NewsX was recently joined by Yaduveer Singh Bera, co-founder of Bera Jackets, Castle Bera and JB Safaris. In an exclusive conversation, as a part of its special series, NewsX A-List Kunwar Yaduveer Singh Bera spoke about his brands and future mission.
Yaduveer Singh told us about the origins of Bera Jackets and the story behind how it became popular and what made him decide to further promote it. “Bera Jackets are not new. It has been there in Rajasthan since the 1920s and was introduced by my great grandfather Thakur Prithvi Singh Bera who was a world-class polo player and part of the legendary Jodhpur team which won all over the world. He was a man of style and in those days the tailors of Bera were known for the art of quilting that was initially done for the polo horses. He ordered his personal royal tailors to make quilted jackets and Phulgaar for him. That’s how it all began. The trend picked up and The Bera Phulgaars and jackets were ordered by several royals and were also presented to international personal guests of the royalties,” he said.
“I started this as a brand when I came back from college. I was handling Castle Bera hence was handling all the guests. I used to meet a lot of them from all over the world and they used to love these jackets that I used to wear in the evening. When I used to sit with them we used to appreciate it and they asked me what brand this is and that’s how it all started. In 2018, my cousin called me up and said why don’t I start a platform. I had no experience in fashion and was scared and confused. But I had only seven days to start a brand,” continued Yaduveer Singh. At the age of 22, he started Bera Jackets, his own brand of clothing and has not looked back since then.
Talking about his mission to open up the local landscape and the local region to the international market, Yaduveer Singh said, “I come from the place called Jawai, the leopard hills of India. My father Thakur Baljeet Singh Bera and uncle Thakur Devi Singh Bera were the pioneers of Leopards safaris in Jawai. There was a time no one believed that there were leopards in Bera Jawai but after 20 years of hard work and dedication both of them got Bera Jawai on the world map and has given employment and business opportunities to hundreds of locals.”
Yaduveer Singh was given the title of the ‘Leopard Prince’ at the age of 22 for his remarkable efforts of conservation of wildlife and heritage. A documentary was released by filmmaker Gunther Machu called ‘The Leopard Prince’ based on his life. He shared the reason behind this unique title, “My father’s elder brother, known as Leopard Man was the first person who called me ‘Leopard Prince’. That’s how it all started. An Austrian filmmaker had come to Bera and he wanted to create a film, which was about leopards, and also about the culture, the area, and the heritage of this place. We wanted to name it something different. He how saw my work, what I was doing with the Bera Jackets and all the things I was working on. We had a discussion and decided to name it: Leopard Prince.” Yaduveer Singh started an initiative known as I-CLEAN JAWAI, with a vision to clean the leopard hills of India by creating awareness as tourism has increased in the area and people have started to litter the beautiful landscape of Jawai.
The scion of the Royal Family launched a safari adventure and outsourcing company called JB safaris. Yaduveer Singh shared his vision behind it, “After Covid-19 induced lockdown I wanted to do a no contact set up where people can enjoy safaris without having to stay in a hotel. That was the whole idea behind starting the safaris as we are running Castle Bera but if our guests are located right in the centre, for example, we get many customers from Jodhpur and Udaipur who don’t want to spend the night but just come there directly for a safari and leave.”
Yaduveer Singh conducted Safari with the ‘Leopard Prince of India’ in partnership with Dubai Tourism, Singapore Tourism, and Incredible India. It was India’s first successful live virtual safari during the Covid-19 pandemic which helped to spread awareness about conservation in schools across the world.
With a mission to promote the local arts and crafts of the area to increase employment and revive the art of quilting under the brand name of Bera Jackets, he asserted, “I believe there is immense hidden talent in India and if we empower rural India, give them the facilities and support them we can make world-class products. The youth of India should not just follow international brands but create brands that can compete internationally. I started Beta Jackets but there are so many other people in rural India who can do the same and different artisans who need that attention. There are so many undiscovered places in rural parts of India. There was a time when I had to convince my friends that we have leopards in our area. Nobody believed me then and now when I talk about Jawai, people know this destination. I have seen a destination which was nothing and now it’s on the world map because of people’s dedication and teamwork.”