William Bissell ’88, managing director of Fabindia, is the recipient of a Forbes India Leadership Award for 2012. He received the award for Entrepreneur with Social Impact. According to a recent Forbes India feature, Bissell won the award for “creating a globally recognized, profitable retail brand that has over 22,000 local artisans as its shareholders, most of whom would have lost their livelihoods if it were not for Bissell and Fabindia. And being able to make sure margins are almost three times that of the industry average.”
Bissell’s next goal is to persuade his 16 supplier companies to merge with Fabindia.
“In two to three years, all our employees and suppliers will be shareholders in Fabindia,” says Bissell.
Another Forbes India feature reported that Bissell plans to combat the junk food sold in India. He wants to increase customers’ access to organic fresh food, grown locally.
Forbes says that “he is now looking at expanding the food business on a scale never seen till now in India. Industry grapevine says that he is busy sewing up a deal, that will give him direct access to about 100 acres of agriculture land in Uttar Pradesh. This will not only add more products to the 450 items of organic food that he already sells at Fabindia outlets, but will also see him bring fresh food to the shelves.”