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Tiruppur Entrepreneur Spins Branding Around Mahatma Gandhi’s 100th Dhoti Anniversary

Technocrat KR Nagarajan, Founder CEO of Tiruppur-based Ramraj Cotton, is the quintessential serendipitous entrepreneur. The story of how this simple but canny and savvy man turned a failed investment into one of the most visible brands is the stuff B School case studies are made of. In the last three decades, he has created a strong brand equity out of the simple dhoti that it has now become fashionable, at least in the south, to be seen wearing dazzling white dhoti and shirts. Those who had some reservations wearing a dhoti got it over when they saw Congress heavyweight Harvard educated P Chidambaram quelling many a fashion baiter with his majestic dhoti walks in Parliament. Ramraj Cotton which makes dhotis, shirts, inner wears may soon cross the Rs 1,000-crore turnover mark. The company has had film stars endorsing its brand, the latest brand ambassador being Rana Dagubatti. Nagarajan has always been looking for innovative ways to promote his brand from time to time. And he found one on September 22, 2021. On that day, Tamil Nadu’s dailies carried Ramraj Cotton ad with Mahatma Gandhi’s photo. The ad said: “This day, 100 years back for the first time in Madurai. The Mahatma made Dhoti the ‘Attire of His Identity’. Ramraj celebrates the occasion & salutes the Mahatma.” Bang for the buck one would say.