I'm More Than My Surname: Punit & Kulin Lalbhai
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Claim to Fame: Sons of Textile Baron Sanjay Lalbhai
While Punit Lalbhai was working for Center for Environment and Education between his graduation and Masters, at that time, Arvind Ltd set up its agriculture business which was organic farming and had a
sustainability and ecology angleto it. “It was a very natural phase that had transition from science to business. I was reasonably qualified for the project,” claims Punit. On why he thought joining the family business is a good idea, Punit says, “When I was doing Masters in environmental education, I decided that business was the right vehicle which can change the world. So, I decided that joining Arvind,
might be a good idea.”
Punit feels there is a much better opportunity and it is much easier to incubate a new business under the umbrella of a large organization. “The kinds of businesses Kulin & I are doing are similar to startups. We are not involved in large core businesses as such because we feel promoters are better at entrepreneurship,” states Punit.
Talking about the major businesses he’s working on, Punit says, “We are focusing on lots of industrial materials which will be very helpful as India grows because these types of materials are used consistently in the economy to develop to a certain extent.
The other one is an agri business where we are growingsustainable cotton working with farmers. Third area which I look after is engineering where we have two companies, out of which one is a fabrication company for metal and another is an environmental protection company where we have
innovative technology for waste water treatment.”
It took a lot of time to develop these ideas and execution started since 2012. Explaining where these
businesses stand currently, Punit informs, “They are allsmall to medium sized, like, advance material division will be 500 crore, engineeringbusiness would be around 300 crore and agri would be around
100 crore. When all these are put together, all would be close
to 1,000 crore.”
After doing his graduation from Stanford in 2007, Punit’s younger brother, Kulin joined McKinsey & Co for two years. After that he went on to do his MBA and started working with Arvind. In 2012, he started
work on the e-commerce business.
Talking about the role played by Kulin in the growth of Arvind, he says, “One of our biggest assets at present is brand and retail business, wherein, I made a couple of additions. I think, at present, my primary aim is building new business, which is to develop new segments in digital space. We have launched Nnnow.com. Through this mode, we are connecting online and offlineworld.”
(This article first appeared in the Indian edition of Entrepreneur magazine (August 2016 Issue)