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Celebrating Mr. Pillai’s 90th Year


When Mr. Pillai could not be in the presence of wild animals in their natural habitats, he filled his need to be around animals by going to zoos and aquariums. There he watched children mesmerized by the animals they witnessed; knowing many would never have the opportunity, as he had, to see these animals in the wild. He knew to help preserve these animals in the wild, it was vital these children get to experience them in zoos and aquariums. He also knew that was not enough to keep them engaged with wildlife education and conservation. Mr. Pillai intuitively knew these children would enjoy taking home a memento from their experience that would help drive their curiosity and love of animals.

The first plush Mr. Pillai sold was a dolphin. From there his innovations and momentum continued to the first ever hanging monkey plush and beyond, way beyond! Mr. Pillai did the product development and sales while Mrs. Pillai did the buying, billing and packing. Together they were the perfect team.


Today, Wild Republic is featured in every consumer segment to educate children on the miracles of nature. What started over forty years ago is now the premier global driving force in zoos, museums, and aquarium gift shops worldwide. None of this would be a reality without the passion and love for animals from our founder Mr. Pillai!

Mr. Pillai remains intricately involved in the design and development of our most successful product lines.


  • Wild Republic was founded as K&M International.
  • Mr. Pillai’s favorite animals are monkeys and cows.
  • Our factories in India were called Bodygear because they started as treadmill manufacturers.
  • Mr. Pillai grew up on a tea estate in India playing in rivers and mountains.
  • Our Tech division was created by Mr. Pillai to serve the needs of one customer and grew from there.
  • Kamala Pillai was K&M’s number one employee allowing Mr Pillai’s vision to come to life.
    (Image: Mr.Pillai & Mrs. Kamala Pillai)