The funeral will be held at 11 am on Tuesday at Mar Sleeva Forane Church, Pazhavangadi, Alappuzha.

Stylised image of Popy Umbrella Mart founder Scaria with umbrellas in the background
news Obit Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - 08:36

TV Scaria, the founder of Kerala’s most popular umbrella brand Popy, died on Monday in Kochi. He was 82. Scaria, who was popularly known as St George Baby, was under treatment for cancer in a private hospital. Earlier, the Popy and John's umbrella brands were known as St George Umbrellas.

It was in the 1950s that Thayyil Abraham Varghese, also known as 'Kuda Vavachan' — the umbrella tycoon — launched the St George brand in Alappuzha. After his demise in 1968, for 20 years his sons worked together under the same brand of umbrellas. In 1995, they split the company into two brands. The Popy Umbrella Mart was founded by Scaria and his brother, Abraham Thayyil, created John Umbrella Mart, the two now-famous brands in Kerala.

Scaria’s brand was named after a term of endearment for his youngest son. Speaking to TNM, Davis Thayyil, Scaria’s eldest son who operates Popy, explained the evolution of the brand’s name. "Our brand was named after my younger brother, who was nicknamed Popy. He never spoke until the age of 8 and the only word he uttered was Popy, after his favourite candy Poppins. Despite brainstorming and coming up with several names, we couldn’t find any that were as good as Popy, so we decided to go with it."

The television advertisements for Popy as well as radio jingles for the brand also gained popularity in Kerala as the company grew in fame. Both Popy and John's umbrellas are known for the innovations they have brought to the world of umbrellas, and remain leaders in their fields. Popy’s experimental and quirky ideas have attracted buyers from all over the country, including the ‘Nano’ umbrella that purportedly claims to be the world’s smallest at 16 cm,

Scaria is survived by his wife Thankamma Baby, daughters Laly and Daisy and sons Davis and Joseph (Popy). The funeral will be held at 11 am on Tuesday at Mar Sleeva Forane Church, Pazhavangadi, Alappuzha.

Read: Popy and John’s: Tracing the spectacular rise of the umbrella kings of Kerala

Show us some love and support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.