Some brands are woven into our lives. Raymond, rather literally, is one of them. In the 90s, for many of us, who picked up their first noteworthy jobs or on their way to USA, Raymond/Raymond’s was the go to brand for business suits. I was no different. The whole process of picking up the material and the colour/stripes, visiting the ‘authorized’ tailor in the bylanes for the initial measurements and revisiting for adjustments, and finally, tucking in the neatly pressed suits (enclosed in plastic covers) in a large suitcase… is worth a fond recall, especially, having eliminated that attire totally.
The book “An Incomplete Life” is about a man who is facing another kind of elimination, a forced one at that. Mr.Vijaypat Singhania who was the face of the Raymond brand till recently (He was even featured as ‘The complete man’ a decade or two back, in one of the brand’s signature commercials), is fighting a legal battle to claim his assets as per his agreement with his son, Mr.Gautam Singhania. This very book took its time to hit the market, and when it did, it went off the book shelves for a brief while and returned after court ruled in Sr.Singhania’s favour.
Ironically, the fractured father-son relationship throws a spotlight on the several advertisements of the brand that celebrates a myriad of relationships. Even for me, Raymond as a brand brings back memories of my father, his excitement when he secured the sponsorship of this national brand for his Telugu TV serial on Doordarshan.
“An Incomplete Life” is more about Mr.Vijaypat Singhania’s personal journey and less about his business exploits, but it is worth reading just to get his candid life’s point of view and what shaped his childhood and adult life. He devotes a small chapter on do’s and don’ts, while conducting business summarized from his vast experience. An illustrious man definitely needed a better exit and that could have been easily planned, irrespective of who is at fault.
For any good brand to continue to be a good one or aspire to be great, the people behind it should stay in the background. Hope to see Singhanias do just that, resolve their differences and let the brand take the spotlight.
Court rules in favor or Sr.Singhania