Interview with Mr Sanjay Dalmia

Mr Sanjay Dalmia
Mr Sanjay Dalmia
GHCL Limited
GHCL Limited

GHCL Limited is a publicly-traded multinational company with a leadership position in three industries – chemicals, textiles and information technology outsourcing. Headquartered in India, GHCL is backed with the work force of total 7000 employees working in Asia, the US, the United Kingdom, Eastern Europe, and Cambodia. Company’s chemical products include high-grade soda ash, a key ingredient in detergents, soaps, dyes, glass, and refined salt used for food processing, with state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in India and in Romania. In the Home Textiles arena GHCL revenue base has grown from approx. $50 million to a revenue base of $615 million in 18 months. The Chairman, Mr Sanjay Dalmia has hand of expertise on several industries such as telecommunication, information technology, finance & investment, soda ash, textiles, man-made fibers, holiday resorts, concept marketing and researching health products. In recent times, Mr Dalmia has attracted the attention of both corporate analysts & investors not only for the scale of his new investments but also for his innovations. Mr Dalmia is very keen on the effective industrial growth of India and is actively associated with various trade organizations like PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry. He was also associated with FICCI - Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry. In his long successful diverse career, Mr Dalmia has served on the Board of Directors of Union Bank of India, a Member of the Northern Committee of Industrial Development Bank of India. He was a member of the Rajya Sabha, (Upper House of the Indian Parliament) where he worked as a ‘constructive-link’ between the Government and the Industry to improve the overall economic development of the country. Inspite of being actively involved in varied industrial projects, Mr Dalmia efficiently manages time for participation at various civic & welfare activities. He is the past President of Delhi Junior Chamber and the member on the Board of Trustees of Indian Literary Society. He is keenly interested in the quality of education in India, and contributes time for affairs of various Educational Institutions. Mr Dalmia's achievements have been recognized by the International MERIDIAN which conferred its prestigious ‘International Corporate Sector Gold Award 1987’ on him for his venturing into industries which are aimed at taking India forward to the 21st Century. Interviewed by Face2face team, Mr Sanj

To begin with, would you like to share with our global audience any memorable episodes from the history of GHCL’s textile business?

At GHCL we are ;

i. Creating an alignment of traditional leadership towards achieving global value chain creation

ii. Developing a strong understanding of acting global & being local at company levels (subsidiaries)

It has been a great experience. Memorable Episodes are many. Sharing a few;

i. One strong memorable event was at the time of takeover of Rosebys when GHCL Team and Rosebys team spent 2 full days in brainstorming sessions to develop new standards & concepts in UK retail market and at the same time was able to expand the UK management’s thinking towards creating replicable business model in retail to take Rosebys to the international market, audience, consumers.

ii. Second most memorable episode would be to remove traditionality in the thinking of local HR management at GHCL levels & challenging there thinking & mindsets to align & evolve to a department that adds value towards the growth & integration of our ventures.

iii. Third most memorable moment would be to eradicate conventional thinking at middle level management & challenge them to develop systems & practices that enable top & bottom management towards achieving & strengthening our operations.

How do GHCL Group epitomize on dictum “Leadership through quality”?

Leadership through Quality – to the GHCL group leadership through quality does not only hold meaning at the manufacturing/ process driven environment where standards such as ISO, OHSAS, GOTS (global organic textiles standards), Organic exchange 100 guidelines etc exist. It has a broader meaning here, top management tries to create leadership abilities to the manager’s below & empower the future leaders of the company to challenge conventional thinking.

Leadership through quality in GHCL is about creating new standards that can be replicated at front level operations to deliver products/ solutions & a lifestyle environment to customers and others stake holders on a daily basis.

Through recent four acquisitions, how do you estimate the synergies would bode for GHCL’s international identity?

In the recent 4 acquisitions (Dan River, Rosebys, Best & Baker) GHCL has become the world’s only company to be integrated from “Fiber to Fashion”. As a new entrant with revenues of only USD 49 million to global revenues of USD 700 million spanning 3 continents & presence in 8 countries that contribute to 70% of global Home Textiles trade.

GHCL’s international identity as a local (regional) player within India has transformed to a global sourcer to a global retailer employing over 7000 people.

Having achieved critical mass GHCL’s Home Textile entity is soon to be restructured and rechristened into an international power house of Home Textiles with a vibrant leadership & possibly a new name. In this regard in the future possibly be 2 GHCLs (GHCL Soda Ash & GHCL Home Textiles) thereby creating 2 focused pure play entities/ organizations.

Published on: 04/02/2008

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.