The Jagadish Hinduja-promoted Weekender will see a change of guard at the top with Mr Govind Mirchandani leaving the company to head Reid & Taylor, part of the S. Kumars Group. Reid & Taylor, a Rs 175-crore lifestyle suitings business, is charting an ambitious foray into the formal ready-to-wear market.
"I am joining Reid & Taylor as President & CEO and will look after its fabric and apparel business," Mr Mirchandani said. "The apparel business will be a start-up venture for Reid & Taylor and S. Kumars based out of Bangalore," he added. Reid & Taylor's fabric business is located at Nanjungud near Mysore.
Mr Mirchandani is considered as one of the pioneers in India's booming branded apparel market, having created a business for Sanjay Lalbhai's Arvind Mills in the 90s. He charted the success of premium brands such as Arrow and Lee in India before moving out of the Lalbhai fold to join Weekender in June 2002. At Weekender, an apparel retailer operating in the space of youth and kidswear, Mr Mirchandani sewed up merchandising alliances with Walt Disney and Warner Bros.
Mr Mirchandani's impending exit from the Hinduja company comes at a time when Gokaldas Images, which owns Weekender, was nursing an big ambition to grow rapidly in the domestic branded apparel market.
Gokaldas Images, a reputed garment export house catering to a plethora of international fashion labels, had prepared a roadmap to storm the domestic arena as the export business was expected to get more competitive with the opening up of quota systems in January 2005.