After studying law I vectored towards journalism by accident and it's the only job I've done since. It's a job that has taken me on a private jet to Jaisalmer - where I wrote India's first feature on fractional ownership of business jets - to the badlands of west UP where India's sugar economy is inextricably now tied to politics. I'm a big fan of new business models and crafty entrepreneurs. Fortunately for me, there are plenty of those in Asia at the moment.
Shareholders at Welspun India were in for a shock on Monday, August 22: Within minutes of the market opening, the company’s stock fell 20 percent on news that US-based retailer Target Corp had terminated its business with the company. The story was repeated over the next two days, with the stock declining a further 20 percent each day.
Target had, on August 19, issued a statement informing buyers of a full refund on its Fieldcrest label of Egyptian cotton 500-thread count sheets. After an extensive investigation, the company had discovered that Welspun Global Brands had substituted Egyptian cotton with the non-Egyptian variety. The sheets in question were manufactured between August 2014 and July 2016.
In a conference call with investors, Welspun unequivocally took the blame. “So there has been, let’s say, a failure on our part, so without any ambiguity the fault is on our side,” said Rajesh Mandawewala, managing director, Welspun India. Although he did not explicitly say so, he suggested that the problem was due to inadequate systems and processes. Within days, EY was appointed to review Welspun’s processes.