Tikka Shatrujit Singh, the royal scion of Kapurthala’s Ahluwalia dynasty, has been conferred with the prestigious Knight of the Legion of Honour for his “extraordinary work in the exchanging the French lifestyle and Indian culture with each other.”
French ambassador to India Francois Richier bestowed the honour on the 54-year-old Singh in a ceremony here late Thursday evening.
“The business journey with Tikka started with Louis Vuitton and he has been an incredible man of culture working tirelessly for promoting the French culture in India,” the ambassador said.
“He was born with a French history, and he turned out to be the right person at the right place. Had he not done, what he did, the relationship between the two countries would not have been this great,” he said.
Singh, known as the “guru of luxury,” is the Advisor to the Chairman of multinational group Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton (LVMH). The great-grandson and heir of Maharaja Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala who was a celebrated Francophile, Singh got his understanding of French culture in legacy.
“It is an honour for me to receive this recognition. I get the aesthetic experience of French culture from my great grandfather. I think it’s genetic to keep up the high esteem of French culture as he did,” Singh said.
A banker for almost 10 years after completing his education from Doon School and Delhi University, Singh joined LVMH as the Chief Representative in Asia in 1995.
Dressed in Punjabi attire with a turban on his head, Singh attended the function with his mother Maharani Geeta Devi. Pioneering the entry of LVMH perfumes and cosmetics and the LVMH fashion group into India, Singh has also organised many events including “Paris – Delhi – Bombay” in 2011 where he hosted fifty famous Indian and French artists at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
“Through years of my service to LVMH, I am deeply satisfied to to see that my work has helped in developing a worthy relationship in diverse fields which will enrich both the countries,” he said.
Singh is also known for his endeavours to preserve the tangible and intangible heritage of Kapurthala, which is a blend of Indo-French architectural styles.
The Legion d’Honneur, created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, is the highest civilian award given by the French Republic for outstanding service to France, regardless of the nationality of the recipients.
A photo-feature detailing of the legacy of the royal family of Kapurthala was also screened at the occasion.