our company that brings in German efficiency and professionalism. For motivating and inspiring our colleagues and workers we often cite examples of people we’ve worked with in Germany.
What are your favorite memories of your time in Hamburg?
Abhuiday & Ieva: Playing Frisbee with course mates on the lawns of Bucerius campus. Live-in weeks in Vallendar.
The program in three words?
(Interviewer’s note: The Korova Bar is a popular bar in the small town of Vallendar where the Class of 2013 spent a week each in the fall and summer terms)
Dinari Couture's collection can be found here: www.dinaricouture.com