The late Khanchand Vaswani founded this family business in 1948. He was the son of a well-regarded physician, Seth Tolaram, whose primary motivation was the welfare of the poor and sickly.
The eldest brother of Mr. Khanchand, late Dharmdas Vaswani first migrated in 1916 from his birthplace in Sind in Colonial India to do textile trade in East Java, Indonesia. He was then followed by the other brothers who also shifted to Indonesia. Mr. Khanchand himself shifted first to East Java in 1932, but subsequently moved his business to Jakarta in 1942. During the II World War he could not go back to his family in Sind and could only do so in 1947. As a result of the partition between India and Pakistan, he decided to shift with his family to Indonesia in 1948.
The patriarch founder initially opened a small textile shop named Toko Vaswani in 1948 in Malang and effectively planted the first roots of the current Group. His wife, son and two daughters were always at hand to assist him. He also did much to encourage other relatives to play active roles in managing his rapidly growing clientele and suppliers. The shop was then shifted to a bigger place in 1950 and renamed as Toko Tolaram.
Mohan, his only son and the current Chairman, joined his father in 1957 aged merely 19. He was instrumental in growing the business beyond a small textile shop into a retail outlet of a wider range of fabrics, home textiles and garments. Toko Tolaram then gained fame as the choice retail outlet of the region.
The current Vice Chairman, Vishamkar Adnani, a cousin of Mohan, joined Tolaram in the early sixties and together the second-generation partnership created a formidable importation, wholesale, retail, manufacturing and exports of textiles business in Indonesia headquartered in Surabaya.
A procurement and financing hub was started in Singapore in 1967 with Padma, the younger of the founderís two daughters, looking after its activities from Johor, Malaysia. Mohan himself relocated to Singapore in 1974 to effectively make it a base for realizing his international ambitions.
Rapid international growth followed under his dynamic leadership with significant milestones:
1977 Nigeria where the Group began trading and eventually manufacturing
1980 USA where an ailing yarn mill was acquired and sold after successful turnaround
1995 Estonia where old textile and pulp & paper manufacturing plants were bought from the state
In between, there were several textile manufacturing units invested in and divested from in Malaysia, China, Thailand, Lithuania, Latvia, Germany and South Africa.
The mid-eighties were also marked by the introduction of the third generation of five family shareholders who are the children of Mohan and Padma and grandsons of the founder Khanchand.