Home Sindhis Beyond Sindh Karachi’s Popley Jewelers’ journey to Mumbai and beyond

Karachi’s Popley Jewelers’ journey to Mumbai and beyond

Karachi’s Popley Jewelers’ journey to Mumbai and beyond

Like other Sindhi Hindus, the uncertain situation created due to violence that erupted with arrival of Indian refugees, forced Popley family to shift to the Bombay in 1947.

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Kewalram Ghanshamdas Popley had a well-established jewelry business in Karachi, the capital city of Sindh since 1927, but like other Sindhi Hindus, the uncertain situation created due to violence that erupted with arrival of Indian refugees, forced Popley family to shift to the Bombay in 1947, and had to start all over again. He setup his business ‘Kewalram Ghanshamdas Popley & Sons Jewelers’ in Bandra West, Mumbai.

The forced migration however augured well for Popley family as well as for India, as with the untiring efforts, Kewalram Popley succeeded not only to reestablish his jewelry business but flourished and earned distinction.     After demise of Kewalram, his son Laxman Kewalram Poley managed the business and by 1978, the Popley brand became an identity with first retail store in the Diamond Bourse of India in Panchratna, Mumbai.

kewalram-ghanshamdas-popley-and-sons-jewellers-bandra-west-mumbai-jewellery-showrooms-6wyreb961bBy 1991, the Popley Group started gearing up further branching into retail stores with its first in the suburb of Bandra, Mumbai. Importantly, this was one of the first stores in India to be awarded the Branch License in the economic reforms happening in the Jewelry sector in India.

The year 1993 brought more success for Popley Group when they expanded the business overseas stepping into the City of Gold – Dubai, UAE – the first international venture of the group which later grew into the Global Hub for the companies’ entire business activities.

Today India has transcended as the prime destination for jewelry design. This has become possible through Popley’s exceptional design, talent pool, and one-of-a-kind signature jewels. ‘Popley Eternal’, through a spectacular team has added wings to this possibility, as the brand has bagged GJEPC Artisan Awards 2022 which is in its 5th Edition. The theme was based on 3 iconic and legendary women who were known for their incredible style; insatiable hunger for beautiful, one-of-a-kind, signature jewels.

Popley Jewelers in Dubai

The design that won the award had an arresting Talisman ring crafted in gold to salute the indomitable spirit of the Duchess of Windsor. The geometric ring was topped with an emerald protected by four spokes with intricately carved black onyx that were tipped with cabochon emeralds fringed with diamonds. The shank was equally alluring and was composed of round emeralds interspersed with carved black onyx accented with a diamond ring.

All the pieces were innovative as one experienced the glimmering designs come to life from the sketches to actual pieces.

Popley Jewelers is now a certified Indian jeweler group headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. Popley Jewelers has 22 showrooms across the Middle East and India known as Gold Jewelry Showrooms, Diamond Jewelry Showrooms, and Platinum Jewelry Showrooms etc.

kewalram-ghanshamdas-popley-and-sons-jewellers-bandra-west-mumbai-jewellery-showrooms-3yc3z9nrsjOver the course of its journey, this business has established a firm foothold in its industry. The belief that customer satisfaction is as important as their products and services, have helped this establishment garner a vast base of customers, which continues to grow by the day. This business employs individuals that are dedicated towards their respective roles and put in a lot of effort to achieve the common vision and larger goals of the company. In the near future, this business aims to expand its line of products and services and cater to a larger client base. In Mumbai, this establishment occupies a prominent location in Bandra West.

Popley Jewelers’, renamed at a later stage as ‘Popley Eternal’ and won several awards, brilliantly stood the test of time and never failed to put you in awe with its phenomenal designs and craftsmanship. With a rich heritage and history, Popley Eternal has earned quite a reputation for fine and pure jewelry known for quality, design, and finesse. This legacy has been built with diligent up-to-the-minute designers and dedicated craftsmen that bring to life the choicest preferences of jewelry lovers.

Suraj Popley who founded the Popley Eternal

The legacy of Popley had been taken forward by Ramchand Popley but had been taken over by his son Suraj Popley as Managing Director after his open heart surgery in previous decade. Suraj Popley believes that “Since jewelry has the finest craftsmanship and whimsical designs, it will never lose its charm. It is an asset that people will always invest in, and it’s handed down from one generation to the next, which is why Popley strives to take you towards that good investment personally, accompanied with exceptional quality.”

The business was further innovated with Spanish styles by company director Rajiv Popley, after he visited the Spain in 2017.

Rajiv Popley
Rajiv Popley

Ramchand Popley’s enters into arena

Ramchand Popley’s daughter and Suraj Popley’s elder sister Varuna D Jani, who lived in Dubai with husband and three daughters, had returned to Mumbai to assist her father but she changed her mind after a while and decided to establish her own company. Varuna was got engaged to Deepak when she was in 11th grade. “I come from a conservative family where women are supposed to take care of the family, and the husband takes care of the business. After the marriage, she had moved to Dubai.

The UAE expanded her vision as a designer, by exposing her to many different styles. It shaped her design aesthetics. The feedback she got regularly was that her designs were ‘different’ and had ‘international appeal’.

Varuna D Jani with her father Ramchand Popley
Varuna D Jani with her father Ramchand Popley

“I wanted to take our business to what my father dreamt of. The word ‘gold’ was being misinterpreted and the word ‘plaza’ meant a shopping mall, when our main business was diamonds. Since we needed a separate identity for diamonds, I started working towards re-branding it. We decided to name the diamond section Varuna D Jani’s Popley Eternal,” Varuna said in an interview in 2009.

Until then, Senior Popley didn’t believe in advertisement. “Dad felt it was a total waste of money. But we got ourselves a media consultant and I started attending Page 3 parties. Since the brand carried my name, some people started spreading malicious stories that I came here with a plan in my mind. These stories reached my father and brother. And it led to an ego hassle,” says a distraught Varuna, as she blinks back tears.

Varuna D Jani

“That’s something I can’t take. I don’t mind if I am not appreciated, but this is betrayal. It came to a point where for the happiness of everyone, I had to move out of Popley Eternal.”

Instead of going back to Dubai and her husband Deepak, a businessman there, and her three daughters, Varuna stayed back to start her own store called Varuna D Jani, which now offers diamond jewelry starting from Rs.50,000 onwards.

Varuna narrates her story.

“In 2005, when my father fell sick, he thought that my brother needed help running the Popley Jewelry Empire. So when I came back to India from Dubai and joined my father, I started designing some jewelry pieces, only to learn that it came naturally to me! I tried my hand at various other fields before, like F&B – catering and restaurant, events, and wedding planning. But jewelry happened spontaneously. I didn’t know until then that this was what I was meant to do. I started Varuna D Jani to showcase my designs and offer exclusive, limited-edition pieces with a value of 10 lakhs and above. Brand experts advised us to use a name that people can identify with, especially if we’re talking to a select section of customers. So going by the successful brand Popley, the eponymous name for my brand, Varuna D Jani come about,” she said in an interview.

Varun-JewelryJewelry business was not new for her. “I was born into the jewelry business as the daughter of Ramchand Popley, and so at the age of eight, when most kids sketch cartoon characters, I sketched designs! I loved spending time with my father and still do, so as a child, during my summer vacations, I would accompany him to his store and sit there and create these designs with diamonds and all sorts of colorful gems. I didn’t realize it then, but now I know that I was born to create beautiful jewelry,” she had told.

Varuna’s success encouraged her to expand and the Varuna D Jani. In 2021, she created ‘House of VDJ’ which houses Ruani Collective.”

Varuna-D-Jani-jewelleryRuani was launched on 7 October 2021, in the midst of a pandemic. This was a time when every industry—and the luxury sector in particular—was reeling from losses.

At the moment, her company has fourteen jewelry designers, including three international names.

“A challenge that I faced when creating Ruani was to show industry players that we can grow together, rather than compete against each other,” Varuna says.


Source: Pune Mirror, The Daily Guardian, You and I, We Are The City, The Jewelry Editor,  Everybodywiki, Just Dial, Business News This Week, Sindhis by Surnames, Mid-Day, Garner Bears and other websites.