Chennai, Sep 18 (): Nalli Silks, known for 6 and 9.5 yard silk sarees, is entering into gold jewellery business. A shopping paradise for visitors and residents of this metro, located in the bustling commercial T Nagar is today surrounded by multi-storied textile showrooms. Nalli still retains its old world charm and has loyal customers who swear by this brand name.
83 years after it was started in a rented house, its current turnover is Rs 550 crores. Lavanya ,a fifth generation Nalli scion first introduced the corporate culture. She studied in Harvard Business School and now works in McKinsey. She introduced high-end silk sarees which used dyes imported from Switzerland. Her great grandpa Kuppusami Chetti named it Lavanya Nalli sarees.
Lavanya diversified into readymade garments for women and men and other accessories and opened stores in Bangalore, Singapore and US. Her target was the youth. Having achieved what she started, she left her family business to become a strategic consultant.
Now her brother, twenty-three-year-old Niranth Nalli, will take the 83-year -old business forward to selling gold jewellery. It has set up a shop near its present saree showroom in T Nagar and has kept aside Rs 100 crores for it.
Niranth studied computers . The decision to enter gold retail was only after Niranth was put to work in the Nalli’s admin section. Vice Chairman of Nalli Silks , Ramnath and father of Niranth, five years back asked IMRB to conduct a survey among the customers with query as to where should Nalli the brand name enter.The answer was gold.
Ramnath is aware that it does not have a head start since there are many who have entrenched themselves in the gold retail. He however hopes that the brand name might click.
A consultancy firm started work after the IMRB survey was completed. It struck a chord that silk sarees and gold go together and it made sense.
Nalli would test its waters first in Chennai and then move to other cities in the South where it has a strong brand loyalty. It has no idea to move overseas but in the long-term it could go on to making ornaments from its own plant which might be at Hosur. Nalli is aiming to have a consolidated turnover of Rs 1,000 crore in next fiscal.