My Ahmedabad Experience

 

It was in 1972 when I joined Arvind came to Ahmedabad; First settled at Maninagar area and gradually adjusted ourselves with the new place and new culture; Those days , there were few societies who allowed Bengali people to rent out a house and therefore it was tough to search for a good accommodation which suits us in all respects. However, I ultimately settled in Maninagar, the textile residential hub of Ahmedabad and gradually started getting acquainted with many of our Textile brethren living in different corners of Ahmedabad; Regularly we were meeting at different places, but there was no formal association; In 1977,the first meeting was organized in my residence where our’ Textile Alumni Association Ahmedabad Chapter was formed.

I never thought to work in Industry, rather I liked the  teaching profession very much from the core of my heart; Therefore, after returning back from Manchester, I started my career as a Lecturer in Serampore Textile College; After that I joined in TIT & S, Bhiwani followed by MS University , Baroda; At the time while I was in Baroda, one advertisement drew my attention which was from Arvind mills seeking for some suitable candidate for their newly opened R&D centre. Reluctantly, I just applied and got selected. That was my first entry into the industry as well as to Ahmedabad.

I can recall, once when myself along with Sanjay Lalbhai, were sitting outside the Louvre Musuem in Paris and just observing the most liked dresses worn by the tourists entering into the museum, we were astonished to see that most of them were having a deep inclination towards Jeans; At that time nobody in India used Jeans and one idea clicked into my mind – why not we start manufacturing Denims in India also which suit appropriately to the younger generation; Gradually that very idea turned into reality and in 1980, we started manufacturing Denims in Arvind with some unique indigenous technology which was totally different from the original one; In 1982, New machineries for special Processing of Denim had been imported and we started full fledged manufacturing of Denim; We were visualizing ourselves as the pioneer in this field; It was one of the most memorable time for me when the first Denim Fabrics was coming out of the machine; I can still remember, with the first 5 Mts. Denim fabric at around 11.00 PM, myself along with Sanjay Lalbhai, immediately rushed to Hong Kong for making up garments at Shimazu under guidance of Mr. Tom Lee; That was the starting point for the successful journey for turning a Dream into reality which is making of First Denim Fabrics in India;

Culture integration with Gujarati culture

As far as Gujrati and Bengali Culture are concerned, definitely there are similarities in many respects and at the same time there are distinct differences also; Chronologically Gujrat has much more  heritage culture as compared to Bengali Culture; In fact they have one of the oldest culture in India which had been gradually spreading towards East and South after several decades; Basically Gujaratis are very simple and benevolent lot from the core of their heart ,at the same time very friendly and helpful; Being business-minded, most of Gujaratis are still like to live in joint families; whereas being service –minded, many Bengalis prefer to shift from  a joint to a nuclear Family; In Gujarat, there is huge similarity in the rural and urban Culture whereas, on the contrary, there is a much wider difference in rural and urban culture in Bengal; Actually, through the formation of our Association and through Cultural activities, we were trying to mingle up Bengali and Gujarati Culture; Basically in every function we started with some Gujrati programmes followed by Bengali programs; Threfore, Both Gujrati and Bengali  audiences were turned up in all the Cultural Functions giving a good platform for mixing up of two cultures;