NewsX was recently joined by Yaduveer Singh Bera, Co-Founder of Bera Jackets, Castle Bera & 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 and shared his insights with us.
Yaduveer Singh started off by telling us about the origins of Bera Jackets and the story behind how it became popular and what made him decide to promote it. “Bera jackets are not new. It has always been there in Rajasthan for a very long time, since the 1920s and was introduced by my great grandfather Thakur Prithvi Singh Bera, who was a world-class polo player and was a part of the legendary Jodhpur team which won all over the world. Thakur Prithvi Singh Bera 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 & Phulgaar for him and that’s how it all began. The trend picked up and The Bera Phulgaar’s and jackets were ordered by a lot of royals and were also presented to international personal guests of the royalties,” said Yaduveer Singh.
“I started this as a brand when I came back from college. I was handling Castle Bera hence was handling all the guests and 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 and fashion or profession and I was way scared and confused. But I had only seven days to start as a brand,” continued Yaduveer Singh. At the age of 22, he started Bera Jackets, his own brand of clothing and since then he has not looked back.
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 known as 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 the brothers got Bera Jawai on the world map & has given employment and business opportunities to hundreds of locals.”
Kunwar Yaduveer Singh Bera at the age of 22 was given the title of the “Leopard Prince” 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. Sharing the reason behind this unique title Yaduveer Singh said “My father’s elder brother, known as the leopard man was the first person who called me the 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 and that’s how he saw my work, what I was doing the Bera jackets and all the things that 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 in the area 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. Sharing his vision behind it, Yaduveer said “After Covid-19 induced lockdown I wanted to do a no contact sort of setup where people can come to their safaris and carry on without having to stay in a hotel. That was the whole logic behind starting with safaris because we are running Castle Bera but if our guests are located right in the centre like we get many customers from Jodhpur and Udaipur where they don’t want to spend the night but just come there directly to do a safari and leave. I wanted to build a contact-less experience where they can come directly to their safaris and carry on.”
Safari with the “Leopard Prince of India” was conducted by Yaduveer 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 in conservation in schools all over the world.
With a mission to promote the local arts and crafts of the area to increase employment and to revive the art of quilting under the brand name of Bera Jackets, Yaduveer said “I believe that there is immense hidden talent in India if we empower rural India and give them the facilities and support them we can really make world-class products and it is the duty of the youth of India to not just follow international brands but to create brands that can compete internationally. I started Beta jackets but there are so many other people in India’s rural parts where there are different artisans who need that attention. In rural parts I mean there are so many undiscovered places again like Jawai’s story that I have seen since my childhood, I’ve seen it in front of my eyes, where there was a time when I had to convince my friends that we have leopards in our area. Nobody believed me, it was obvious and now when I talk about the Jawai, everybody knows about it. I have seen a destination which was nothing. And now it’s on the world map because of proper dedication and teamwork.”