Gautam Hari Singhania, Chairman and Managing Director of Raymond Ltd, had some curt words to say after his father Vijaypat Singhania blamed him for going back on his agreement and squeezing the father out of the company. In an interview with news channel ET Now, Gautam Singhania said that people who do not change fall by the wayside, albeit without directly referring to the family dispute that is being battled out in a court of law. “Even a coconut tree swings to change. If you are rigid like a tree, you fall and break,” Gautam Singhania said in the interview to ET Now, adding, “People who are not going to change they are going to fall by the wayside.”
Earlier this week, news reports broke that Vijaypat Singhania, once among the country’s richest men, is now fighting for a house to live in which was promised to him earlier, as he claimed that the person responsible for his condition is none other than his son Gautam Singhania, to whom he had handed over the control of Raymond. Vijaypat Singhania is known for giving the nation its early taste of locally-made fine dressing through Raymond — a brand he built and nurtured for over 20 years. In a recently filed petition in Bombay High Court seeking possession of a duplex in the 36-storey JK House on Malabar Hill, Vijaypat Singhania had accused Raymond Ltd of not handing over the possession of the house to him despite repeated reminders.
Vijaypat Singhania further said that he now resides in a rented row house in south Mumbai. Through his lawyers, the original Raymond man went on to claim that his son is now squeezing him out and is driving him out of everything. Vijaypat Singhania’s lawyer senior advocate Dinyar Madon told the court that the retired business tycoon is now struggling financially. “All his perks – like a car and a driver — have been taken away,” Dinyar Madon said in the court, according to a report in the Mumbai Mirror. Vijaypat Singhania also claimed that Gautam Singhania is running Raymond like a personal fiefdom.
However, Gautam Singhania sought to point out how he is transforming the company to make it future ready. “The whole game has changed and we really are positioning ourselves not for the next two years but for next 20 years so that is what you are seeing,” Gautam Singhania said, pointing out to the changes he has made in the way the company is governed. “I think there has been lot of management change, there has been advisory board of a high quality that has been put in place, high levels of corporate governance,” he added.
Meanwhile, separately, Gautam Singhania also said that he has two different roles as a son and as the Chairman of Raymond. He said that he has been talking to his father and relatives in an attempt to resolve the dispute for over two years now, and that he is committed to his responsibilities as a son, hindi newspaper Dainik Bhaskar reported.