Marwaris of Singapore, Part I -- By Siraj Syed

Marwaris of Singapore, Part I -- By Siraj Syed

When it comes to business acumen, the Marwaris of Rajasthan never fail to find a pride of place. Most of them live and trade in India, having spread out far and wide over the last 100 years. From Marwar, in North-Western India, to Kolkata in the east, Mumbai in the West and Chennai down south, they have spread themselves to most nooks and corners of country. 

Move out of the country, towards South-East Asia, and you will find Marwari pockets in Indonesia, Myanmar (many left during Burma’s military purges in the second half of the last century) and Singapore. A large contingent of Marwaris set-up base in Nepal almost a hundred years ago, as I discovered during my conversation with Kamal Kishore, the current President of the Singapore Marwari Mitra Mandal, when I visited him in his office earlier this year. 

Kamal runs a huge and varied portfolio chemicals trading company, Global Trade Well, founded in 1998. He took over the Mandal post this year, for a two year-term, from Santosh Kumar Tibarewala, Managing Director of another chemical company, Polymet. He was most deferential to his predecessor, who introduced me to him, and proceeded to share information with me only after getting Shri Tibarewala’s approval. He then proceeded to share memories of his roots in Rajasthan and Nepal, his journey to Singapore, and his climb in this free trade island.

Listen to the audio recording by clicking below:


Global Trade Well Pte Ltd
Incorporated in Singapore on 11th April 1998, Global Trade Well Pte Ltd started as a Small-Medium Enterprise (SME) and it has since attained the status of a ‘Large Enterprise’. 
For the fiscal year 2014-2015, GTW achieved sales revenues of approximately USD 330 Million. 
Global Trade Well Pte Ltd’s business is dominated by several key products, such as textile raw materials, machinery and petrochemicals. Petrochemicals such as Mono-ethylene, Glycol and Paraxylene are key ingredients in the manufacturing process of synthetic textiles. 
In the initial stages, GTW’s trading activities were confined to India and Nepal, but in the last 10 years, they have reached all of South Asia, part of Middle East, ASEAN region, China, and part of East and West Africa. 
Most of GTW’s Suppliers are manufacturing conglomerates in Far East Asia, ASEAN Region, China and the Middle East. Raw Cotton suppliers are from India, and they are expanding their buyers’ network to Pakistan and West Africa as well. 
GTW has a sole-selling arrangement with most of its suppliers in Korea, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia, for distribution of its products in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Egypt and other territories. 
Part II will trace the history of Marwaris, in India and in Singapore, their cultural traditions and the activities of the Marwari Mitra Mandal (Singapore), which was founded in 2005.

Siraj Syed Siraj is the Consulting Editor of See profile
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