In a country like India where business is still dominated by family-run enterprises, succession questions about the next generation of tycoons are sure to emerge.
Today, across the boardrooms of family-owned businesses in India, young leaders – most of whom are armed with a very high quality of education, from outside India – are playing a proactive role in transforming some of the legendary enterprises in India that over the years have defined Indian entrepreneurship.
These young lads and lasses – born with a silver spoon in their mouth – are highly spirited to do something meaningful and different.
While some from this younger generation are scratching new surfaces to take conglomerates into uncharted territories, others are redefining processes and operations to keep the business integrity intact but making them future-ready.
Here’s a list of the new generation of scions of top industrialist families who are making their presence felt in today’s retail environment with their new ideas, approach and direction:
Ashni Biyani, daughter of Kishore Biyani, one of India’s organized retail pioneers, is Chief Ideator, Future Ideas, the insights and design arm of Future Group and was the first woman in the family to enter the business.
She joined her father’s Future Group in 2007 as design manager in the innovation and incubation cell. In 2011, the unit was turned into a separate entity—Future Ideas.
At Future Ideas, Ashni leads a team that understands nuances of Indian consumers and maps behavioural shifts of consumers and communities. Future Ideas under her leadership works on various government initiatives, retail and consumer projects internationally and with other transformational ideas.
Born and brought up in Mumbai, Ashni graduated as a textile designer at Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore, Ashni has attended courses on scenario planning at New York’s Parsons School of Design and the Summer Institute of General Management at Graduate School of Business, Stanford University.
Along with Future Ideas, Ashni has been instrumental in bringing in design-led thinking within the Future Group’s business decision making. She serves as a Director on the board of Future Consumer Enterprises Limited, an integrated Food and FMCG Company which is into building food parks, creating Indian insight inspired FMCG brands and products and also convenience store chains as well as other distribution models.
She has also played a lead role in mentoring and co-founding ‘Holii’ a fashion accessories brand in partnership with ‘Hidesign’ and has spearheaded the large formats like Big Bazaar Family Center stores as its Concept Head.