City entrepreneur makes a global mark
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City entrepreneur makes a global mark

August 9, 2022

William Penn, founded by Mysurean Nikhil Ranjan, acquires Sheaffer, an iconic US pen brand

Bengaluru: William Penn, a premium writing instruments and lifestyle accessories brand, has acquired Sheaffer, a 110-year-old iconic American brand, particularly known for its premium fountain pens. This transaction makes it one of the prominent US brand purchases by an Indian player.

It has acquired the brand from A.T. Cross Company, in a transaction that comprises Sheaffer’s complete product portfolio and licences, including premium pens, journals and gift sets.

Bengaluru-based William Penn was founded in 2002 by Nikhil Ranjan, who is the Managing Director of the company. He hails from Mysuru and is the son of Ashvini Ranjan, Founder-Trustee, Pratham Mysore. Nikhil got his BE degree from the National Institute of Engineering (NIE), University of Mysore in 1999 and went on to launch William Penn. 

As part of the acquisition, William Penn will be taking over Sheaffer’s manufacturing, marketing and retailing across 75 countries including the USA, UK, Mexico, Malaysia, Thailand, South Africa, Japan and India, among others.

This is William Penn’s second acquisition after 2016 when it acquired the British brand Lapis Bard and with it, diversified into men’s accessories, including leather bags, wallets, cufflinks, watch chests and pen cases.

“At William Penn, we see the current acquisition as a remarkable opportunity to further build on the preferences and tastes of Indian customers, while also factoring in global needs during the product development of new Sheaffer models and lines,” said Nikhil Ranjan.

“Sheaffer enjoys a 15 percent market share in the premium writing instruments (pens above the 10 dollar) segment in India. We hope to double this market share and plan to make India the number 1 market for Sheaffer in the next three years,” Nikhil added.

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Post-acquisition of the Sheaffer brand, William Penn plans to set up distribution centres in India and outside. It also plans to expand the product range from writing instruments to premium stationery and small leather goods, including cardholders and wallets, said Ranjan, adding it is a                                     big opportunity.

ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “City entrepreneur makes a global mark”

  1. Chandra says:

    No one writes with a pen these days. Official documents are electronically signed.
    Sheaffer brand even in its heydays in 1950s and 1960s, was inferior to Parker brand of pens and ball point pens. Hence, one could see prominent financial stockbrokers and others , kept a gold Parker pen in their pocket.
    Mont Blanc is the ultimate brand of pens, worth keeping , and are the Rolls Royce of pen brands.
    Indians like the SOM get excited whenever acquisition like this takes place-which means that the company which marketed Sheaffer found that pens are no longer used that much in the Western countries. It is like the steel company which Tata acquires in the Western countries, where businessmen lost interest in Steel or traditional cars.
    No big deal.
    Cheaper biros ( ball point pens ) are kept in banks in Western countries near the cashier, where the customer can sign, if needed.


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