Many bureaucrats and higher officials treat their pens as a lavish lifestyle icon. They use expensive pens for their daily use. Some of them get them custom-made by pen-makers. Do you know about the pen-makers who are manufacturing pens for Indian President and Prime Minister for the last seven decades? They are Rathnam ball-pen makers who are based in Rajahmundry of Andhra Pradesh.
During India’s freedom struggle, Mahatma Gandhi was once on his way to Kakinada to attend a meeting. When stopped at Rajahmundry railway station, Rathnam Pens’ owner KV Rathnam gifted a ball-pen to Gandhi. Rathnam made those pens after Gandhi’s call of Swadeshi Movement. First of all, Gandhi thought that was an imported pen. However, he later came to know that it was made in India. Soon, Gandhi wrote a letter to Rathnam expressing his happiness after using the pen. We can still spot that letter in Rathnam’s office.
Rathnam pen-makers use specially made rubber to manufacture these pens. They also make silver and gold-coated pens for a few special orders. Many government officials and industrialists order custom-made pens from here. They manufacture pens that cost from Rs. 300 to Rs. 2.5 lacs. They design a supreme model pen which is specially made for President and Prime Minister. They don’t sell that model to anyone else. From first President Babu Rajendra Prasad to current President Ramnath Kovind and the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi, all the Presidents and Prime Ministers use pens made by Ratham and his family. Rathnam’s family is continuing this business for the last four generations. They also said that they even made custom made pens for a few Presidents of Russia.