Career Dilemma of a Next-Gen Family Member - The Case of Lavanya Nalli
The case, set in 2016, follows Lavanya Nalli, a fifth-generation member of the Nalli family business, as she contemplates a critical decision about her future. Nalli Silks, an Indian ethnic wear retailer, had built an enviable reputation for quality and customer orientation over 90 years. As a female member of a conservative family business, she was not expected to enter the business and play an active role in it. Yet, she joined Nalli Silks after earning a degree in engineering and planned and pursued her own induction and learning in the firm. Over the next couple of years, she displayed her entrepreneurial drive by conceptualizing and setting up a successful business within the larger business. However, sensing that there were limited avenues within the firm to feed her ambition and keenness to learn and grow, she left India for the United States to pursue an MBA at Harvard Business School. After graduating, she worked at McKinsey, a leading consulting firm. In 2014, Lavanya returned to India and joined Myntra, a rapidly growing Indian fashion e-commerce company. These experiences provided her with rich and varied insights and perspectives. After seven years away, she was considering returning to the Nalli group with tentative plans of setting up a separate e-commerce vertical from scratch. Three generations of her family - her grandfather, her father and her brother - were active in the business and held independent charge of different parts of the Nalli group. There were serious reservations within the family and the organization about Lavanya's proposal to venture into e-commerce. She herself had some concerns about the larger strategy and set-up of the business, such as the absence of a leadership pipeline and inattention to market trends. The case closes with her reflections and questions on the way forward.