At the tender age of 16, with the sudden demise of his father, a young boy took over the family business, dedicating his life to building it with the goal of supporting his family.
Who would've thought that this young boy would one day head an enterprise of 350 stores representing over 200 luxury and lifestyle brands, all brought together under one name – Valiram.
The man who became the pioneer of the Valiram empire, Datuk Jethanand Utumal Valiram, 78, breathed his last on July 18 in New York surrounded by his loved ones.
“He lived a glorious life and went with much dignity. He is a legend and his life was a grand celebration,” said his eldest son and executive director of Valiram, Sharan Valiram.
Datuk Jetha was the great patriarch of the family, whose entrepreneurial zeal and foresight can be seen through the evolution of the Valiram enterprise.
The company had its modest beginning in textile trade up until the 1980s when the business underwent a transformation towards yarn manufacturing as well as fabric and garment export.
In 1996, with his sons, Sharan, Ashvin and Mukesh Valiram on board; the visionary captain steered the Valiram ship towards lifestyle retail, opening the world’s first ever textile boutique at an airport. The venture proved successful in garnering the trust of global brands and the business soon expanded to travel and downtown retail.
Today Valiram is a celebrated conglomerate of luxury and lifestyle brands including Kate Spade New York, Michael Kors, Tumi, Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret as well as original and innovative retail concepts including Swiss Watch Gallery, The Flying Emporium, Luxury Fashion, Vie Beaute and Flow.
Up until his death, Datuk Jetha remained involved in the business as chairman and advisor, imparting his expertise and knowledge to the growth of Valiram.
Not only will he be remembered as a well-respected businessman but also as a noble philanthropist. He was involved with several charitable works and organisations such as Lakshmi Narayan Temple, Lions Club, Rotary Club among others. He also served on the management committees of the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Indian Chamber of Commerce and held the vice-president role at the Sindhi Association of Malaysia.
He will always be remembered for his never-ending drive, determination and commitment to Valiram and the causes he supported.
Datuk Jetha is survived by his wife Datin Champa Kripalani Valiram, sons Sharan, Ashvin and Mukesh, daughters-in-law, Lavina, Monica and Roshan and grandchildren, Neerav, Divesh, Harein, Jiya and Aarav.
We extend our deepest condolences to the Valiram family and may his legacy live on forever.
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