Business Today

"GST has been good for the compliant textile players"

Sanjay Lalbhai can trace his family history 17 generations all the way back to the court of Akbar the Great. The textile business was launched by his great grandfather Lalbhai Dalpatbhai when he started the Saraspur Cotton Mills in 1897. Sanjay Lalbhai got into the business in the 1970s, when the sector was under severe pressure because of the Licence Raj and the rise of the unorganised powerloom sector. He took a decision to first move into denims, which would help him build a global scale business. Then he decided to build brands Arrow, GAP and others. The group has revenues of about Rs 11,000 crore currently. Now, he is taking the next step with his two sons Punit and Kulin by focussing on technical textiles, customised retail solutions and others. In a freewheeling interview with Prosenjit Datta, he talks about how GST has helped his textile business, the philosophy behind the brand strategy, why he did not diversify into newer areas, the future of textiles and the Arvind Group, and finally, what he sees as the role of the promoter of a business vis a vis the role of professionals. Edited excerpts.

Has the economy settled down?

Sanjay Lalbhai: We can see some green shoots. Some businesses have started doing well. Automobiles for one; FMCG also the HUL numbers are good. Some

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