“Beyond shareholder wealth, you have to create stakeholder value“ Kulin Lalbhai, Executive Director, Arvind Limited
Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce & Industry organised its latest online edition of the MCCI Leadership Series: Ideas For India at 100 with Shri Kulin Lalbhai, Executive Director, Arvind Limited, and Director, Arvind Fashions. Mr. Lalbhai spearheads the group’s digital initiatives and is the driving force behind new initiatives in the group’s consumer businesses. He has been instrumental in setting up several new retail concepts and also plays an active role in the overall Corporate Strategy.
MCCI President, Shri Rishabh C. Kothari set the context by stating that as we complete our Nation’s 75th year of Independence, the milestone entrusts each of us with the responsibility of reflecting on the way forward. The MCCI Leadership Series is an exercise in imagining the India of tomorrow with leaders from diverse fields. We need to now envision our journey for the next 25 years and work out detailed plans and programs for the future. To achieve a global leadership position, there is now an urgent need for deliberations to figure out the right policies for inclusive and sustainable growth which benefit everyone. He asked for Mr. Lalbhai’s views on the opportunities and challenges for India in the run-up to 2047; on the role of data and analytics in India’s growth story; on the key steps India would need to take to become the global market leader in textiles and apparel; whether a sustainable, affordable clothing solution for all Indians was possible and what kept Mr. Lalbhai going as a leader.
Mr. Lalbhai mentioned that we were now seeing the growth of the largest middle class in the world in India and South Asia and the coming century would belong to India and South Asia along with China as this Industrial Age divergence in growth and development now converges in the digital age. India held many winning cards – supply chains were shifting from China and immediately looking at India; the services sector has become an unstoppable juggernaut; many new-age digital businesses have created immense entrepreneurial energy among the youth who are now job creators, and the shift of energy usage from fossil fuels to solar may well turn us into an energy powerhouse.
On the digital theme, he felt the story is playing out to India’s strengths as we seem to understand technology well. He felt we were seeing the tip of the iceberg of the digital revolution in India. According to him, India would go the China way and not the Western way, in which technology is embedded into every aspect of our lives. These new digital backbones are now creating unprecedented digital consumer revolutions in India.
As for the domestic market, sustainable and affordable clothing for all could surely become a reality if there was Government mandate to incentivize better practices and penalize polluting ones. There is a need to also build clusters like Tirupur and Ludhiana which would provide plug and play solutions for apparel businesses. The PM MITRA scheme was targeted at building this preparedness for the nation.
On motivation, Mr. Lalbhai mentioned that once the initial financial needs are met for the business, shareholder value creation was not enough to stay motivated; business leaders would need to create stakeholder value and feel part of a larger vision, whether for employees, or society or the Nation. That was his driving force.
The informative discussion with implications for all in industry, will be available on the YouTube Channel : MCCIKol.