Are You Aware of Assam’s Own Radio Brand, ‘Bharalis’?

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

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Are You Aware of Assam’s Own Radio Brand, ‘Bharalis’?

Barasha Das | September 13, 2020 18:43 hrs

Bharali Brothers Pvt Ltd was established in 1934 by two brothers namely, Ramananda Bharali and Bibekananda Bharali in the fledgling commercial locality of Panbazar in Guwahati. Originally hailing from Sivasagar town, the brothers were among upper Assam’s first entrepreneurs to migrate to Guwahati and set up a business establishment. 

 

Their father, Keshabananda Bharali left his government job under the British government and took to tea cultivation. Before coming to Gauhati, Ramananda Bharali use to supply soaps to the tea gardens of upper Assam.


In the beginning, Bharali Brothers dealt with musical instruments besides sports goods. Through the initial years of its establishment which was also the time of India’s struggle for Independence and World War II, Bharali Brothers held complete hegemony over the retail market of electronic items in and around Guwahati. In 1942 the firm pioneered in selling Philips Mullard electronic products (essentially radio sets at the point in time), and hand winding gramophones. 


Bharali Brothers was also the sole dealer of Ahuja Public Address (PA) systems since Independence. Bibekananda Bharali use to visit Sialkot in Pakistan to procure goods for the shop. 


The establishment engaged in novel advertising activities by visiting nearby areas and engaging in direct selling of items besides being a prime advertiser on outdoor boards and local newspapers. This helped the firm in amassing a massive goodwill that has remained till this day.  


The next generation comprising the sons of the two brothers expanded the business further opening additional retail counters in Guwahati. Through the 1970s and 1980s with the coming of television, Bharali Brothers remained at the forefront of retailing, installing TV sets in virtually every household of Guwahati. Prior to this, the firm also made a foray into radio set production initially by the name of “Bharalis” that was later christened as “Righton” which proved to be a very popular item among customers.


Bharali Brothers sold premium musical instruments like guitar, sitar, tabla etc along with sports equipments like cricket bats, tennis, badminton, squash and TT racquets, carom boards among others and also the allied items of these sports. It offered service in re-stringing of racquets as well. 


These were hand strung in those days and players from all over Assam visited the counter for the same.
 

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