Bringing the Rainbow
- Category Biographies & Memoirs
- Format Hardback
- Imprint Rupa
- Price 595
- ISBN: 978-81-291-4211-5
- Pages: 232 pages
- Date: October 2016
ABOUT THIS BOOK
In Bringing the Rainbow, leading industrialist R.K Somany tells the story of how he pioneered a whole new industry (and its practices) and built the country’s best known sanitaryware brand, Hindware.
The years immediately preceding and following Independence saw many leading Marwari mercantile families in Kolkata—including the Somany family—spread their wings into industry. In the 1960s, when the Somany family decided to build India’s first vitreous ceramic sanitaryware plant in Punjab, R.K. Somany, then in his early to mid-twenties, was put in charge of building the factory and running the company. This is an engaging and impactful account of R.K. Somany’s HSIL going from rank novice to market leader.
Even though Hindware is a household name today, Somany had to overcome numerous obstacles: the anti-enterprise attitude in India’s socialist era; the harassment he had to endure during the Emergency; his principled stand against his products being sold in the black market; facing fierce opposition for printing the maximum retail price on all his products; and his decision to terminate the services of dealers who sold Hindware products above MRP. The dogged fighter in R.K. Somany also came to the fore when he fought and won both major battles and minor skirmishes against I.K Gujaral, former Prime Minister of India; Bansi Lal, former Chief Minister of Haryana; and two of his own brothers.
In many ways, Somany’s phenomenal rise is a proxy for India’s post-Independence industrialisation drive. Bringing the Rainbow, which is filled with many professional and personal anecdotes, will thus be of interest to both the student of Indian business history as well as those who love a good story well told.