Bengaluru couple Mercy Amalraj and Nirupesh Joshi are paying ode to the city’s watch history with their home grown brand Bangalore Watch Company (BWC).
Among Bengaluru’s many monikers – Pensioner’s Paradise, Garden City et al, you can add ‘watch capital’ too. The city was home to not one but two famous watchmakers, the now-defunct Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT) and Hegde & Golay. Even as recently as 2017, innovators are still inspired by these heritage brands to work on something new in this space. Mercy Amalraj and Nirupesh Joshi from Bengaluru quit their high flying jobs to create their own brand of perhaps the world’s first Indian origin watch micro-brand in early 2017.
Down Memory Lane
So what is a micro brand? Well, this is a new term being used in the industry for watch brands that do not belong to a larger conglomerate, is run by people that are passionate about watches as opposed to being run as a business and produce very small quantities, every year and sell directly to consumers with no retail distribution. And at the start of their career, Mercy and Nirupesh had no idea that this is what they would eventually do. The couple first met at Madurai Kamaraj University during their Masters’ program in Information Technology management and has been together since. Their careers in the tech industry brought them to Bangalore in the early 2000s, a city they call home since. The couple loves spending time in the kitchen, mostly cooking East Asian cuisine. Incidentally their jobs have kept them in and out of the country and Nirupesh worked as a technology consultant for a Boston based cloud Security Company in Hong Kong. Mercy started her career in Software Quality Assurance and after spending time in a couple of telecommunications companies, took a career break as a trailing spouse to follow Nirupesh wherever he moved. “While in Seoul, I took on contract roles for localization of mobile games for global markets and held on to it until we decided to leave that all,” reminisces Mercy. In 2016, they took a sabbatical to pause and figure out future plans. “We lived in Hong Kong at that time which is a fantastic place for any luxury shopping and we ended up spending a lot of time with fine watches from the best watch makers in the world. Then we realized that watchmaking was about craftsmanship, all about attention to detail and most importantly, was about telling stories from their respective countries. We were growing in our careers but that growth came at a cost. We were moving every few years and were not really enjoying what our lives were turning out to be. At the end of the sabbatical, we decided to leave our careers behind and move back to India to do something on our own.”
Read the full story that first appeared in Bangalore Mirror dated Oct 22, 2019 here: