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Genial Kholi's legacy lives on




NDEED, the passing away of Tilak Raj Kohli, the managing director of STAG International (Meerut), on October 25 has left a big void. He was 88. Even as we, the table tennis fraternity in general and the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) in particular, join hundreds of mourners, including the Kohli family, in praying for his soul to rest in peace, I cannot but recall his contributions in the field of sports, more specifically to table tennis.

A genial personality that Kholi was, he was always in the forefront to help table tennis grow in the country. STAG has been a part and parcel of TTFI family for several years and we cannot forget the services and support he extended to us. What endeared him to us was the way he functioned and executed things meticulously, all with a sense of commitment. With him at the helm at STAG, we could always take the liberty of hosting national and international events without a blemish at any time of the year. In fact, a mere phone call would suffice to make necessary arrangements. Instructions from him would fly thick and fast and things would be taken care of to the greatest satisfaction of all.

Shri Tilak Raj Kohli meeting the players after inaugurating 63rd Delhi state table tennis championships in 2002

This was one maxim he followed till he breathed his last. So it was not surprising when he would always insist what has been STAG’s motto: “We do not sell products; we sell satisfaction!”

Naturally, the credit for nurturing such a thought must go to Kholi Saheb. He was such a blessed persona that he not only had great resources but also dedicated people around him to make sure that STAG products had the hallmark of greatness, safety and the money’s worth. What mattered to him was qualityand quality alone. He never compromised on that front. Hence it is not surprising that STAG employs over 300 committed workers to stretch beyond their capacities throughout the year to meet a stringent quality control and timely schedules.

But STAG International was not made overnight. The sweat and toil of Kohli Saheb can be seen in what the company has achieved over a period of time, besides taking the Indian sports industry to where it is today. Founded in 1922, by the great visionary, Late Lala Arjan Das Kohli, STAG is a revered brand name in more than 153 countries worldwide. From a humble beginning through the dedicated efforts of Tilak Raj Kohli, the company has become a multinational spreading its wings in the globe in all spheres of sports. The company has seen four generations, all dedicating themselves and catering to the needs of the sports industry in the world in general and in particular India.

Like several others, we in the TTFI will miss his presence without a doubt. But his legacy will live forever. And we will continue to draw our inspiration from his purpose, passion and meaning.

RIP Kohli Saheb.