President & CEO, Reliance Brands
While a quick google search would produce a bank of data on Darshan, friends know him to be private from the media eye and would insist that only a personal meeting reveals the opinionated yet unassuming and receptive nature of the man. A Chartered accountant and a Cost & Works Accountant by qualification, Darshan has gathered rich experience across his 35 years of multifaceted career. Encompassing an articleship with Price Waterhouse, a senior leadership role at Trikaya Grey Advertising (later acquired by WPP), a long stint heading Arvind Brands, and finally in 2007 reinventing it all as a start-up entrepreneur with Reliance Brands Limited [RBL]. The last decade of his start-up called RBL has been disruptive to put it mildly – growing from handful employees in a small artsy office, to over 750 corporate and 5000 store employees across 60 cities in India. Today RBL is the largest player in luxury to premium lifestyle space with an enviable portfolio of 56 international brands, operating 450 stores and 340 shop-in-shops in India. Most recently Darshan, through RBL, has added another feather in his cap with global ownership of Hamleys business spanning 17 countries and 198 stores. One can also repeatedly spot him on professional index/lists like BOF 500, Blackbook Luxury Top 100 - a nod to his contributions in building the luxury retail landscape in India. An avid trekker, he finds time at least once a year to explore the Himalayas. Those in the know mention Darshan’s love for contemporary art (especially Asian Artists) along with spatial art installations. His son and daughter-in-law reside in San Francisco, while Darshan calls Mumbai home where he resides with his wife and mother, though work commitments ensure that he divides his time equally between Mumbai, Delhi and London.