Beena President delivers State of the Fountain Pen Nation address

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The father-son duo of Hiro and Nihil Motwani is known in the community for making some of the most user-friendly writing instruments in India (both in terms of functionality and pricing). However, as their main focus area has long been that of OEM for some legacy brands in India, which is perhaps why their home brands Beena and V’Sign do not have the kind of visibility or cult following that they deserve. Besides, the fact that they had taken a brief hiatus from the business during its darkest days, may also be considered as a contributing factor for the relatively tepid brand recall.

But things are set to change. Hiro Motwani has already inducted his son, Nikhil into the business, who is spearheading the forays forward. Production of the trusted models has been streamlined and putting their keen understanding of the market dynamics into play, the duo is now planning to not only refurbish their traditional role as an OEM but also increase the visibility of their brands. As a matter of fact, they have exciting news for the community as they are all set to unveil several new models to cater to emerging needs.


If there was one complaint against Beena then it had to do with the fact that most of their models were based on similar design architecture, with mere cosmetic embellishments separating one from the other. Even without going into the veracity of the complaint, which one thought was a kind of oversimplification, one could understand the premise from which such criticisms arose. And, hats off to the brand,  this is exactly what has been brilliantly addressed by the launch of the Beena President, which was unveiled at the Chennai Pen Show earlier this month.

This acrylic stunner of a fountain pen is a flat top and has a standard gait leaning towards being largish, with its taper towards both ends providing the pen with a very pleasing demeanour. It is surprisingly light for its size and fits into my hand as though it was custom-made. The nib is as wet and sweet as is customary with any Beena pen and the fact that it writes beautifully needs no elaboration. What makes the Beena President stand out in a crowd is the fact that it is a piston filler that is accentuated by a large ink window, which I thought were very convenient touches. The piston I hasten to add works seamlessly and drawing up of ink into the Beena President is as hassle-free as it gets.


The Beena President comes in three colours. Staid as I am, I picked up the Black one, which in hindsight looks to have been the right decision, as I look at the black beauty with its broad golden cap band, matching clip, and nib, not to mention the ring around the bottom section which acts as the piston mechanism, I am mesmerized.  It looks smart, is extremely well-behaved, elegant, and a solid performer.  In short, everything you always wanted in a daily carry fountain pen.

The price bracket in which the Beena President is placed, makes it look like a conscious effort by the Motwanis to break through the ceiling of the price segment in which they have traditionally operated. When viewed in context, this looks like an emerging trend among Indian manufacturers. While the manufacturers are tight-lipped about the move upward, rising input costs are being blamed by some industry observers. Some others also point to a less discussed fact – fountain pens are increasingly being looked at as accessories as opposed to being utilities, with more and more users willing to shell out a higher price for an item that catches their fancy, which in turn, explains the increasing prices, with the manufacturers laughing all the way to the bank. A slew of eye candies with ever-increasing price tags that are moving relatively fast off the shelf is presented as supporting the argument. However, to call a spade a spade, the Beena President, if one were to consider the fountain pen strictly in terms of the price paid, comes out winner and is, what one considers a solid buy.

It has been ages since I first used a fountain pen from the house of Instawrite and have always liked the way they have performed, especially considering the price brackets in which they have been made available. They are sold performers and personally knowing the Motwanis as I do, I know just how seriously they take quality issues, staking their reputation on them. Even from this angle, the Beena President promises to be a good buy and I look forward to spending many lazy afternoons and sultry evenings in its company writing endlessly.