Jhamandas Watumull Family
The Watumull family values have been deeply rooted in cultural exchange since the inception of their first business enterprise in Hawai`i more than 100 years ago. It started with Gulab Watumull’s father, Jhamandas, who came to Honolulu in 1914 with an expertise in textiles and an eye for opportunity.
Originally from India, Jhamandas launched the family’s first retail stores while son Gulab earned a college degree back in Bombay. Gulab came to Hawai`i to further his education and joined the family business in 1953. As the business grew, so did the family’s commitment to cultural appreciation. Their business acumen solidified the Watumull legacy when it created Hawai`i’s iconic matching aloha wear for families, a craze still identified worldwide. While Jhamandas had little formal education himself, he was keen to support education. Family history consistently reflects this value with endowments and grants established for schools and service organizations in both Hawai`i and India.
Today, Gulab, his wife Indru, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren continue to support the community through the J. Watumull Fund. With family members currently enrolled at Punahou, as well as many more among the alumni, the Foundation recently established the Jhamandas Watumull Family Endowed Fund to support Punahou's cultural education, especially its international exchange programs in India. "Punahou's leadership in global responsibility has greatly benefited the community," Gulab Watumull said. "We are so pleased to help perpetuate the integral component of cultural education for generations to come."