Gandhi's khadi gets a makeover

A Khadi Fashion Show underway in Goa

New Delhi: The 86-year-old Khadi brand will not be the same again. It is learnt that six companies, including Fabindia and Shoppers Stop, have shown interest in partnering eight Khadi Bhawans spread across India.

Besides, three Mumbai-based retailers have given a joint expression of interest (EoI) for the public-private partnership with the Khadi Bhawans, officials told Business Standard on the condition of anonymity. Delhi-based Sushila Khadi GramUdyog, a bulk-supplier to Khadi Bhawans, is also in the fray.

The EoIs are in response to a tender floated by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) for 'Khadi' marketing operation. The proposal is for a 51-49 per cent partnership, where 51 per cent will be with the corporate entity. KVIC comes under the Ministry of MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises).

Audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which is an advisor to the deal, along with KVIC will shortlist the applicants soon, before taking a final decision on the winners.

The official spokesperson of Fabindia could not be contacted for a comment, and an email sent to the company remained unanswered. Shoppers Stop neither confirmed nor denied the development. A representative of Sushila Khadi GramUdyog said it had submitted an EoI for a partnership with the Khadi Bhawans.

Under PPP, eight direct sales outlets (DSOs) of KVIC in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ernakulam (Kerala), Goa, Bhopal, Patna and Agartala will be handed over to a KVIC-corporate joint venture in the next six months. The operation and management of these DSOs will be transferred to this joint venture (JV) under a lease contract, restricting any disposal of assets.