In 1920, when the late Sri. C.K. Kurian ventured into the optical business, little would he have envisaged that the business would continue to flourish under its third generation leadership into its 100th year. Yes, a small shop then at Broadway in Ernakulam branched out to other places and today is a 25 showroom business extended to Alappuzha, Kottayam and Idukki districts in Kerala and one showroom in Muscat. All showrooms are fully computerized and a few with doctor facilities.
It was indeed a long journey, which started off with C.K. Kurian coming over to Ernakulam from Njarackal, a small village situated in the Vypeen Island, on the invitation of Dr. Ephraim Mampilly, who had a clinic at Broadway. C.K. Kurian assisted Dr. Ephraim at the clinic. When the WorldWar II broke out the St. Teresa’s Convent near the clinic was converted into a military hospital to treat the injured soldiers. The British officers, who were impressed by the service rendered by Kurian, sent him to Calcutta to be trained at the East India Company Hospital, where he gets trained in Optometry. After the passing away of Dr. Ephraim Mampilly, as his children were not keen in continuing the clinic, C.K. Kurian takes over the clinic and starts the first ever optical shop in Kerala, which was named Kurians Opticals.
After the death of C.K. Kurian in 1959, his son E.K. Paul took over the reins of the business. After the passing away of E.K. Paul, the third generation siblings, Sunny Paul, Jimmy Paul, Jogy Paul and Johny Paul and their nephew Lijo Gregory have stood steadfast in continuing the family business started by their great grandfather and ushering it into its glorious centenary. It was indeed not an easy journey amidst the cropping up of new-gen optical stores and online stores with their pomp and splendour. Dedication and integrity, which is very rare these days, helped them hold on in the highly competitive business. The new generation in the family Aju Sunny, Paul Jimmy, who is now managing the showroom in Muscat and Joju Johny joined in to be the pillars of support to the elders. Unfortunately, Aju Sunny succumbed to cancer in 2019.
In their pursuit of excellence in business the brothers also found it necessary to express their gratitude towards the society which helped them grow and flourish. Hence was born the Kurians Charitable Trust with the objective of helping the weaker sections of the society. Various charity programs have been carried out in these years under the auspices of the trust. Nayanam Housing Scheme, launched under the trust provided to build a house for a homeless person every year. 18 houses have been built and handed over in these years under the Nayanam project. The handing over of the key of the 18th house was held as part of the centenary celebrations held in Kochi on November 28, 2020. Sri. Hibi Eden, Member of Parliament handed over the key to Somalatha, native of Mulavukadu in Ernakulam district. Sri. Hibi Eden appreciated the social responsibility demonstrated by Kurians Opticals in his speech after handing over the key. “This gesture by Kurians Opticals has made the centenary celebration more colourful and meaningful,” he said. The house was built on the three cents of land owned by the beneficiary at a cost of Rs 8.5 lakh.
As part of the centenary, Kurians Opticals also had conducted free eye check-up camps for the economically weaker sections at various places. Free spectacles were distributed to 2500 people from the economically weaker section selected through its 25 showrooms. Sri. V.D. Satheesan, MLA formally inaugurated the scheme by handing over free spectacles to three of the selected beneficiaries at the function.
Sunny Paul, CEO of Kurians Opticals, said that the success formula of the organization was its ability to gain the confidence of the public within a short span of time. He added that Kurians Opticals consider the 100th Anniversary as an occasion to reciprocate the support and love extended to it by the society.