Adding A Digital Twist To Nalli’s Nine Yards

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Lavanya Nalli, 

Vice-chairperson, Nalli Silk Sarees Pvt. Ltd.
age: 38
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Lavanya Nalli entered the family business in 2005 out of college, exited, went to Harvard Business School, gained experience from outside, and re-entered in 2017. “My journey in Nalli mirrors the journey of sari — like how women wore it out of habit, then went away in mutiny only to come back to say they kind of like it, and it’s cool,” says Lavanya, vice chairperson, Nalli Silks, the third generation in the business.
With her keen business mind, Lavanya could understand the generational shift that was happening in five-year timelines. As a market leader and a legacy brand with a customer-oriented philosophy at its core, Lavanya focussed on the opportunity. The result was Nalli Next, a separate store format. The company went into malls and smaller formats as opposed to large standalone stores, and took the e-commerce route, which also meant breaking out of Nalli’s nine-decade no-discount policy.
“I identified the right way to structure an e-commerce enterprise, without going on a discount trail, with the right investments in tech, talent, and built a strong foundation,” she adds.
Nalli’s core philosophies and sturdiness stood the test of time in the pandemic when the brand scaled its business and opened a store in the U.K. Without a single lay-off or wage cuts, the company was able to direct the money to the right places. “Because we have run the company in a fiscally conservative fashion, we could fend off that pandemic year,” says Lavanya. That was when I saw the leadership come together and guide.