At the head of one of the world’s largest home textile companies is Welspun’s managing director, Dipali Goenka, who has earned honors including being named No. 16 of on Asia’s 50 Power Businesswomen 2016 by Forbes. (The company itself was recently ranked No. 1 among [Home & Textiles Today’s] “Top 15 Home Supplier Giants to the USA” for textiles.) In June, Goenka spoke with the trade in an Elle Decor-led panel on female empowerment and leadership, sitting alongside moderator Kate Kelly Smith, VP and group publisher of Hearst Design Group; Rachel Doriss, Pollack design director; and Gabby Etrog Cohen, SoulCycle SVP of PR and brand strategy, where the conversation also focused on each company's broader mission. Today, she chats with EAL about fabric, leadership and serving a purpose.
What is at the core of Welspun’s mission?
Across the board, Welspun ensures a fully integrated supply chain—from R&D and strategic partnerships to manufacturing practices that respect the environment and conserve the use of energy. We’ve invested heavily in innovation of technology, and much of the organization focuses on sustainability, global citizenship and women’s empowerment. As a global organization, our corporate social vision is both multifaceted and of the utmost importance.
Welspun is working on connecting more with designers and on developing a to-the-trade structure, offering bed and bath products to designers. What advice do you have for designers seeking to incorporate positive social change into their practices or design?
I highly encourage designers and any consumer to research the companies with which they do business. We are committed to our social and environmental footprint, so we make our corporate mission, business practices and philosophy very clear on our website. Our company leaders are members of organizations that focus on our missions as well, and that is part of public record. Any company that values its word, is ethical in its business practices and works for the betterment of its community makes that information available to its customers.
So, I encourage designers to look for it. Know where you’re getting your products. And then talk about that with your clients. Show that it matters to you, and make it matter to them. That’s what causes change. Lead by example and focus on affecting your immediate community. We can all be agents of change; we just have to embrace our power.