36th anniversary: business tycoon
Subhash M. Kamat, 57 yearsUdupi
Company: Abharan Jewelers
Net worth of the family: 1,900 crores
where do you invest
They invest their profits in the business itself. Subhash says that this business has given good profits.
It is interesting to know how the Kamath family, the owners of Aabharan Jewellers, opened Udupi’s first readymade jewelery store. It is a matter of 1920s. Merchant Barde Sadanand Kamat and his elder brother used to ride horses to Malnad area of Karnataka to bring tobacco.
He noticed that the jewelery made in his coastal hometown was in good demand among the people of the hilly region. And thus Kamat ventured into the business of gold jewellery. In 1935, he opened Neo Jewelery Mart in Udupi.
It was a time of war and the Gold Control Rules prohibited the making of gold jewelery of more than 14 karat purity. Because of this, in the early 1960s, Kamat decided to exit the business. But in 1979, his son Madhukar Kamat re-entered the business of gold jewelery and opened a showroom in Udupi under the brand name Abharan.
Madhukar’s elder son Subhash Kamat, 57, recalls that he was studying in Class IX then. “From the first day the shop opened, my brother and I had to spend two hours each in the store,” he says. By 1987, Subhash and his brother Mahesh, college degrees in hand, formally entered the family business. stepped on.
The second store opened in Shimoga in 1991 and the third in Mangaluru in 2007. Subhash explains that considering the need to bring technology to scale up operations, Abharan was one of the first jewelery brands to import gold testing machines to check purity.
While expanding the business, he kept his strategic focus on the prosperous farmer belts of Kundapur and Karkala apart from the Malnad area. The brand currently has 14 stores spread across Padubidri, Karkala, Belthangady, Brahmavara, Kudapur, Bayandur, Hebri, Tirthahalli, Sagar and Chikmagalur besides Panjim in Goa. He says, “Now we are slowly thinking of moving to bigger cities. 3-4 places are in mind.
With the introduction of the gold standard and the hallmark Unique Identification (HUID), he says, “everybody is now on a level playing field when it comes to purity”. Creativity comes from customer service. Where does the company invest its profits? Subhash clarifies that the company prefers to invest its earnings back in the business: ”This strategy has been quite successful. There is still a lot of potential in this.
Both Subhash and his 82-year-old father Madhukar are car enthusiasts—a 1979 Honda XL 250S enduro motorcycle and a Yamaha Virago 535 are prized gifts from father Kamat. Over the last decade, Subhash has been a regular on rugged mountain tours of the Himalayas by bike—
In recent years, these trips of his have now started with Wrangler Jeep. He says, “I also like watersports very much. We are on the ocean side, so I bought myself a jet ski.
Subhash also owns a kayak and a 33-foot boat, which he takes on fishing trips, which is his second hobby. -Ajay Sukumaran