Title: Bringing The Rainbow – The Hindware Story-
Author: R.K. Somany
Publisher: Maven Rupa
How long it took me to read: 3 days
About: 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.
My Thoughts: If anyone’s ever interested in simply knowing about the lives of people, this book has it all. The ups, downs, struggles, business journey, family, work, passion… and it all comes down to the very title of the book – Bringing the Rainbow.
I love how a small life experience turns into the biggest inspiration ever and this man follows his heart to Bring Rainbow in whatever he does.
I personally remember watching clouds and rain on the drive from Binsar to Nainital and my life changing from that point onwards. Reading about Mr. Somany’s journey inspires me to work harder towards my dreams and introduces me yet again with the simple facts that there will always be hard times and all you got to do is believe in your dreams.
My Favourite parts in the book:
The Rainbow became my guiding mantra. In whatever I do, as a businessperson, a father, a husband, a friend and a family man, I ask myself : ‘Am I bringing the rainbow to this? The passion, the excitement, the color?’
And what about a work-life balance? We have a once-in-an-epoch opportunity to build the India of our dreams. Each of us has to play a small part in it.
All relationships are like finely tuned instruments, which need regular care and efforts to nurture. Everyone is busy with his or her own life. It is very easy to become disconnected from people close to you. Small gestures keep relationships fresh and help renew ties.