Sunday, 7 July 2013


Ramjibhai left this world after completing his life’s work of expanding the horizons of Kamani Industry’s development, seeing that it was firmly established and had pride of place on the industrial map of the country. Of course for a long time the hearts of everybody in the Kamani Group, from those who could be considered the main pillars of the industry to the junior most workers, were filled with mourning, but the growth of the industry did not stop for a moment. The industry expanded more and more under its own steam. Due to changes in conditions, there were of course ups and downs in the industry’s growth. Due to variations in the views and altered circumstances of those at the helm of the industry, there may have been a few differences in the ways of working. But the standards and sentiments that Ramjibhai had established, remained as strong as ever, due to which Kamani Industry’s reputation was maintained intact.
Immediately after Ramjibhai’s death, it was necessary to have someone to run the company, so as per the company’s laws Punamchand was appointed as the head of the Kamani Group of Industries. The appointment of the Managing Director and Chairman was made by the managing agency, i.e. Kamani Brothers Pvt. Ltd., and it was this company which appointed Shri Punamchand as Chairman. Now Shri Punamchand was both the Managing Director and Chairman of the company. Due to Ramjibhai’s death, the leaders of Kamani Industries were shaken up, but now with Punamchand at the helm of affairs, things settled down. He took charge of the institution on 10th July, 1965. For a few years Shri Punamchand shouldered the responsibility of Kamani Group as both the Chairman and Managing Director. From the 11th October, 1961 Poonamchand’s brother, Rasiklal took on the responsibility of temporary Managing Director and later from 23rd October, 1967 he started to function as joint Managing Director and was appointed Managing Director on 4th July, 1968. Until then, i.e. 3rd July, 1968, Punamchand was in charge. He held both the above positions – Chairman and Managing Director – till that time and fulfilled his duties admirably. Due to holding a very responsible position and having a very heavy workload and perhaps also due to his emotional nature, he suffered his first heart attack on 20th January, 1966.
This was not the first case of anybody suffering from a heart attack in the family. Previously, in 1946, Ramjibhai was also a victim of such an attack. Still, when Punamchand suffered from a heart attack, the entire Kamani Group was worried. It seemed as if all the activities in the Group were being carried out in an atmosphere of anxiety, but despite this the production of the company was not affected. For two weeks Punamchand remained absent as he had to take rest. After this, when all the departments started receiving instructions and orders in his known handwriting, the atmosphere lightened and everybody breathed easily. There was however, one difference, that although Shri Punamchand retained the position of Chairman he entrusted the post of Managing Director to Rasiklal, thereby reducing his responsibilities. Of course he did not totally give up overseeing the day-to-day matters of the Group. If not directly, then indirectly, Punamchand had to be involved in them; because permission regarding any decisions of routine work had to initially be taken from him. Until the time the authority of the managing agency terminated on the 31st March, 1970, all the important daily matters were carried out on his advice and according to his instructions. As soon as he saw that his brothers were now fully capable of taking independent decisions and was confident of the same, he systematically and gradually reduced his control. His orders and instructions now gave way to advice and suggestions, which of course were given due respect.

The anxiety that had gripped the management when Ramjibhai passed away was now proved unwarranted. Of course, how much the Group relied on his brilliance and his status was proved in the five years after his death. After he passed away, there is no doubt that Kamani Industries progressed, but there was definitely a difference in the rate, manner and intensity of progress with time. Until then the Group always believed in supplying high quality goods, earning well and keeping expenses as low as possible. These were the ideals of an older generation. Some modifications were made depending on the circumstances and due to Ramjibhai’s foresight, and work was carried out in accordance with the standards of the industry. The work was the collective responsibility of everyone. Now as circumstances changed, things started to be done differently from the traditional ways that Ramjibhai had established. The industry had to look for new opportunities, production and sales targets had to be fixed beforehand and adhered to strictly; if necessary the motive for profit had to be put on the back burner, but the work had to be completed successfully so that the reputation and fame of the Group increased. It seemed that due to financial problems the equilibrium based on three pillars was in danger of being disturbed. This situation arose due to differences of opinions. Of course, the progress of the Group did not come to a halt – but it definitely took a turn. We will now see how, and how much, the Kamani Group progressed during the years from 1965 to 1970.                                                   

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