Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], November 21: Often called the fabric of the nation, S.Kumars, one of the most enduring brands in the country since 1948, turns 75 in 2023. A book, Thread by Thread, on the life of Shambhu Kumar or 'the' S Kumar will be released by Kapil Dev, on November 24, 2023 at The Palace Halls, NSCI, Mumbai; the cover of the book was launched at the company's fashion show in Indore on October 27th. Kapil Dev has been a brand ambassador for S.Kumars for their tv and print campaigns in the 80s and 2000s. The book has been written by noted journalist and author Sathya Saran and published by Penguin Random House. The book launch will include readings by Sathya and Sharon Prabhakar who is also the host for the evening.
Shambhu Kumar pioneered the introduction of Polyester Blends in India, which boosted the manufacturing and consumption of affordable, long-lasting fabrics for the middle class and the lower income groups. He lived by the motto "Best Possible Quality at the Lowest Possible Price." With his dynamism, zeal, and vision, he soon established S.Kumars as the Fabric of India.
S.Kumars kickstarted the celebration to mark its 75th anniversary with a fashion show and a dealer meet held on 27th and 28th of October in Indore. Anna Bredemeyer and Salim Fatehi, the supermodels of the 70s and 80s India, were an integral part of the fashion shows for the brand then and were now the showstoppers with current A-lister models who walked the ramp for this year's fashion show.
Fashion Shows and Dealer Meets
Shambhu Kumar launched fashion shows to familiarise dealers with the key link between sales and production of the products on offer. He wanted to popularise synthetics as a more viable substitute for the more expensive cotton fabric and extend their distribution across India, including in small towns and villages.
Dhvani Kaul, businesswoman and the younger granddaughter of Shambhu Kumar said, "Our grandfather painstakingly created an exclusive and close-knit dealer network across the country, and we are very proud of his achievements. We will try our utmost to keep these traditions and values intact. We are looking at building these relations to fuel more and more growth & innovation."
Supermodel Salim Fatehi, on his association with S.Kumars, said, "I have done 100s of shows in various cities for S.Kumars in the early 80s and we used to call them the S.Kumars All India Circuit Shows. They were quite entertaining with models dancing to the choreography with a lot of glitz and glamour. All of us models would travel together from one city to another. We were really one big family and Shambhu Kumar ji made us feel like one. I thank S.Kumars for being a part of my life."
Anna Bredemeyer was already an established model in 1979 when she got a call from the foremost fashion show producer of the time, Shanti Chopra for the S.Kumars Fashion Shows and this is how she made her catwalk debut! Anna recalls, "And just like that... Shanti Chopra made me an offer I couldn't refuse and I commenced my fashion show journey on the S.Kumars ramp in grand style to Beethoven's 5th symphony... We travelled the length and breadth of India going to places I never imagined I'd visit doing innumerable shows. I'm truly glad Shanti insisted I start with this circuit in particular as S.Kumars set the bar very high for all future shows I was to associate myself with. My heartfelt thank you to Shambhu Kumar ji!"
Anna fondly remembers, "We models were always treated with class and dignity, like we were extended family. We never had a worry in the world and were confident of getting our dues. Never were we short changed on our fees nor was there any compromise made on our travel arrangements or hotel accommodations. It was always the best of the best... the way it ought to be... Doing shows for them was always such a pleasure, my eternal gratitude to the S.Kumars family!"
Anna further adds, "So this brings us to today, here and now where my life in the world of fashion has indeed truly come full circle and I consider myself most fortunate to have made my foray onto the fashion show stage with such a stellar group like S.Kumars!"
Entrepreneur and Shambhu Kumar's elder granddaughter Vidhi Kasliwal said, "The fashion shows started as a means to getting the maximum number of wholesalers and semi-wholesalers into the fold, and the strategy turned out to be wildly successful. Sponsoring the S.Kumar ka Filmi Mukkadama on All India Radio, Chitrahaar on Doordarshan, and getting Kapil Dev as the brand ambassador are just some of the examples of our Daddu's marketing acumen. He is a self-taught first generation entrepreneur with no formal training or education. His life and journey has been so exciting and inspirational, it made for a very compelling read. I strongly felt his was a story worth telling." Vidhi further adds, "As a surprise for our grandparents, we unveiled the cover of the book at the fashion show in Indore, and as a special tribute to our grandfather, the book itself will be launched by none other than Kapil Dev in Mumbai. It would not be out of place to mention that my grandfather's humble beginnings and the heights he has achieved along with the principles he has lived by in business and in life are perfectly embodied by Kapil ji and his persona."
About The Book
Thread By Thread is a personal look into the tale of Shambhu Kumar, who, starting from scratch built one of India's most successful textile empires. The book traces his growth from being a trader to an industrialist checking the milestones to reveal the business mantra behind his phenomenal success. A befitting homage to the founder of S.Kumars in its platinum jubilee year, the book is based on interviews with family, friends, colleagues, and team members.
After 75 years of a flourishing business, the founder of S.Kumars, Shambhu Kumar Kasliwal is now handing over the reins to the third generation of the family, his granddaughters - Dhvani and Vidhi.
When asked about his feelings on reaching this historic milestone, an emotional Shambhu Kumar said, "I am indebted to Bhausaheb (L.V.) Apte, who taught me the ropes of the business and the importance of ethics in it; I am thankful to my older brother, late Abhay Kumar ji for being by my side every step of the way, I miss him dearly; I am fortunate to have a wife who is the perfect partner for me, she has been my biggest strength through thick and thin.; I am grateful to have such a loyal and committed team. And I can only thank the Almighty for everything and pray for His continued grace and blessings on my two granddaughters who are all set to take the S.Kumars flag even higher."
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