Lead Story

A brand new spin

The Lalbhai family is knitting a strategy that aims to transform Arvind into a retail and brand powerhouse

Soumik Kar

Sometime in mid-2011, Sanjay Lalbhai got a call from his younger son, Kulin. An engineer from Stanford with two years experience at McKinsey under his belt, Kulin was studying MBA at Harvard Business School when he was struck by an idea for the family’s textile and brands business. A fan of e-commerce — he wrote two papers on the subject at Harvard — Kulin detailed an online business plan to his father over several long-distance phone calls. Lalbhai didn’t need much convincing. “I simply asked him to take charge of the idea once he returned. To my mind, this initiative was the need of the hour,” recalls Lalbhai as he sips coffee at Arvind Ltd’s sprawling plant at Naroda, about 15 km from central Ahmedabad.