“I want to use my MBA to follow my ambition of leading ethical businesses – both starting and growing them – and to lead innovations in youth education.”
Smruti Sriram’s list of accolades is hugely impressive. Since joining her family’s textile company Supreme Creations as CEO in 2013, she has received a Prince of Wales award for most ethical supply chain, and was chosen as an ambassador for the UK Trade & Investment’s ‘Business is Great’ campaign.
Based on these achievements alone, it’s clear to see why Smruti, whose company is the world’s largest ethical manufacturer of reusable bags, is the first recipient of the London Business School (LBS) 30% Club Scholarship. The Scholarship is a government initiative launched in 2010 to increase the number of women on UK boards to 30%.
“I want to use my MBA to follow my ambition of leading ethical businesses – both starting and growing them – and to lead innovations in youth education,” she says. “My compass is set towards growing Supreme Creations through diversification and acquisitions, investing in socially conscious ventures, empowering young people across the world, and being a thought leader on enterprise and development.”
Other accolades that make Smruti an ideal candidate for the scholarship include reaching the final three of the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman: New Generation Award, and being named in the BBC’s 100 Women of 2014. Moreover, Smruti was in Management Today and the Sunday Times’s 35 Women Under 35 list for 2014, and was a finalist in the Asian Woman of Achievement Awards: Young Achiever 2014.
As well as picking up awards, Smruti has made a real difference to people’s lives through Supreme Creation’s factory in Pondicherry, India. Women account for about 90% of the factory’s workforce, with many of them coming from less privileged backgrounds. Employees get fair wages, hi-tech working conditions and care programmes for their families.
“It’s crucial for jobs to have purpose,” says Smruti. “Everyone gets a voice in the wider process of what Supreme Creations does. That could be through direct contact with clients, collaborating on design or print, or creating a new product. Every employee contributes in a meaningful way.”
While at Supreme Creations, Smruti has helped to re-position the reusable bag as the ultimate ‘walking billboard’ for brands. Recognised as an industry expert on ethical manufacture in textiles, the company has worked with Nike, Tesco, John Lewis, Topshop, Google, London Fashion Week and Oxfam.
Smruti, whose business boasts a multi-lingual, multi-functional team of 25 in Europe and 700 in India, has also won the contract to supply Tesco’s ‘Green Bag for Life,’ and grown her firm’s client list to more 50,000. Customers include FMCG, fashion, retail, technology and design companies.