King Khan charms Kochi

C.J. Punnathara Kochi | Updated on December 04, 2011


Star power: Fans occupying all vantage points near the Emmanuval Silk’s latest showroom,which was inaugurated by Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan in Kochi on Sunday. — ThulasiKakkat

Opens five lakh sq ft saree showroom

The winter rains had washed the roads clean as the Badshah of Bollywood, Shahrukh Khan rode into the city of Kochi. King Khan was in town to inaugurate Emmanuval Silk's latest showroom; touted as the biggest sari textile showroom in the world.

The five-storied five lakh sq feet extravaganza had captured the imagination of the city and the attention of the regional and national media for its huge car park which can house 1,000 cars at a time, on-site services of fashion consultants to help you choose your brocade, nurse-and-doctor on call facilities, 5,000 sq feet children's play area and 4,500 sq feet food court.

Going by the ever-growing size and scale of the showrooms, Kochi could very well become the sari capital of the world, laughed B Sruthi, a visitor to the grand opening ceremony. The Emmanuval group is going from local to global in one stroke: offering over 100 national and international brands and Chinese, Arabic and French speaking staff to cater to the demands of the international clientele.

It might have been diminutive in reach and branch network earlier, but T.O. Byju, Managing Director of Emmanuval Silks said that the group had thrown a huge surprise over its rivals by the grandeur and scale of the latest venture. And this is the first time that Shahrukh Khan is in town to inaugurate a showroom.

While the promoters were circumspect about the cost of the mega opening event or the fee charged by the Bollywood actor, they said that the ad budget for the one-day extravaganza alone had topped Rs 5 crore. And the new showroom was already stocked with textiles worth Rs 150 crore on day one. “We plan to do a turnover of Rs 300 crore from the new outlet in the first year,” Byju said. That is more than the combined turnover of their two existing showrooms – which together has a turnover of approximately Rs 200 crore. By 2015, the company expects the turnover to spurt up to Rs 1000 crore. The group which had commenced from the single storey tenement in the suburbs of Thrissur has come a long way. While reiterating the company's resolve not to diversify into related sectors at the moment, Byju pointed out that Emmanuval Silks would soon extend its footprint to Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode. Not to mention the ambitious plans for the Gulf region: Qatar and Dubai. But the plans for the Gulf sector were still at the drawing board stage.

Treat for the crowd

The sultry Sunday afternoon came alive in Kochi as the Bollywood superstar, Shahrukh Khan danced impromptu to a hip-swinging number before thousands of his ebullient fans. The actor was dressed in smart casuals: wide open necked shirt and tight dark trousers with his unruly hair tied in a pony tail at the nape of his neck.

Openly admitting to his poor singing abilities, the actor belted out one of his favourite songs – Tujhe dekha tho yeh jana sanam … As the ebullient crowd roared for more Shahrukh Khan came out with some of his pet dialogues from the film Don 2.

Signing off from the stage, he remembered the crowds who were waiting patiently outside the distant barricades but who could still see him on stage and waved to them as well. The crowd roared in appreciation. While Shahrukh Khan said that he loved Kochi and the people of the city, there was no doubt who loved him more.

Reflecting the love of the people of Kochi for the Bollywood superhero, some segments of the huge crowds began to dissipate when Shahrukh Khan left the stage, not waiting for the entertainment extravaganza to begin.

Published on December 04, 2011

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