Changing with the times: Lavanya Nalli
Sarees are a huge part of every Indian woman’s life and if you happen to be one of the women who love wearing them; then you have heard of ‘Nalli.’ An 85 year old saree retailer chain, Nalli Silk was established in 1928 by Nalli Chinnasamy Chetti and was later taken over by his grandson, Nalli Kuppuswami Chetty. Today, the Nalli group has 23 outlets in 10 cities, and stores in USA and Singapore and the person who will soon head all of this is a fifth generation member of the family- Lavanya Nalli.
Lavanya Nalli, a Harvard Business school alumina, joined her family business in 2005, taking a two year break to join McKinsey and Co. in the US, to get a more diverse perspective on expanding the business. After her grandfather and great-grandfather, Lavanya is the first woman in the family who will be taking over the business. During the years she worked there, the company’s revenues grew from $44million to $100 million along with her setting up a design studio and a production unit.
Starting out as a medium sized brand, Nalli is now growing its market and Lavanya, who before leaving for the US opened up ‘Lavanya Nalli’ (a premium fashion brand for women); is playing a huge role in its expansion. One of her most significant contributions is tied with ‘Nalli Next.’ In an interview with Live Mint, she said, “I was very lucky to have joined the business in 2005, when there was a retail boom and increased spending power in India. I took forward the sub-branding idea because that way you are not losing out on Nalli’s brand equity and it gives us that latitude to experiment with retail formats.”
Currently working with Myntra.com, one of the biggest, most popular online shopping websites in the country; Lavanya is the Vice President, Fashion and Shopping Experience at the company. We hope more and more young women like her come up and motivate other girls to follow suit.
[Featured Picture Courtesy: Live Mint]