THE BUSINESS BARON
The world is unraveling, and only some great minds have the power and moral stature to stop a slide that could have catastrophic consequences. It is absolutely alluring to know how Chairman and Managing Director Gautam Singhania has steered Raymond to write a new chapter in the textile apparel industry, some senior colleagues and I sat down with him for nearly half hour in late August only to understand how vibrant a young entrepreneur could be in the fast-growing skyline of metropolitan cities of India, young men hail crisp and fine suits of Raymond in the annual general meetings of the company to the big shamiana weddings of the family. The vision of Mr. Gautam Singhania to touch lives of men in the best manner has voyaged a long way and is going strong to redefine today’s “Complete Man”.
Live each day as if it were your last, says the dynamic Indian entrepreneur who runs a multinational business, races supercars and is known for his work-play attitude. In 1986, when a young Gautam Singhania joined his family’s JK Group of companies and later the Raymond Group, little did he know that he would be scripting history in shaping Raymond into an empire with his innovative strategies.
SCALING NEW HEIGHTS
Mr. Singhania loves life in fast lane, but steering Raymond to substantial heights is what he loves the most. Being the CMD of a billion dollar empire brings in a lot of responsibility of not only expanding the business but also living up to the expectation of many hearts who believe in Raymond- “The Complete Man”.
Apparel & Textile
The young energy brought in by Mr. Singhania has expanded the company to have the top-end Raymond suiting fabric called Super 250s and the daily-wear fabric called the TechnoSmart. The conglomerate has four major brands namely Raymond, Park Avenue, ColorPlus, and Parx. They also have a small division in women apparel called Park Avenue Woman.
The wide range enables the company to offer whole day clothing to their consumers. Starting from office wear to clubbing, to the ever enchanting ethnic side for the traditional family functions, the range of brands promise to deliver the best-in-class clothing.
Leading the market with more than 60 percent market share, this 90 year old conglomerate has recently undergone changes; the empire has widened their scope in the apparel & textile industry and it now includes shirting, bed linen, bath linen and custom tailoring – the last under the taglines ‘Made to Measure’ (MTM) and ‘Made to Fit’ (MTF) is making it more nimble. In order to convert cyclical revenue flow to round-the-year business, these initiatives undertaken by Mr. Singhania have proven to both benefit and expand the legacy.
Not only has he modernized the group by selling Raymond’s non-core businesses such as synthetics, steel and cement to focus on its core, but he was also the brain behind the Parx range of casual wear and introduced the concept of ‘made-to-measure’ fashion advisory. His keen business acumen has ensured focus on strategic retail expansion to tier four and tier five cities and today Raymond Group is well-poised to tap the immense retail market potential and is one of India’s leading textile and apparel conglomerate. It has also emerged as the world’s largest integrated producer of worsted suiting fabric, known for its innovation of the Super 250s, the world’s finest fabric made from 11.4-micron wool, approximately a fifth of the diameter of human hair. “We’re fully integrated and I literally mean from a sheep’s back to the man’s back,” quoted the entrepreneur, who is also an avid adventure enthusiast, fond of owning yachts, fast cars and flying. Yet, when someone asked him how he perceives the epithet for himself, he’s selfeffacing: “Nobody can ever become the ‘complete man’,” he smiles, referring to the advertising slogan of Raymond. “It’s a great and infinite position. One can only aspire for it and there’s a lot to do to achieve that status.”
Gautam Singhania often uses the Pronoun “we” when discussing the achievements of the Raymond group, as he bestows the credit of the splendid success on the entire Raymond family.
The sense of belongingness instilled by Mr. Singhania in the heart of each and every employee serving at Raymond has also inspired great loyalty. There are quite a number of employees both at worker and executive levels who have been with the company for a decade and are still going strong.
To find Mr. Singhania racing away in some of the most prestigious car racing championships across the globe is a familiar sight. Not many billionaires actually devote their life outside work and follow their passion. But ironically there are handfuls of them who not chase their passion only but nail it to the line of glory. The Chairman & Managing Director of the global textile and apparel conglomerate Raymond, Mr. Gautam Singhania relives his passion for car racing quite often. Amidst his daily routine of looking after one of the world’s largest producer of suiting fabric company, Raymond Limited, Mr. Singhania can be seen honing his driving skills.
Mr. Singhania raced for the Coppa Shell category for the entire Ferrari Challenge Europe Championship 2015 and secured 2nd position in the overall standing with 171 points.He got 10 podiums with a maiden win at Mugello in the last round of his first full season.
The finale held at Mugello, Italy, was a culmination of a series of 14 races throughout the year spread across 7 rounds which witnessed the world’s most proficient drivers battling out to achieve the renowned title of ‘Ferrari World Champion 2015’. This racing extravaganza is one of the most anticipated racing events in the world and the final grid last year consisted of 34 cars fighting neck to neck for the podium finish. Mr. Singhania made us proud as he represented India in the Ferrari Challenge. This battle for the podium witnessed participants from Europe, Asia Pacific and North America putting their best foot forward.
Mr. Singhania represented India and was endorsed by the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI). The entire season comprised of 15 races which were spread over six weekends mainly at Monza (ITALY), Imola (ITALY), Mugello (ITALY), Le Castellet (FRANCE), Valencia (SPAIN) and Budapest (HUNGARY).
THE CAPTIVATING POWER COUPLE
What a classic combination of creativity and class, Mr. & Mrs. Singhania’s ever charming love has set relationship goals for many out there. Mr. Singhania is heading one of the biggest textile and Apparel Company whereas Mrs. Nawaz Modi Singhania owns Body Art fitness studio alongside she is a very talented painter with several successful exhibitions to her credit.
When two strong personalities decide to weave this beautiful alliance in the institution of marriage, they are well aware of coordinating their schedules careful, but for Mr. Singhania in spite busy schedule, he gets more time with his wife than most couples these days.
Mr. Singhania once stated, “The breaks you take from work pay you back manifold when you return because you come back with a fresher mind and newer thinking. Some of your best ideas come when you’re on vacation”, the ease with which a world-class entrepreneur is able to balance work, family and passion speak more than words for this enigmatic personality.
In an interview given by Mrs. Singhania, she calls him a friend more than a husband. She said, “I ask his advice on many things. He is very astute on a variety of topics. What I like best is that he is a great friend. He is very generous, not only with materialistic things but in spirit also. That’s a great thing.”
From being a loving husband to a doting father, Mr. Singhania has led all the roles in the life of a complete man in the most alluring way.
HARMONIZING THE HUMAN FACTOR
Mr. Singhania has a goal of making it easier to find a happy moment for half of humanity who lives in poorly marked areas, like many urban slums, or are amongst the majority who has no addresses at all. His contributions both as the CMD of Raymond and individually have been to spread happiness through his kind gestures.
The Raymond group has always strived to contribute to different sections of the society. Beyond business, the objective of Raymond’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives are conceptualized for helping the rural and lesser privileged sections of the society. While all our CSR initiatives are conceptualized to benefit diverse sections of the society, they are built on the core principle of inclusiveness.
There are four key initiatives that entail development at grass root level which entails imparting education and skill development;
- JK Trust Gram Vikas Yojana
- Skilled Tailoring Institute by Raymond (STIR)
- Singhania Schools
- Raymond Rehabilitation Centre