Building and expanding a family run business is not like managing other companies. "You are not planning for the next five or 10 years. You will be with the company for the entire life time and will be passing this legacy to the next generation. So, your policies and ideas should be the most sustainable one," believes Lavanya Nalli, Vice Chairperson of Nalli Silk Sarees.
When Lavanya, a Harward school graduate and the fifth generation scion of the 91-year-old company, joined the company in 2005, she was the first woman from her family to enter the business.
"The core business of Nalli is silk sarees. I want to build on that," she says. Thus she started Nalli Next, with trendy designs with affordable prices, for younger, urban, working women.
"Our business was built on family core values. Whatever happens, we will keep the customers and our employees at the heart; and our customers trust us. I want to keep that intact," she says. Her Harward education and brief stints with consultancy McKinskey and online fashion brand Myntra helped her bring in a professional touch to the business and improve efficiency.
With e-commerce booming, she started the e-commerce channel for Nalli. The online business is now growing steadily growing and generated a revenue of Rs 20 crore last financial year.
The parent company has a name and reputation to preserve and it's own set of loyal customers - this is something that Lavanya is mindful of. "We don't do business for the sake of it. We don't have investor pressure. We have said no to investors because we would have to compromise on our core values," she says. In caring for employees, too, she follows the tried and tested. "We don't give rewards like employee of the month or five star recognitions. All our employees are an extension of our familiy. So we safeguard them like we safeguard our family," she concludes.