Pooja Jain Gupta, Managing Director, Luxor Group, recently sat down with NewsX for an exclusive interview. She’s an entrepreneur who strongly believes in India’s capacity for self-reliance, and works towards achieving it.

She shared with us some less known facts about Luxor and about the company’s history. “Luxor was founded by my father, and it’s 63 years old now. It was a pioneer in the writing instrument industry. I worked with my father from the beginning of my career at the company.”

They’ve been massively successful too, according to her. She says Luxor is “the largest exporter in the industry, we’re ahead of all the domestic competition as well. We lead with world leading brands like Pilot, Parker and others. We cut across a massive variety of products, like markers, highlights, children’s products, office stationery, and everything else. We’re a complete stationary solution company.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the writing instrument industry very severely, she feels. “Consumption in this space only happens when you are operating at full capacity. Right now, schools, offices etc all of our main areas, are closed. Our industry has been hit very hard. This pandemic was extremely sudden.”

However, she distinguishes this loss in the Indian market, with apparent gains in the international market, made by the Luxor group. “Our international market is selling to over 95 countries, and we’ve got some advantages, because eof the impact of China, and the changing outlook of international customers, which is very promising and forward looking towards India. The improved currency rates have also helped a lot.”

Pooja wants the government to review the GST rate for the writing instrument industry. “Since our sector doesn’t exactly fall under an essential sector, but it’s still extremely important as no one can do without some kind of writing device, the government should look to help us out by reducing the GST rate. At the same time, they should try to emphasize the export aspect of our industry, since we will be competing with China very soon.”

“I’ve always believed India should be a self-reliant country, and nothing stops it from being”, she says, on the new move for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat. ‘If we can get the right support from the government, in terms of manufacturing and other areas, the world is at our doorstep.

We asked her who inspired her to become an entrepreneur, and to go into the business. ‘My role model was my father. He still continues to be. He gave me the opportunity to work at a very young age, and he didn’t just give me positions because I was his daughter, he made me do the groundwork to understand how things are done, and I am grateful to him for it.”

Finally, she offers some advice for women entrepreneurs, and says, ‘The motto of our lives needs to be to keep trying, and to embrace change. We need to have the attitude of never giving up, and if we do that, everything can be achieved.”