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DAY IN THE LIFE OF

Nirmal Khandelwal, Director, FCML Projects

Nirmal Khandelwal is the current patriarch of a family business which evolved through seven generations now. As a suave entrepreneur, Khandelwal has been able to steer the FCML brand & establish it as a premium lifestyle retail & hospitality supplies brand over the last four decades. A business man to the core, Khandelwal wears many hats as a social being & seamlessly fulfills both his business & social commitments. P Krishna Kumar meets with Khandelwal to know him closely……

Monday, December 22, 2014, 10:00 Hrs  [IST]

nirmal_khandelwal_dayinlifeof.jpgThe list of associations and social organizations which Khandelwal actively associated with would be enough to understand his interests and credentials in the society. The list is pretty long as well as diverse. I quickly realised that the association with which I associated him, President of Hotel & Restaurant Equipment Manufacturers’ Association of India (HOTREMAI) was just a tip of the ice-berg. He was actively associated with Billiards Federation from his college days and was Chairman of the Federation. “I was deeply involved with it from 1978 to 1996 and organised 14 international tournaments during my time,” he says. While Sardar Patel has become a victim of political tug-of-war of late, the Citizens’ Council, of which Khandelwal is the President has been celebrating Sardar’s Birth anniversary in Delhi uninterruptedly since 1962. “We celebrate Sardar Patel Jayanti every year with Kavi Sammelans and other cultural events, where the President of India is usually the Chief Guest,” he informs. The Council takes up various issues pertaining to the people and the city and bring them to Administration’s notice for resolution. The Council has already organised 40 seminars on preserving city’s lifeline River Yamuna. Khandelwal is also associated closely with Chitra Kala Sangam, an organisation which promote classical art, music, drama, etc. He is also a Governing Council member of Indraprastha Education Society and Indraprastha College. Khandelwal also take keen interest in the Happy School Alumni Association, his alma mater in Old Delhi area. Besides HOTREMAI where he has been President for almost 11 years in two stints, Khandelwal is also the General Secretary of Delhi Exporters’ Association.

nirmal_khandelwal_dayinlifeof_1.jpgEarly days
Khandelwal had his schooling and college education in Delhi. A graduate from Sri Ram College of Commerce Delhi, Khandelwal got involved in the family business with his father at the age of 20. “We were into hardware and structural steels initially before venturing into hospitality supplies in 1971. There was hardly handful of big hotel in India that time. As we started engaging the industry, we added more and more items,” he said. From 1992, as the government policies changed, FCML’s focus changed to representation and import. “Today, 99.9% of our products are imported,” he informed. From 1999, FCML diversified their business into hi-end retail and hospitality. “In the year 2000, we opened our first showroom in Delhi for hi-end lifestyle products. Later on, we expanded to Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai,” he added.

nirmal_khandelwal_dayinlifeof_2.jpgDay break
One who has the habit of working till late in the evening, Khandelwal’s day starts little late. “I don’t leave office before 9 in the evening. Our peak office time is between 6 and 9 in the evening. All senior staff remain in office till late,” he says. Khandelwal’s day starts around 7.30 in the morning. He goes for a walk for an hour in the morning. After thumbing through the day’s newspapers, he gets ready for office. A proud grandfather, he loves spending time with his granddaughters. “I spend at least an hour with my granddaughter before I leave home to office,” he informs. Khandelwal’s wife, a painter herself, is one of the Directors in the company. His son, Abhinav, after completing his studies, has joined the business in 1998 and shares responsibilities in managing the business. “We have divided the responsibilities between us. He takes care of the retail business, while I am responsible for hotel business, administration and manpower,” Khandelwal said.

An ardent Foodie and lover of Poetry
Khandelwal loves travel. However, he doesn’t like to mix business with leisure. While he travels 15 to 20 times a year to various countries for business purposes, he avoids exploring these destinations. However, he takes long breaks every two years for leisure with his family. These holidays usually range between 20 days to a month. “I’m a foodie and love tasting new cuisines. When I travel I don’t eat Indian food at all. I like Italian, Chinese, Moroccan, etc.” he said.

nirmal_khandelwal_dayinlifeof_3.jpgHaving his roots and upbringing in Walled City Delhi, Khandelwal has a natural inclination towards ‘Sher O Shayari’. He inherited the interest in Urdu and Hindi poetry from his father. “I grew up listening recitals of eminent Hindi poets including Harivansh Rai Bachchan,” he informs proudly. Taking the legacy forward, Khandelwal strive to promote Kavi Sammelans. “We organise at least 10 Kavi Sammelans in a year as part of various events,” he informs.

Vision
A recipient of Rashtriya Udyog Ratna Award, Khandelwal is strongly committed to quality and has set high benchmarks for products he represent and deal with in the market. “I don’t want to dilute our focus on hi-end luxury products. Our vision is to build FCML as the best brand in the country for hi-end luxury products.”

 
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