Shahi Exports’ Anant Ahuja joins the Board of the Better Buying Institute

Shahi Exports, India’s largest apparel manufacturer, announced Anant Ahuja has joined the Board of Directors of the Better Buying Institute (BBI). BBI was set up in 2015 with a mission to enable buyers and suppliers to work together with responsible purchasing practices to achieve shared goals of profitability and social and environmental sustainability. As the first South Asian supplier to join the BBI Board, Anant’s appointment is a significant step towards the industry-wide transformation of buyer purchasing practices. This will further strengthen buyer-supplier relationships contributing to the overall well-being of supply chain workers and improved environmental practices.

At Shahi, Anant is primarily responsible for positive change across the business through innovation and strategy, aligning the company’s growth with the development of people, communities, and the environment. Anant is also the CEO and co-founder of the Good Business Lab, a not-for-profit labor innovation start-up that conducts research to find common ground between worker well-being and business interests. Anant was also a part of NITI Aayog’s ‘Champions of Change’ initiative.

Shahi Exports operates over 50 factories and three processing mills across nine states in India, employing over 113,000 people. Women workers constitute nearly 70% of Shahi’s workforce.

Anant Ahuja, Head of Organizational Development at Shahi Exports, said: “Better Buying has led the way in measuring and raising awareness of the state of purchasing practices by driving transparency, and this is an exciting time to be joining the Board.”

“There is growing awareness and acceptance in the industry that purchasing practices have a massive impact on workers’ wellbeing, environmental sustainability, and innovation. Buyers are significantly more open to working with suppliers to understand the pain points and develop win-win partnerships, and suppliers are increasingly aware of the knowledge and influence they hold in driving a sustainable future for the fashion industry. But there’s still a long way to go in rebalancing the power dynamics between buyers and suppliers. The time for the industry to come together and act on purchasing practices is now.”

Ahuja joins fellow Board members Nina Smith, founding Chief Executive of GoodWeave International; Dr. Peter Cheng, Co-founder and Chairman of Hanbo Group; Tom Rausch, Global Lead, Agrostart – BASF, and Michael Gilson, CEO and Founder of Cormac Advisors.

Dr. Marsha Dickson, President and Co-Founder of the Better Buying Institute, said: “Anant has a deep understanding of the challenges suppliers face in their business relationships with brands and retailers. He also has a track record of implementing new approaches to address workplace and business opportunities. With this valuable background, Anant will be helping us explore how Better Buying’s work can add even more value to both buyers and suppliers as they collaborate around new practices and ways of working together.”