By PRADIP RODRIGUES
Samir Thapar, MD of JCT Ltd, the flagship company of the Thapar Group is one of India’s richest businessmen, was in Toronto recently to sign a deal with Eslight
International Inc for the distribution of JCT products in the textile industry. JCT Limited is one of India’s leading manufacturers of textiles and filament yarn. Among their recent and exciting products is their range of eco-friendly fabric.
Eslight International Inc has been sourcing various products for its clients in Canada since 2005 and this partnership takes things to an all new levels. According to Thapar, JCT’s exhaustive list of clients, it does business with, include labels like Abercrombie & Fitch and Nike, who buy a certain kind of woven fabric for their shoes exclusively from them.
JCT prides itself on being among the companies that eschew child labour and have excellent labour relations with their 12,000 employees, 60% of whom live on their 100-acre industrial park in Phagwara, Punjab. The machinery and equipment is all state-of-the art and the workers are all well looked after.
“It is a township, children of the workers get free education at our school from KG to Grade 12. There is a health care facility on site and we partly generate our own electricity. As a company, we believe in social responsibility and the reason why so many of the top international brands source our textile products is not just for our quality but also for the way we treat our workers. International brands are very conscious of sourcing from companies that employ child labour. Before any international brands sign a deal with us, they audit our factories, the canteens, housing and general labour practices,” the MD stated.
Samir first came to Canada back in 1983 when he represented India in the World Shooting Championship. He is a man of many interests. In the past he’s served as President of India’s Body Builders Federation as well as the Executive VP of the Asian Body Building Federation.
Besides he is a car racing enthusiasts and was a one-time rally driver for JK Tyres. Today, he is the proud owner of a fleet of super cars that include a Lamborghini and a Ferrari. “Once in a while I go out racing with a few of my friends to the F1 track in Noida, New Delhi.” He is part of the Cannonball Club a super car club, a platform for elite owners of such cars and racing enthusiasts.
Described in the mainstream Indian media as a flamboyant businessman with a penchant for fast cars and throwing lavish parties, Samir enjoys and lives life King Size, but he also has another side to him that makes him a sharp and responsible businessman. Having close family living in the GTA compels him to make trips here every couple of months, but he clearly loves India where he has deep roots. He is bullish about India’s economic success and talks about how much the country has improved and that there is huge purchasing power. “The West is not the place to make money anymore,” he says, “While the economies of Europe and USA were in the worst part of the recession, India was hardly affected thanks to our conservative banking system. People are making money.”
He talks about number of returning NRIs and only recently he hired the President of the company, who happens to be an Englishman. “He will be in charge of all operations for nylon filament and fabric and will be reporting to me,” he says.
What proves that the world is now a global village bound by a global economy is when the second in command of an Indian company is an Englishman, who has to be based permanently in what was once a rural area in Punjab, called Phagwara.