Vinay Vaswani’s father, Ishwar, immigrated to the U.S. in the 1970's from India with $20 in his pocket. He was fortunate that an owner of a manufacturing company took a chance on him, even though he didn't fit the mold of the rest of the workforce.
Despite moving away from family to provide a better life for his family, Vinay's father ensured he was immersed in his rich Indian culture. He was part of a close-knit community of South Asian families and this group instilled many of the various Indian traditions and culture in Vinay, including celebrating holidays, such as Diwali and Holi, attending Indian weddings and sharing traditional meals.
After working in the manufacturing industry for several years, Vinay and his father began eyeing entrepreneurship and soon after founded Vaswani Inc. The company focuses on the custom design, manufacturing and installation of consumer environments, providing fixtures, furniture and rugs to retailers, brands, and restaurants. In 2007, Kohl’s approached Vinay to create custom seating for Kohl’s juniors section and the relationship grew from there. Now, the company operates out of a 400,000 sq. ft. facility and is the primary supplier for the Sephora at Kohl’s program, which Kohl’s is rolling out to its entire fleet of more than 1,100 stores nationwide.
“We always found it challenging to grow our business in an industry dominated by multi-generational Midwest-based manufacturers. But again, corporations like Kohls gave us an opportunity which allowed our company and our team to grow,” said Vinay “These experiences have influenced our company culture to be open to giving all people a chance.”
Watch to see how Vaswani has grown.
Our partnership with Vaswani Inc. is through Kohl’s Supplier Diversity Program. The Supplier Diversity Program provides access to development and business opportunities to a diverse supply base, including minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, LGBTIA+-owned and disability-owned suppliers. As a key part of these efforts, Kohl’s has continued to embed supplier diversity best practices across the supply chain to support our pledge to triple our spending among diverse suppliers by 2025. We also continue to leverage our Supplier Diversity Council to connect and build relationships with certified diverse suppliers.
To learn more about the Supplier Diversity program, view our 2021 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) report or visit Corporate.Kohls.com.