Welspun CEO Dipali Goenka is more than a dancing CEO⁠— she’s a homemaker-turned-CEO engaged in the good fight

  • The video of Welspun India’s CEO Dipali Goenka dancing with her colleagues, to the tune of Muqabla song from the Street Dancer 3D, has gone viral on the internet
  • The 50-year old Joint Managing Director and CEO of the ₹4,500-crore (over $600 million) Welspun India.
  • This is just one party on the road to the targeted $2 billion in revenue by 2022
The video of Welspun India’s CEO Dipali Goenka dancing with her colleagues, to the tune of Muqabla song from the Street Dancer 3D, has gone viral on the internet. Many industry leaders, bollywood actors and politicians applauded the 45-sec video giving a glimpse at a ‘happy workplace’.

But the 50-year old Joint Managing Director and CEO of the ₹4,500-crore (over $600 million) Welspun India has a lot more to her credit than a viral video.


The reason for the celebration: Welspun India, which makes towels, bathrobes, and bedsheet, registered a whopping 55% growth in net profit for the third quarter ending on December 31, 2019, sparking hopes of a turnaround amidst gloomy prospects for the entire sector. This is just one party on the road to the targeted $2 billion in revenue by 2022.

Goenka had a tough start as the boss
Goenka was a homemaker, and the wife of Balkrishan Goenka (the Chairman of the Welspun Group) until she decided to become an executive back in 2002. She became an entrepreneur with a new business line, Spaces, a brand that targets premium for towels and bedsheets at a domestic level.

Nine years ago, in 2011, Goenka shook the textile industry in India when she took charge of the company. Some industry leaders thought the “Welspun has lost its mind” reported Forbes. ‘Is she here because she is a part of the management?” Goenka told the media.

Two years later, she became the joint managing director in 2013. A few years into the business, Goenka proved the skeptics wrong. Welspun India’s annual revenue was nearly ₹5,500 crore last year. In fact, a look at the stock price of Welspun India shows that the real wealth generation for investors happened only after she took over.

Source: Google Finance

Now, the company expects the WelHome and Spaces brands to touch ₹3,500 crore, according to an Edelweiss report, by next year whereas the current market value of entire Welspun India is just ₹4,500 crore.

What makes her achievement special is that she has managed to grow the company at a time when the textile industry has been struggling to survive. Particularly, the textile exporters from India have been losing out cheaper competition from Bangladesh and Vietnam.

The early setback
Sexism was not the only challenge for Goenka. One of the biggest setbacks for the group was in 2016, when Target Corp, second largest value retailer in the US, informed their customers that Welspun India sold them substandard bedsheets.


At the time, Target gave about 10% of Welspun India’s billion-dollar revenue every year. Their market cap took a steep fall of 54% — from ₹103.34 billion to ₹46.97 billion between August 19, 2016 and August 30, 2016.

Goenka took responsibility and met all her customers including JCPenney, Costco, Walmart in the US to Sainsbury in Europe. In 2017-18, the company’s gross sales fell by 9%.

But the company seems to have recovered from that now. It was ranked as the top home textile suppliers in the US in 2017 and has a distribution network in over 32 countries including US, UK, Europe, Canada and Australia.

The good fight

Goenka has not only chased her corporate aspirations, she has also strongly backed gender equality. “The biggest change is that the percentage of women has gone up from 7% to 23% in our workforce. IQ is not the only thing that will take an organisation forward. It is also the EQ. And that’s the balance women bring,” Goenka told Outlook Business.

While prodding other billionaire-owners of big businesses like Anand Mahindra, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and Gautam Adani to make their workplace more fun, Goenka has also become the face of a changing corporate culture in India.

SEE ALSO:
The inside story of how Escorts turned around to become a nearly ₹10,000-crore company
Biting slowdown is squeezing Page Industries' profit margin on Jockey and Speedo
Manish Malhotra, Ritu Kumar, Sabyasachi and other top designer clothes are available for rent thanks to this Indian startup
Star hair stylist Jawed Habib reveals why $30 million franchise hasn't cut prices this slowdown
{{}}

Add Comment()
Comments ()
X
Sort By:
Be the first one to comment.
We have sent you a verification email. This comment will be published once verification is done.