On the untimely demise of the then Chairman of Raymond, Mr. G.K. Singhania on January 3, 1980, Dr. V.P. Singhania took over as CMD of Raymond and its affiliate companies. During his tenure, the Company diversified into manufacture of men’s suits, readymade garments, cement, steel, polyester filament yarn, denims, cosmetics and prophylactics. He expanded the files plant in Indonesia and the woollen plant in Kenya and turned them into respected and profitable ventures in their respective countries.
After 15 years of business experience, he pursued the Advanced Management Programme (AMP) at the Harvard Business School, Boston in 1974.
Under his able management, which spread over two decades, Raymond witnessed an increase in sales by 30 times, while PAT grew by 137 times and Net Worth increased by 61 times.
On retiring from active management in September 2000, he handed over the reins of the Raymond management to his son Mr. Gautam Hari Singhania, who took over as the CMD in 2000. As a token of Dr. Vijaypat Singhania’s meritorious services to the Company, the Board of Directors appointed him Chairman Emeritus & Advisor of the Company effective September 6, 2000.
Dr. Singhania has been recognized at several prestigious forums for his contribution to the Indian industry. The Ministry of HRD appointed him a member of the prestigious Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad from 1994-99, and in 2007, as Chairman of the IIM-A Board for the period 2007 to 2012.
Some of the other accolades to Dr. Singhania’s credit include his appointment as the Sherriff of Mumbai in 2005-06, and him being a member the FICCI trade delegation to Russia & Australia, and the delegation of the Government of India to France.
He was conferred a Hony. Ph.D. by The London Institute of Technology and Research in October 2003.
Dr. Singhania has a great passion for flying having trained as a Pilot in October 1959. He got his first entry into the Guinness Book of World Records for his solo flight in the fastest time between UK and India in 1988, in recognition of which the then President of India Hon’ble R. Venkatraman bestowed on him the rank of an (Hon) Air Commodore of the Indian Air Force.
He won the first ‘Round the World Air Race’ in 1994 and earned with it the most coveted trophy in aviation – an FAI Gold medal (Federation Aeronautique Internationale, Paris), so far the only one ever won by an Indian.
Dr. Singhania also accomplished a New High Altitude Indian Record in a Hot Air Balloon by climbing to 29,044 ft. above sea level on June 13, 2005. On November 26, 2005, he established a New High Altitude World Record by climbing in a Hot Air Balloon to an altitude of 69,852 ft. above sea level. Dr.. Singhania broke the previously held record since 1988 by world renowned balloonist Per Lindstrand. The Apex body for aviation sports, the FAI, formally recognised the new record. This feat earned Dr. Singhania yet another entry into the Guinness Book of World Records and a Gold Medal form the Royal Aero Club of U.K., yet another first for an Indian.
The Limca Book of Records has bestowed on him the recognition of being “People of the Year Award 2006”.
On January 26, 2006, Dr. Singhania was conferred the prestigious Padma Bhushan Award by the then President of India Hon’ble Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee conferred on him the “Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award” for 2001 and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Smarak Samiti, Mumbai presented him the “Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Smarak Award” for his achievements in the field of Aviation.
The 7th Air Squadron of the IAF comprising the Mirage 2000 aircraft based at Gwalior, honoured him by naming him as the first and only civilian member of the Squadron of "The Battle Axes".
Dr. Singhania has recently taken up Deep Sea "Scuba Diving". PADI has certified him as qualified to meet EN 14153-2: Autonomous Diver standards on February 16, 2010.
He is a keen photographer, ballroom dancer and snooker player, having won national awards in all of them. He still cherishes his days teaching final year MMS students at the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies.
VPS, as he is fondly called, now leads a retired life generally overseeing Raymond’s operations and guiding its policies, philosophies and values.
Mr. Gautam Hari Singhania took over the reins of the Company as Chairman and Managing Director in September 2000. Since then, he has steered the destiny of Raymond Limited with a single-minded focus of making it the best brand in India.
He has been responsible for the strategic decision of the restructuring of the Group, initiating the divestment of the Synthetics, Steel and Cement Divisions. Post divestment, the Group has consolidated its position with a better bottom line and more focused and market-oriented approach.
Mr. Gautam Singhania joined the J. K. Group of Companies (Western Zone) in the year 1986. He was appointed the Wholetime Director on the Board of Raymond Ltd. in 1990 and was elevated to the position of Managing Director in mid-1999, in charge of all companies and subsidiaries of the Raymond Group in India and abroad.
With a drive for creating new Brands, Mr. Singhania has taken active interest in the launch of new services and products. He was instrumental in the successful launch of the brand ‘KamaSutra’ in 1991. In 1996, he launched a new division called ‘Million Air’, providing quality air-taxi charter services. It was under his leadership that the fashion casual wear brand ‘Parx’ and premium men’s wear brand ‘Manzoni’ were launched in the year 1999 and 2000 respectively.
In 2001, Mr. Gautam Hari Singhania introduced the concept of corporatisation of designer wear in India. He was also instrumental in Raymond’s acquisition of ColorPlus, a leading menswear brand.
Under his leadership, the Raymond Group has become an internationally reputed premium fibre to fashion player with immense strength in worsted suitings, high value cotton shirting, denim, garmenting, owning market leading brands with a deep distribution network across the country and a premium international client base. His personal vision for the group is to take the Raymond Brand from being amongst the most respected Indian brands to be amongst the best in the global market.
Mr. Gautam Hari Singhania has rich and diverse experience of over 25 years in the field of Industry, FMCG, international and domestic business and corporate management.
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