HELLO!: You were recently made a Director and are on the board of the Aditya Birla Management Corporation…
Aryaman Birla: “Yes, the corporation is the apex decision-making body within the Aditya Birla Group. It provides strategic vision and direction to all our businesses. I also work closely with our chairman and management teams to incubate digital-first businesses.”
H!: How does it feel to win HELLO!’s ‘Corporate Debutant’ award?
AB: “It’s a great honour. This feels special as it recognises early impact in the context of a long journey. It’s been a year of many new milestones for me, both personally and for the Aditya Birla Group. So to receive this honour is humbling. Being a Birla comes with a tremendous sense of responsibility, and that is something I’m very conscious of.”
H!: Was it a tough call to let go of cricket and focus on the family business?
AB: “I don’t look at decisions through that lens. In the larger context of my career and life, cricket was an extremely meaningful and energising phase. I look back at my cricketing journey with humility and satisfaction. It gave me a unique set of learnings and insights that have relevance across all walks of life. At the end of the day, be it cricket or business, it’s all about finding your passion.”
H!: You’ve spearheaded Mumbai’s popular members-only club, Jolie’s. What prompted you to get into this space?
AB: “I guess it was the desire to create an exclusive community for like-minded individuals from various spheres — entrepreneurs, artists, thinkers, industrialists, young professionals and more. I wanted to build a community where members could express themselves freely and authentically. The idea germinated before the pandemic, but that period lent new meaning to it as people started to crave memorable social interactions.”
H!: You also play a major role in your fashion retail business...
AB: “It’s a high-growth engine for the group. Over the years, we built an incredible platform with several iconic brands. So to serve as a director on the board (of Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail) is a real honour. I’ve also had the opportunity to help incubate our D2C business, TMRW, housed under our fashion vertical. Our aspiration here is to build a digital-first portfolio of brands and give wings to the entrepreneurial energy in India.”
H!: What are your goals for 2023?
AB: “I’ve been straddling business building and entrepreneurship for quite some time now. At the group level, I’ll continue to focus on digital ideas and on consumer-focused businesses under the guidance of my father and chairman of the group, Kumar Mangalam Birla. I also have big plans for my maiden entrepreneurial venture in the F&B space. We recently announced a foray into the premium casual dining space, in collaboration with renowned chef-restaurateur Rahul Akerkar. Our vision is to build the best F&B brands with a clear focus on both quality and value for customers. Personally, I think the goal is to keep playing with new ideas and learning, all while having fun at work.”
H!: What kind of values were you raised with?
AB: “I learnt a lot from my parents. They have been my biggest supporters. Growing up, we were given the freedom to be authentic. Across generations, our family has been guided by a set of foundational values, but at its core, it’s about respect, humility, integrity and imagining wealth as a means for societal prosperity.”
H!: What’s your definition of success?
AB: “Success, to me, is getting to be the best version of myself. And that’s a constant journey.”
This has been adapted for the web from a story originally published in the May-June 2023 issue of HELLO! India. Get our copy of the latest issue right here!