Expo 2020 Dubai: Meet two women whose green oasis at the India Pavilion is making waves


Neha Gandhi (left) and Shubhi Biju quit their plush jobs to start a sustainable landscaping business. Their work on the ground floor of the India Pavilion is their most prestigious project.
Image Credit: Virendra Saklani / Gulf News

Dubai: Did you see the green oasis inside the India pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai in person or on social media when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted her photos?

The ground floor of the pavilion, which tells the story of India’s new age spatial heritage on one side, depicts the history of the country’s centuries-old yoga and Ayurveda heritage on the other side.

Today, two Indian women expatriates in the United Arab Emirates are celebrating their success by creating the perfect setting for the section showcasing traditional practices of yoga, meditation and Ayurveda.

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The Indian expat duo arranged lush green medicinal plants and Indian herbs, inside and outside a geodesic dome, dotted with white statues showing different poses of yoga and meditation.
Image Credit: Virendra Saklani / Gulf News

They arranged the lush green medicinal plants and herbs of India, inside and outside a geodesic dome, dotted with white statues showing different poses of yoga and meditation. Medicinal plants, many of which are kept in hanging terrariums, have barcodes and digital screens that reveal the details of each.

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More meditation poses on display.
Image Credit: Virendra Saklani / Gulf News

Neha Gandhi and Shubhi Biju, founders of Dekur Dubai, who carried out the Ayush project for the India pavilion, are no ordinary landscapers. They have an inspiring history of entrepreneurship mixed with their passion.

Both left their high-paying corporate jobs to start a business offering sustainable, nature-friendly decorative solutions for homes and businesses.

Hailing from Delhi and Madhya Pradesh, they became friends in Dubai after their sons became inseparable kindergarten mates, they told Gulf News.

“We have followed suit. Over many play dates and walks in our local park, we have found that we have a common passion for design, decoration and all things green, ”said Shubhi.

Why they quit their corporate jobs

Neha worked for one of the largest electronics companies and ran its corporate communications while Shubhi was in a technology major as a successful sales territory manager.

Although it was a good run, Neha said they looked at where they wanted to be in 10 years and decided to pursue their passion and start their own successful business.

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Medicinal plants, many of which are kept in hanging terrariums, have barcodes and digital screens that reveal the details of each.
Image Credit: Virendra Saklani / Gulf News

As people lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, they said they thought it was the perfect time to start because “what we were offering actually coincided with what everyone was realizing that they had. needed as part of decorating their home while staying at home during the pandemic. “

“It was during confinement that everyone missed being outside. It was when we defined the vision of Dekur, which means scenery in Arabic, ”explained Neha.

“Our uniqueness is that we make homes beautiful by bringing nature inside and making it an integral part of the decor. Whether people live in a villa or an apartment, we offer a solution for decorating needs inspired by nature.

Shubhi said they were greatly encouraged when a few of their close friends trusted them with the first projects. “Since then, there has been no turning back. “

In just a year, they said, they have gained experience in executing large and small projects in almost every housing community in Dubai.

“In terms of scale and visibility, our section at the India Pavilion has been our greatest achievement. It is also close to our hearts because, as Indians, we are very proud to present India on such a global platform, ”said Neha.

Excited about the Expo opportunity

The expat women said they were thrilled when given the concept of representing yoga and Ayurveda.

“These are incredible gifts from India to the world. We are glad that we were able to capture the essence of the theme in its true form in an aesthetically appealing way, ”said Shubhi.

They said they were integrated into the project in April and began the planning and procurement process shortly thereafter.

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Neha and Subi worked with local artisans to create the aquatic elements and the natural look of the exhibits.
Image Credit: Virendra Saklani / Gulf News

“We looked for people with the right skills to work in the field. We worked with local artisans to create the aquatic elements and the natural look of the exhibits. The actual execution started in August and we were able to deliver on time for the grand opening. Most of the materials came from India. At all times, we had a dedicated team of 15-20 people to assemble the parts, sometimes working overtime to meet tight deadlines.

Neha said that extra care is given to real herbal remedies. “It’s a challenge to keep them fresh.”

The women said they were on cloud nine after seeing their project showcased on a global platform.

“This is a very proud moment for us as Indians. The greatest recognition and appreciation we felt was when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi featured in our work in his tweet on the pavilion. We are delighted to see the positive response from those who have visited the India pavilion. “

The women said they were grateful to this wonderful city they call home for giving them the opportunity to pursue their dreams.

About Shirley A. Tamayo

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