The year was 1978. Kapil Dev Nikhanj was making his debut against Pakistan. Virender Sehwag was seeing the first lights of the day. The Government led by Morarji Desai, the then Prime Minister, was demonetising high denomination bank notes. Indira Gandhi was on the comeback trail. Kishore Kumar’s soulful rendition of the Anjaan penned title song of the year’s biggest Bollywood blockbuster “Muqaddar ka Sikandar”, which had Amitabh Bachchan in the lead role, was swaying the Nation. And it was in these tumultuous times that Gokuldas Gagwani and his son Manoj Gagwani established their maiden venture – Click Pens, in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The initial intention of the Gagwanis was modest – to act as an OEM and produce Click pens for the local market in MP. Little did they know, that like the protagonist in the year’s biggest hit, the brand that they were establishing – Click – would one day conquer destiny, and become the Muqaddaar ka Sikandar!
Those who are old enough to remember those days, will recall how the ball point pens were the rage – slowly, but steadily, pushing the fountain pens towards oblivion. The eighties made way to the nineties with the trend becoming more pronounced, but Click persevered, sticking to its guns. The OEM business was a steadily increasing revenue source and Click pens, despite the overwhelming odds, were slowly increasing its market penetration. Uncompromising concern for quality; realistic pricing; and unalloyed commitment to honest business practices – the three pillars on which the Click business model stands, was beginning to be not only noticed, but appreciated. As Click built its reputation in the market with sheer dedication and hard work, its business continued to grow, even as some of the big and the mighty names fell by the wayside. Detractors say that in those days, Click managed to do a contrarian as it was operating on a relatively smaller base. But what the hell? The fact remains. Click had not only survived the severe downturn in the fountain pen market but had actually thrived, despite all the odds.
What the detractors will also do well to remember is that whatever the size of operations may have been, Click never rusted on its laurels and has constantly pushed itself to strive for bigger goals, which is the true hallmark of an entity that is supremely confident about its own abilities.
The first Matt finish model in India was launched by Click – the year, 1986. In 1992, Click increased its ball point pen models and unveiled its aromatic filling mechanism. The first piston fillers from Click were introduced in the market in 1993, while the C/C fillers were added to the production line in 1998.
Harsh Gagwani, joined the family business in 2003, heralding the entry of the third generation into the business (he was still in school and it was his father’s ill health that had sucked him into the business. He completed his graduation and Masters in Business Administration while working full time for Click). His first move was to take over the manufacturing facilities and dies of the Blue Nile brand in Mumbai, thereby increasing the product range of Click Pens.
Shortly thereafter, Click started direct export and shifted to a new manufacturing facility. It will not be out of place to mention here that Click is exporting its products – directly, under its own brand name, for close to a decade now. Click pens not only compete, successfully at that, with products from around the world, but are very well accepted by discerning buyers, including in the key markets of Europe and America. All those who are clamouring for Make in India now, please note, Click has, and continues to sing, “Maa tujhe Salaam” which a gusto that should make every Indian proud!
The manufacturing facilities of Serwex pens in Delhi was taken over by Click in 2015, which coincided with the increase in the range of handmade pens. Later in 2017, new machineries were added to the production line which increased the entity’s capacity for precision turning of acrylic and ebonite pens.
Click as an entity is extremely media shy, preferring to stay away from the arch-lights, even as it quietly goes on adding to its list of considerable achievements. At the price points in which Click pens are available and the quality that they offer, is, in one word admirable. Generations of students have had Click accompanying them through their academic sojourns and the very facts that they still enjoy the top-of-mind recall and buyer loyalties speak volumes about the brand, its philosophy and its ability to pick up every gauntlet that life has thrown its way.
Take the Click Ebonite Falcon for example. The pen is robust, well balanced and writes extremely well. A no-nonsense work horse that is priced just right to be almost anybody’s daily carry pen. Well, it has been mine at the least for the last couple of years and I am not complaining. But I will fail in my duties if I do not underscore an important point about Click pens here – they are terribly consistent. I say this based on my almost four-decade old association with the brand as a user and yes, I still have (and often use) the Click pen with which I had written my school leaving examination in 1983!
Let us now go back to the immortal words of the song with which we had started the story, for nothing recounts to Click story more succinctly:
“वो सिकंदर क्या था जिसने ज़ुल्म से जीता जहां
प्यार से जीते दिलों को, वो झुका दे आसमां
जो सितारों पर कहानी प्यार की लिख जायेगा
वो मुकद्दर का सिकंदर जान-ए-मन कहलायेगा”
Roughly translated, it says, “what is he who conquers by brute force? The real hero is one who wins hearts to make even the sky bow before his love. He who will write the paean of love on the sky will be revered as the real conqueror of destines”!
How prophetic, indeed!
For more information about Click Pens visit: http://www.uniquepen.in/