Entrepreneurs have the potential to bring forth positive change in the world, and this is exactly what Nakul Malhotra sought out to do. As a third-generation entrepreneur, Nakul knew he had to do something that added value to society while carrying forward the legacy his father and grandfather had built.
“The possibility of leveraging material science and technology to reuse something that would otherwise go to waste and to create something beautiful was fascinating. This ability to recreate something that would otherwise have been discarded was what excited me the most. Also, understanding the ways in which we can make an impact on so many different avenues—environmental, social, and economic (informally known as a planet, people, and profit)—is important to me.”
Passion for innovation and a relentless drive to make a difference
Meet Nakul Malhotra, an accomplished CEO and Founder of two renowned brands – Thread & Tonic and House of Silviano. As the Director of Silviano Group, he oversees a private label business that supplies luxury leather goods to some of the biggest global brands and corporations. With a degree in Finance, Accounting & Management from the University of Nottingham, Nakul is now leading his family’s business of manufacturing luxury leather goods for leading fashion labels worldwide.
His considerable management expertise in the production of luxury accessories has given him a practical understanding of every division within the firm, from dealing with artisans, designers, and merchants to tanneries and suppliers. As a result of Nakul’s priceless experience and the knowledge he gained from his grandfather and father, his founded brands have benefited from his perfected artisan skills.
Although he had a degree in management, it was his actual industry experience that enabled him to come up with workable solutions for his company. Nakul Malhotra is a prime example of how practical experience, in addition to formal education, can significantly impact the world of high-end design.
What inspired Nakul to step into this scene?
Nakul Malhotra draws inspiration from his love of sustainability and his goal to transform the fashion industry’s manufacturing processes. He is inspired to create something fresh and original that integrates the crucial components of utility, sustainability, exquisite materials, modern design, and fine craftsmanship.
While an undergraduate, Nakul interned at prestigious investment institutions, but he soon realized that the world of fashion was where he truly belonged. His devotion was directed toward creating products that reflected his principles of sustainability and high-caliber craftsmanship as he pursued his childhood dream of starting his own business.
“We focused on a niche within our sector, which we knew in and out, by combining three pillars (luxury craftsmanship, sustainability, and material sciences). Here, we aimed to be the best in class, not only in terms of quality but with a mission (larger than profit) that we genuinely believed in.”
What strategies does Nakul use to balance your diverse roles within the company?
Nakul works alongside factories and technicians to develop new materials, assist the team in establishing strategies, and maintain close contact with their product, marketing, and partner organizations. Every day is different, and he likes juggling multiple tasks related to all facets of the firm. In addition to his roles, Nakul enjoys sports, travel, and getting lost in nature.
Let’s hear what Nakul has to say about his journey.
“The process of developing Thread & Tonic took nearly five years of work, where each hurdle has been influential and essential. Following our passion and executing this dream into reality has been special. It is only the beginning of the journey, and we are most proud of our partners—a network of the most trusted technicians, talented designers, etc.—all of whom are so passionate about our mission, like their own babies. Also, being mentioned in Forbes and the Financial Times, with Silviano mentioned alongside brands such as Louis Vuitton and Comme des Garçons, was a special milestone.”
How does he ensure that your brand’s sustainability practices are authentic and not just a form of “greenwashing”?
People are using the word “sustainability” excessively, which has led to rampant greenwashing in the sector. Nakul asserts that this could be misleading for consumers who don’t fully understand the complexity of the issue. But as the most sustainable brand they can be, Thread and Tonic never compromise on any area of sustainability. They ensure that they stay true to their mission, not make promises they can’t keep, constantly find new ways to improve and share their progress with their community — because sustainability is a journey.
“In the initial months, it was difficult for us to quantify the real impact and verify that for our community. Having key partners such as Positive Luxury has been instrumental for us to not only measure and monitor but also improve our performance in several areas, by benchmarking the highest standards within our industry.”
What are some of their noteworthy achievements so far?
Nakul has so far accomplished several noteworthy feats. Beyond the standard measures of profit and revenue, they prioritize customer and employee satisfaction as well as their fulfillment. One of their notable accomplishments is being carried by the renowned London department store Selfridges, which Nakul idolized as a child. After years of dedication, they are now happy to have their brands stocked in prominent shops throughout the world, such as Printemps in Paris, Manor in Switzerland, and Kadewe in Berlin.
“Also, we are proud that Thread and Tonic is one of the highest ESG+ scoring brands certified by Positive Luxury. Most recently, we have been nominated for the Breakthrough Business Award 2023.”
Where does Nakul see himself a few years down the line?
Nakul’s plans are centered around sustainability and ethical practices in the fashion industry. Nakul wants to motivate their worldwide supplier network to understand the effects of their actions and include sustainability as a cornerstone of the company’s values. To make sustainability a shared duty and a worldwide purpose, they also intend to offer sustainability advice to other companies. The goal of these initiatives is to assist brands in creating better products and enhancing people’s lives. To do this, Nakul and Positive Luxury have established important benchmarks and measurable objectives for the years 2025 and 2030.
What are the lessons Nakul has learned?
Nakul learned several valuable lessons regarding starting and running a successful company. Testing an idea early rather than overanalyzing it is one of the most crucial skills to learn. This enables business owners to get insightful feedback and make essential improvements before expending excessive time and resources.
Lastly, he says, “While building your team, encourage them to take calculated risks and empower them. Stop micro-managing, Instead, try to delegate and trust. The clarity in direction and communication is key to achieving results.”