The Marwaris, as a community, remain unsurpassed in their efforts to preserve the principles and tenets that form a strong part of their identity.
Their business skills are legendary, their family ties are strong and as a people, they are ambitious but respectful, be it of their elders, values or heritage, as this issue illustrates while traversing the past, present and future.
The cover story is on Devendra Kumar Jain of INOX and his family. Under the guidance of the patriarch, the second and third generations of the Jains have upheld their business values and the single-minded pursuit to be the very best, amassing a $2 billion empire in industrial gases, renewable energy, entertainment and more.
The turban signifies hierarchy, authority, religion, caste and stature among Marwaris, indeed amongst all Indians. The Marwari turban has all but been sacrificed at the altar of urbanisation. So in this issue, we focus on this headgear which has lost much significance.
The community has evolved in other matters too, most importantly regarding lifestyle choices such as cross-cultural marriages and diet, as explored in Perspectives. We also learn about the evolution of global Marwari businessmen who had migrated to far-flung parts of Asia as early as the seventeenth century. Our review of Bakhtiar K Dadabhoy’s
Barons of Banking traces the clan’s role in developing a system of indigenous banking long before the advent of modern banking institutions in India.
We have also published many stories of undiluted excellence this time. Anup and Smriti Bohra who own the centuries-old Jewels Emporium, one of the country’s finest jewellery houses, shine in their passion to excel. Then there’s Shantanu Kejriwal of Jungpana Tea Estate, for whom growing tea is an art. Richa Agarwal promotes art with the same fervour to ensure that it is not only the preserve of the rich and elite.
While the Jains of Inox have achieved more with every passing generation, we’ve seen third and fourth generations falter increasingly of late. Hence, Vandana Shroff’s treatise on succession planning, fortified by her experience as partner in the country’s largest law firm, has great relevance for Marwari, nay all, business families today. Happy reading,