Raymond Owner Story: How Vijaypat Singhania Built The Empire

Raymond owner story

Do you know Raymond is the market leader in the Indian worsted suiting industry? Here, worsted refers to a “high-quality wool.” Raymon’s journey to become one of the world’s largest vertically and horizontally integrated suiting fabrics was quite legendary. This wouldn’t have been possible without Vijaypat Singhania’s leadership.

Not only he focussed on innovation, but also implied multiple strategies to win the hearts of Indians.

Raymond owner story

So without any delay, let’s explore Raymond’s owner story to uncover how Vijaypat Singhania built the empire!

(A) Who is Vijaypat Singhania?

Vijaypat Singhania is the legend behind the success of Raymond! He was the Chairman & Managing Director of Raymond Group. Born in 1938, he was not just any businessman and aviator. But also a remarkable figure in both industries, leaving a lasting impact. 

Let’s explore his journey-

  • Textile Titan: Leading the Raymond Group from 1980 to 2000, Singhania transformed it from a small textile mill into a major player in the textile and apparel world. His strategies expanded the company, brought in new technology, and built a strong brand, leaving an unforgettable mark on the industry.
  • Aviation Adventurer: Singhania’s love for flying led him to break records. He holds the world record for the highest altitude reached in a hot air balloon. At 67, he soared higher than anyone else, inspiring aviation enthusiasts worldwide. In 1988, he set another record by flying a microlight from London to Delhi in just 23 days.
  • Literary Pursuits: Beyond business and flying, Singhania was also an author. His memoir tells the gripping story of his microlight flight, while his autobiography offers insights into his diverse life experiences.
  • Honors and Recognition: The Indian government honored Singhania with prestigious awards like the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award in 2001 and the Padma Bhushan in 2006 for his outstanding achievements and societal impact. Additionally, he received the title of Honorary Air Commodore from the Indian Air Force in 1994.
  • Family Struggles: In 2015, Singhania grabbed headlines by transferring his entire stake in the Raymond Group to his younger son, Gautam Singhania, sparking a prolonged family feud over ownership and control.

Initially pushed into business by his father, Singhania found his passion later on. Despite not enjoying commerce as a student, he grew to appreciate it while teaching management classes. He took over the reins of Raymond after his cousin’s passing, continuing the family legacy.

(B) The Raymond Saga


When talking about Vijaypat Singhania’s success story, how can we miss out on the history of Raymond? After all, his journey is closely associated with the empire of Raymond!

(B.1) The Origins of Raymond Limited: How did Remond start?

Back in 1925, Raymond Limited started its journey as the Raymond Woolen Mill near Thane Creek. Albert Raymond established Raymond to craft wood and wool-blend fabrics with an impressive capacity of 31 meters. It was a modest beginning, but fate had bigger plans in store. 

Vijaypat Singhania’s father, Lala Kailashpat Singhania, took over Raymond when the Singhania family bought it from E.D. Sassoon & Co. in 1944. It was just a textile mill back then.

After L.K. Singhania’s passing in 1969, his cousin Gopal Krishna (G.K.) Singhania stepped in to lead Raymond. But destiny had more changes in the cards. Vijaypat Singhania took over the chairman’s seat in January 1980 after G.K. Singhania’s demise.

(B.2) A Reluctant Leader

Interestingly, Singhania wasn’t initially keen on the top job at Raymond. He was content running J.K. Chemicals, another company within the J.K. Organisation. However, when senior executives insisted they’d only work under L.K. Singhania’s eldest son, Singhania couldn’t refuse the call.

Under Singhania’s leadership, Raymond blossomed into a household name in Indian fashion. It evolved from a woolen textile manufacturer to a diversified industrial giant, producing everything from synthetic fabrics to denim, steel, files, and cement. However, challenges arose in the late 1990s due to a recession hitting the steel and cement sectors, affecting Raymond’s profits. 

(B.3) Legacy of Class and Innovation

Since then, Raymond has become synonymous with class, elegance, and innovation, especially in men’s fashion. In 2000, Gautam Singhania took over as Chairman and Managing Director, leading Raymond to become the first textile company globally to produce Super 250s and innovative fabrics in 2015. He steered Raymond through a strategic restructuring. This included selling off some divisions while retaining others. Vijaypat Singhania remained as Chairman-meritus in a non-executive role.

(C) How Vijaypat Singhania built his Raymond empire?

Raymond Suits

Just imagine starting with just a small textile mill and turning it into a powerhouse in the fashion world! That’s precisely what Vijaypat Singhania did with the Raymond Group. Let’s look at his brilliant strategies in Raymond one by one-

(C.1) Diversification & Innovation in Raymond

Under Vijaypat’s leadership, Raymond diversified its product range, becoming a prominent player in the textile industry. The brand gained recognition for its high-quality fabrics and clothing.

Over the years, Raymond diversified its portfolio beyond textiles and apparel. It ventured into several other sectors, including FMCG, Real Estate, Engineering, and Prophylactics. Raymond’s customer base spans over a billion, and it has built a reputation for delivering high-quality products over the past nine decades.

The company owns a range of clothing brands, such as-

  • Raymond
  • Raymond Premium Apparel
  • Raymond Made to Measure
  • Ethnix
  • Park Avenue
  • Park Avenue Woman
  • ColorPlus
  • Kamasutra
  • Parx.

These brands are sold through “The Raymond Shop” (TRS), which boasts a network of more than 700 retail outlets across India and abroad, spanning over 200 cities. Raymond has also expanded its reach to tier IV and V cities.

Note: Do you know Godrej acquired Park Avenue & Kamasutra deodorants? It was a whopping deal worth Rs.2,825 crore! To get detailed information, visit our article on Why is Godrej acquiring Park Avenue & Kamasutra Deodrants?

(C.2) Luxurious Fabrics and Engineering Industry

Raymond offers a diverse range of luxurious fabrics, including woolen textiles, cotton, wool blends, linen, and denim, for shirting and suiting purposes. In 1949, Raymond Ltd. made its entry into the engineering industry, further diversifying its portfolio.

Through its subsidiary JK Files and Engineering Ltd., Raymond holds the top position in the industry with a market share of over 25% of the global steel file production capacity.  JK Files and Engineering Ltd. is recognized as an industry leader and operates in more than 55 countries.

(C.3) The Complete Man Campaign: Positioning Raymond as a lifestyle brand

Raymond the complete man campaign

In 2015, Raymond stole the spotlight with its captivating campaign, “The Complete Man.” It struck a chord with millions of Indians, showcasing the essence of a complete man who valued authenticity over the digital noise of modern life. Crafted by Famous Innovations, the ad depicted a loving father attending his son’s school performance, emphasizing the importance of being present in real moments.

Unlike their earlier ads, which challenged stereotypes by showing men sharing childcare responsibilities, this campaign focused on the core values of the “Complete Man” concept. It emphasized that real actions define completeness, echoing a powerful message for viewers.

These innovative films aimed to resonate with younger audiences while staying loyal to Raymond’s timeless brand identity as the epitome of the “Complete Man.” They didn’t just sell clothes; they sold a lifestyle that celebrated authenticity and genuine connections.

(C.4) Beyond Business Initiatives

Raymond believes in contributing to society and promoting inclusive growth for the underprivileged. As part of its “Beyond Business” approach, the company has undertaken various initiatives. These initiatives aim to create a positive impact and improve the quality of life for communities.

(C.5) Global Expansion

Raymon claims to be the largest integrated textile company in the world and exports its suits to over 60 countries all over the world. It includes countries such as-

  • USA
  • Canada
  • Europe
  • Japan
  • Middle East

Thus, Vijaypat Singhania’s leadership took Raymond to new heights, weaving together innovation, technology, and style to create a fabric empire that’s still celebrated today.

(D) Challenges & Family Feud: Fall From Grace

Raymond owner family fued

Vijaypat Singhania’s world turned upside down after he handed over his 37% stake in 2015. Trouble brewed from an agreement made back in 2007, where he was supposed to receive an apartment in the swanky JK House in Mumbai’s posh Malabar Hill area. 

However, the agreed price was way below what the flat was actually worth. This sparked tension, especially when his son Gautam advised against selling the valuable asset.

In the following sub-sections, you will get to know how Vijaypat Singhania fell from grace. 

  • Escalating Feud: As tensions rose, things got uglier. Vijaypat lost his “chairman emeritus” title, accused of using harsh language in his letters to the company. He even claims he was forcibly removed from his office, and precious possessions, including his Padma Bhushan award, vanished.
  • Legal Battles and Regrets: Cut off from his son for two years, Vijaypat plans to challenge a recent court ruling allowing parents to reclaim gifted property if their basic needs aren’t met. Handing over Raymond to Gautam now seems like a grave mistake to him, a decision he regrets deeply.
  • Warning: Reflecting on his ordeal, Vijaypat warns other parents against giving away all their savings during their lifetime. His aviation records and past achievements now pale in comparison to the family turmoil he faces.
  • A Son’s Defense: On the other side, Gautam defends his actions, stating he was merely fulfilling his duties. To him, it was about safeguarding the company’s assets from potential misuse.
  • Raymond’s Resilience: Despite the family drama, Raymond Group continues to thrive. Profits soared, factories expanded, and exports reached new heights, showing that even amidst chaos, business can flourish. For Gautam, taking control marked a turning point. With ownership in hand, he claims to have steered Raymond towards growth and innovation, proving that sometimes, change is necessary for progress.
  • Learning from Family Feuds: Experts agree that India’s corporate landscape needs better strategies for handling family disputes. Succession planning and implementing global best practices are essential to avoid similar conflicts in the future.

(E) Key Takeaways from Raymond Owner Story

Takeaways from Raymond Owner Story

Here is what we can learn from Vijaypat Singhania’s story-

  • Vision & Adaptability: Singhania’s ability to envision Raymond as more than just a textile mill teaches us the importance of having a clear vision for our targets. Being adaptable and open to diversification allows us to explore new opportunities and stay ahead in a changing world.
  • Focus on Quality: Singhania’s emphasis on innovation and quality reminds us that excellence is key to building a successful brand. Whether it’s in products or services, prioritizing quality over quantity can earn trust and loyalty from customers.
  • Authenticity and Branding: The “Complete Man” campaign’s success highlights the power of authenticity and effective branding. Being true to your brand’s values and creating campaigns that resonate with your audience can strengthen your brand identity and connect with customers on a deeper level.
  • Global Perspective: Raymond’s global expansion teaches us the importance of thinking beyond borders. In today’s interconnected world, having a global perspective can open up new markets and opportunities for growth.
  • Social Responsibility: Lastly, Raymond’s commitment to community impact through its “Beyond Business” initiatives demonstrates the importance of giving back to society. Incorporating social responsibility into business practices can not only make a positive impact on communities but also enhance brand reputation and customer loyalty.

Vijaypat Singhania’s journey remains a testament to the complexities of wealth, vision, power, and family bonds. You can use the learnings from Raymond owner story to build a successful and impactful business empire.

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Published By: Supti Nandi
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2 months ago

Being rich is not so easy! The property transfer cause too much headache in families 😕 few years ago Ambani brothers also fought with each other when Dhirubhai Ambani left without a will. Please bring an article about business & wealth transfers

2 months ago

Never heard about Raymond cement or Raymond steel. Do you think they would be able to compete with notable players like Ambuja Cement? Why Raymond is going into Steel and cement industry?