Valiram. It’s a family name steeped in history, culture, evolution and success. The Malaysia-based retail and lifestyle group has grown from strength to strength, having started in the textile trade in 1935 by Utumal Valiram and subsequently led by his son, the late Datuk Jethanand Valiram.
The business would later pivot towards retail in 1996, forging ahead to become Southeast Asia’s leading luxury goods retailer. Led by the charismatic brothers Sharan, Ashvin and Mukesh, the trio courted and brought in notable international brands including Tory Burch, Michael Kors, Victoria’s Secret, Tumi as well as Bath and Body Works. They also own Swiss Watch, Malaysia’s leading luxury watch retailer.
Over the years, the brothers have grown the business’s store footprint to over 400 stores across nine countries.
While both Sharan and Ashvin run the business from Kuala Lumpur, Mukesh is based in Singapore and has not been able to return home to meet with his siblings easily due to travel restrictions imposed for most of 2021.
Though the brothers all share the title of executive director, they are distinctively different both in terms of their personalities and business roles. As the eldest, Sharan, 54, is calm and methodical, playing the role of the responsible older brother well. A real people person, Sharan’s speciality is in judging a person’s character, determining their trustworthiness.
Ashvin, 51, is the more outspoken one of the siblings. Boisterous and bursting with life, he never hesitates to throw a quip when conversing. A highly driven individual, he is described as a go-getter and dealmaker who stops at nothing to get a deal closed.
Lastly, there is Mukesh, 42, who may appear very serious at first but reveals a kind and sensitive side once you get to know him. Among the trio, he is often tasked with maintaining the long-term relationships of their clients and brands. “If you want to position something in a significant fashion, Mukesh is the man for the job,” says Sharan.