The state of Kerala has a history of contributing to several self-determined women who have made their mark on the global stage through their active presence and conviction. Among them, Beena Kanan tops the Malayali women who have risen to fame through entrepreneurial ventures. Beena has made a unique contribution to the growth of a new culture in the state as a successful woman entrepreneur. 

Beena was born as a single child in the Kottayam district of Kerala. Her grandparents originally migrated from Tamil Nadu to Kerala; a stalwart in the textile industry and the founder of Seematti sarees in 1910 in Alappuzha. 

In 1980, Beena followed her passion and joined her father in the league of their family’s textile retailing business after completing her university education. Beena developed a keen interest in the Seematti brand and desired to grow with it. In 1985, she married her childhood friend and cousin Kannan. Unfortunately, in 2000, after ensuring his wife and three children a good existence, Kannan passed away. It was difficult for the young woman to emerge from the difficult circumstances muddled in darkness. With time she developed the mental strength and self-confidence to overcome the challenging times and decided to succeed as an entrepreneur.

Image Credit : Manorama

Beena, who assumed leadership of the Seematti sarees following the demise of her husband, made some significant efforts to develop a more professional outcome and devoted her full time to the sector’s expansion. 

Beena Kannan, the tenacious force behind Seematti’s growth, should be credited for the real slog and incredible resolve that transformed the little saree shop into one of the state’s most well-liked fashion businesses. Beena Kannan’s success comes from constantly reinventing both herself and her company. The biggest obstacle she had to overcome was persuading the weavers to use new designs. Beena had to make trips to remote locations and faced challenging issues of convincing workers. She stayed with them and persuaded them to accept her viewpoints. Based on the bond Beena developed, the entire community began to work for her as soon as she could communicate her ideas effectively. Due to the emergence of successful business ties between the villagers and Beena, new saree collections would arrive in Seematti stores every six months and have evolved as the best seller for Kanchipuram silk sarees.

My tip to youngsters is to choose a line of activity close to your heart. Do not fret about making money. Pursue your passion like a hobby, not as a work. Then success will be yours.‘ quoted Beena.

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When Seematti broke the world’s longest silk sari record, Beena Kannan gained notice on the global platform. The exemplary saree was over half a kilometer long and included intricate needlework. The weight of the stunning Kanchipuram silk saree was 72.583 kg, and the silk used in crafting weighed around 57 kg. The saree’s manufacturing expense was Rs. 2.04 billion. The world-record-breaking saree was an expression of India’s rich cultural heritage. The art covered in the saree included a wide range of art crafts portraying Indian history, epics, folktales, myths, as well as well-known people, locations, and monuments. Also, it received certificates from the Guinness Book of Records and the Limca Book of Records in 2007.

Beena Kannan has been awarded several gallantries, which affirms this Keralite woman’s tiring yet satisfying journey, whose high aspiration ensured a worthy journey from Kottayam to the global stage. 

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