Happiness flutters in the air whilst we rest among the breaths of nature. ~Kelly Scheaffer.
Happiness is just what Shri Kantilal M. Mehta created when he landscaped his beautiful bungalow garden. Shri Kantilal was a reputed businessman trading in paper but his love for nature and his joy of gardening brought him much more recognition. He had lovingly created a bungalow garden which was often visited by the then Governor of Maharashtra and other dignitaries especially for the prized collection of Roses, Cacti, Dahlias, etc. He was the founder member of the ‘Friend of the Trees’ and also a winner for ‘bungalow gardens’ over a span of 15 years at various flower shows.
His son, Mr. Kiran Kantilal Mehta drew inspiration and continued the beautiful legacy of his father by founding Lila Nursery. Having completed his matriculation, Mr. Mehta had started helping his father in maintaining their bungalow garden. And after the death of his father in August 1970, he founded the nursery. The purpose was to make more people aware of the beauty and benefits of having plants. The journey was not easy—with just Rs. 101 as seed capital, no trained gardeners or supervisors, no proper tools nor sufficient water supply for so many plants in the nursery.
The initial response was sporadic as people were not interested due to constraints of space and lack of knowledge. Mr. Mehta campaigned door to door and participated in flower shows where he explained the recreational and environmental need for gardens. He even distributed free samples of the holy plant, TULSI.
To start with, he sold plants at no profit no loss. In spite of all odds, business at the Lila Nursery gradually increased and Mr. Mehta was able to break even. Also more people were getting into gardening so the sales were better. The USP of Lila Nursery factors were a huge variety of good quality plants, reasonable rates and their ability to supply plants in large quantities.
Word about the quality of his plants spread abroad and a major break was an order for export of plants to Dubai, Bahrain & Muscat which Mr. Mehta did successfully from 1980 to 1985. The business now started expanding to Florists, Co-operative housing societies, Industrial houses,Builders, Educational houses, Government agencies, Garden department of MCGM, including the Raj Bhavan and hospitality industries.