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How family business Westmorland is reinventing the motorway stop [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2018, 00:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: How family business Westmorland is reinventing the motorway stop
A bank holiday visit to a UK motorway service station is usually a grim necessity. It often involves a nondescript atrium surrounded by burger concessions, coffee shops and gambling machines, all charging high prices to a captive audience.

But one idiosyncratic British operator is trying to turn a forced stop into a pleasure. From the freshly butchered beef sausages served in the restaurant to the duck pond outside, Westmorland is a new kind of motorway stop.

Ms Sarah Dunning, 47, is the daughter of the company’s founders and gave up a career in the City to lead the business in 2005. In 2014, she doubled the number of outlets by opening a second station on the M5 near Gloucester, south-west England. It was a big risk: the company had to borrow heavily to finance it and try to replicate the Tebay original hundreds of miles away.

Today that risk looks like it is starting to pay off. Turnover is almost £100m annually, up from £40m in 2013. Staffing has more than doubled to 1,100 people.

Taking risks is what second-generation family businesses must do to survive, says Ms Dunning: “It’s a natural instinct to want to create something of your own.”

There are trade-offs between maximising profit and quality. “We’re not as mercenary as some,” Ms Dunning says. Tables are spaced further apart and public areas more spacious than is typical, which means fewer customers can be accommodated. The company says it pays its staff more than the statutory National Living Wage (from April, £7.83 an hour for over 25s), which raises costs. Prices are high, but Ms Dunning says they match those of many other service stations.

The group serves 10m customers a year. Motorway traffic is edging up slowly and Ms Dunning describes sales as “steady”.

Ms Dunning decided the business was getting too big to manage, so in April 2017 she moved to chair and recruited an experienced chief executive. Rob Swyer was retail director at Asda, a grocery chain, but lived locally. He has focused on the workforce with an in-house business academy and apprenticeship programme. A full family board meeting was convened for the appointment: “We had gone from being a local business to a national one — it was a straightforward decision,” says Ms Dunning.

Brexit, says Ms Dunning, is the next challenge: “The focus on local producers and farmers should stand us in good stead. We think more people will holiday in the UK. We just hope they have the confidence to spend.”

“But part of the strength of this business is that it’s been doing this before it was fashionable. We were doing it because it was the obvious thing to do, rather than because we were just following the interests of the market.”

Source: Bounds, Andrew, April 3, 2018; https://www.ft.com/content/18cfa4e0-2867-11e8-b27e-cc62a39d57a0
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Family Business: Tradition or Superior Vision? [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2018, 00:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: Family Business: Tradition or Superior Vision?
Business is personal for Eric Miller, CEO of Miller Welding and Machine Co. When he was in college, his grandfather, Dave R. Miller, made the “big decision” to expand the family business from a machine and welding shop into an integrated, full-service supplier to the industry.

Three of Dave’s sons ran the business after him. This vision that Dave created for the Miller family is often the missing “bridgework spanning the entrepreneurial vision that sparks the formation of a business and the long-term vision that allows family firms to pursue goals far into the future,” according to a PwC survey on family business conducted in 2017.

One company that is not only doing things right but thriving in its fifth generation of family leadership is CoorsTek. Today the company manufactures more than 300 technical compositions, serving customers in the automotive, defense, health, oil and gas, semiconductor and other sectors.

The fifth generation of Coors leaders sits in the CEO chair—though that chair has been expanded to fit three CEOs: Michael, Jonathan and Timothy Coors. The two brothers and one cousin, who have held a variety of roles both in and outside the company, are in almost perfect alignment on the company’s direction and strategy.

This company’s idea of success is based less on being a member of the family and more on being a caretaker of the business. “We have a very long-term view of the company and feel we are custodians of the business,” Timothy says. “Our fathers and uncles all had this view, which is how we grew the business.”

While CoorsTek had a large family to choose from, Hollman Inc., one of the largest manufacturers of sports, fitness and office lockers—which provided the lockers residing at Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints locker rooms, as well as The New York Times offices—went from father to son.

The company was founded in 1976 by Joe Hollman in Irving, Texas. His son Travis worked at the company for 10 years in a variety of positions until he left to pursue several successful entrepreneurial ventures. Joe stayed at the helm of the business for 35 years, setting the manufacturer on its path to continuous success. In 2011, Travis rejoined the business and set a new course.

“One of my driving forces is the pride I have in our family name and to make sure that continues,” explains Travis. His time away from the company taught him a lot about overcoming obstacles such as creating a company from scratch and the practical aspects of running a business. By the time he took the helm at Hollman, he knew just what he wanted to do and how to get there.

Travis’ style was different than his father’s and demonstrates how sometimes the philosophy can change from generation to generation. While his father favored a military-style approach to management with decisions made solely at the top, Travis has more of an open-door policy that encourages familiarity.

Creativity is at the core of an entrepreneurial style culture and is a swing right back to what inspired the original founders to create these companies in the first place. This leads to the basic question as how to explain the success of family businesses that make it to the third generation and beyond.

Is it tradition and the desire to live up to and continue the family name? Or is it the ability to adapt the original family values to continue a company where family members will want to work?

Source: Selko, Adrienne., April 05, 2018; http://www.industryweek.com/leadership/family-business-tradition-or-superior-vision

 
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When the Next Gen wants to fix the family business [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2018, 02:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: When the Next Gen wants to fix the family business
Most of the corporate chieftains have children all ready and qualified – in legal terms at least – to join the labour force. The question is whether these offsprings should join the family business and succeed it, or work outside the family business for a few years.

In the few years outside of the family business, the offsprings are expected to learn the rough and tough ways of managing a business and eke out a decent living before coming into the family business.

This group of people wanting to succeed the family business are called the Next Gen. Do not mistake them for the “generation next”, who are often referred to as the millennials, however.

Also, do not mistake the Next Gen for children suffering from what is termed the “rich kid-itis” syndrome. It is the worst nightmare of any parent, no matter how much wealth they have accumulated.

Children suffering from the symptoms of “rich kid-itis” are those who are showered with so much money that they don’t know how to earn it. They run a five-figure tab during a night out, pop expensive champagne, drive flashy cars and go on holidays almost all-year round.

The Next Gen are those who are better groomed, care a lot more for money than the “rich kid-itis”, have gone to the best schools that money can buy, and gotten the right exposure by working in the best places a young person would die for.

The biggest challenge for the Next Gen who want to take over from their parents is doing it better than them. They have to navigate the ship when the tide turns. They have to look at how to grow the business – in the best and worst of times.

So, how do parents nurture the Next Gen to succeed their business? The owner of a chain of hypermarkets says its policy is for the children to work outside the family business for at least three years.

Another businessman says he encouraged his son to join him right after college because he felt that there was no better teacher than himself to guide his son on the travails of the business world.

There is no right or wrong in both paths when the business is running well. However, when the business runs into a rough patch, the external experience tends to help turn it around.

To a large extent, working outside the family business helps build character and a network of business contacts that are so vital when times are tough. The work experience gained outside will someday come in handy to save the family business.

For the Next Gen, it is best to have a stint outside the family conglomerate before joining the business to fix its problems and make it even better.

Source: Shanmugam, M., April 14, 2018; https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2018/04/14/when-the-next-gen-wants-to-fix-the-family-business/#MvCY5XWoGbWEvju3.99
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How to Start a Family Business [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2018, 02:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: How to Start a Family Business
In order to enjoy working together, you have to not only like each other but also find a common purpose or passion. Even though you’re running a business together now, it’s critical to always put family first.

Mena, Iyana, and Shantee Wright are sisters who together own and operate Wright Productions, a high-end event production, event design and brand management firm headquartered in Los Angeles.

The Wright sisters view working with their siblings as a definite blessing. “We are extremely close, so close that people sometimes refer to us as triplets,” Mena Wright says. Both Iyana and Shantee Wright spoke about the level of trust that they have with each other, which is unwavering. The sisters know they are going to always look out for each other’s best interests no matter what.

While there are challenges, and the sibling relationship can prove “exhausting to manage” at times, all three sisters feel that the pros definitely outweigh the cons, and they wouldn’t want to be in business with anyone else.

In order to enjoy working together, you have to not only like each other but also find a common purpose or passion. Starting a company is collaborative. Be sure that the business you start is one that everyone involved feels excited about. Otherwise, it won’t work.

As the CEO of Wright Productions, Mena, the eldest sister, oversees the company’s vision and mission. She says she always knew her purpose: To help people solve their problems. She just wasn’t exactly sure how to go about that. Starting a family business gave Mena the freedom to “help people in a very unique way – by essentially bringing them into our family.”

Iyana, the COO and middle sister, feels her life purpose changes over time, but the common thread is her desire to uplift and inspire others. Also, like Mena, she feels her life purpose is to build a family empire with her sisters.

Shantee, the CCO and youngest sibling, says that she stumbled into her life purpose. Growing up, she didn’t know what she wanted to do, but she was inspired by her two older sisters. Building a family business is now a definite part of her life purpose.

Source: Fox, MeiMei., April 10, 2018;  https://www.forbes.com/sites/meimeifox/ ... 5634562a2f
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Kanoo Group finds balance between boring and exciting, chairman says [#permalink]

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New post 20 Apr 2018, 01:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: Kanoo Group finds balance between boring and exciting, chairman says
Boring may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of growing a business. But it does play an integral part of the thinking of the Kanoo Group, one of the UAE’s biggest family conglomerates that is grooming itself for expansion and getting a professional management to run the business while family members take care of shareholder issues.

“In any business you need exciting and you always need boring,” says chairman Mishal Kanoo, a fourth generation member of the family. “Boring is sustainable. Boring is consistent. Boring is doing the same thing but getting it right again and again. It is that boring that keeps you in business. It is what is exciting and pleasurable or painful that does not keep you in business.”

The group, which was established in 1890 in Bahrain, finds its roots in the wood and coal trade in the island kingdom. The conglomerate expanded into Saudi Arabia in the 1930s and then into the UAE in the 1960s.

The company is preparing smoothly for succession, a hot topic among the region’s family groups. Putting in place a new structure of management is part and parcel of the transition process. The conglomerate appointed a chief executive officer, a chief financial officer and other senior executives in the last few years to run day-to-day operations and leave the family members in charge of shareholder affairs.

“We are trying to remove family succession from the operation and try to bring it into the boards and shareholder side,” says Mr Kanoo. “We are hopping the impact will be nullified simply by having different family members of different ages on the board.”

Succession planning is important because the group needs to make sure they have enough old hands to take care of the business and younger members who come up with new ideas, he adds.

This formula has teething problems, but still is an “adventure” the group is embracing, according to Mr Kanoo.

“It is tough because there will be times when the professional manager wants to move in a direction the family does not want to move into because the family can’t understand what is happening,” he says. “There will be times when the manager does not understand what the family wants and then there will be a clash. This is an adventure. Some managers are spot on, a lovely balance of understanding and what the family needs and what the family wants in comparison with what the business needs. Then there are others who are focused purely on the business and do not care about the family.”

“The biggest challenge is always getting the right people because all the people who are working with you represent you and that is always the hardest part of any business,” says Mr Kanoo.

Source: Saadi, Dania., April 19, 2018; https://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/kanoo-group-finds-balance-between-boring-and-exciting-chairman-says-1.723077
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A Lasting Legacy- The History and Personalities Behind Athens’ Oldest  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Apr 2018, 01:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: A Lasting Legacy- The History and Personalities Behind Athens’ Oldest Business
Kris Cornwell spent her days on Court Street long before it was lined with a bevy of bars and chain restaurants. As the owner of Cornwell Jewelers, 77 N. Court St., Cornwell recalls catching a bus with her sister and riding from her grandparents’ home on Peach Ridge Road, north of Athens, to Court Street, where they’d wander from shop to shop.

Kris fondly recalls spending time in that narrow, worn space, in the same building where Cornwell Jewelers had existed since 1832, and playing with costume jewelry her grandfather had taken in on trade.

It’s much more about the jewelry now. Since purchasing the business from her parents in the early 2000s, Kris has transformed the store to meet the needs of modern shoppers. As a result, a long-standing piece of Athens’ history, Cornwell Jewelers, is rolling into the future with its sixth-generation — and first female — owner at the helm.

“I went in pretty naive, but it’s been a journey and I’ve learned so much,” she said. “When I started, I knew zero about business, zero about gemology, all of it — marketing, finances. I mean, I was an education major in English, and I could write a lesson plan.”

While tackling that learning curve, she had to deal with other obstacles: Customers and industry colleagues often assumed her male employees were calling the shots, and she wasn’t always taken seriously.

Now, after 25 years in the game, she’s established herself and picked up the knowledge needed to push the business forward.

The Cornwell family had been selling jewelry to Athens residents for more than 100 years before that purple Cadillac ever rolled off the line.

John Cornwell opened a jewelry shop on the second floor of 10 S. Court St. in 1832. At that time, Robert G. Wilson — the namesake of OU’s Wilson Hall — was serving as the school’s president, and the Civil War wouldn’t break out for another 40 years.

Unlike the gemstones sold at the store, it’s difficult to say what Cornwell Jewelers will look like in 10, 20 or 30 years.

Kris depends on her willingness to change in managing the store, and trends in jewelry could push Cornwell Jewelers to continue changing. A 2014 report from management consultants McKinsey and Company predicts the share of fine jewelry sales happening online could double to 10 percent of total sales by 2020, and Kris knows the nature of shopping — and Court Street — is changing.

“Most of our customers now, we’re a destination store,” she said. “A lot of people don’t work on Court Street like they used to, so to see us, they drive to us. So there could be a time when they don’t want to come to Court Street.”

“You never know. But to me, when I’m dead and gone, I think the store will still be there.” – Eric Coon, who worked in Cornwell Jewelers for more than 40 years. “When you get engaged, do you want to say to your wife, ‘I bought my ring on Amazon’ or ‘I bought it online?’ ” Coon said. “You know, it’s nice to come in (to the store). They find out about your history, where you’re going. And a lot of jewelry has been sold that way.”

What exactly will happen when Kris retires is unclear. She’s said she hopes one of her daughters will take the reins, but with her oldest is still in high school, it’s much too early to tell.

Source: Hill, Jeremy., April 18, 2018; http://projects.thepostathens.com/SpecialProjects/cornwell-jewelers-oldest-business-athens-ohio/
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When family business gets ugly [#permalink]

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New post 30 Apr 2018, 03:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: When family business gets ugly
When Desmond Griffin and his sister-in-law Penny Green decided to join forces on mobile payments company Glance Technologies Inc. , it was to help expand the business with an eye to taking it public. About three years later, the family members are in a heated dispute – playing out in press releases and online – over the direction of the Vancouver-based financial technology company , a small cap that went public on the Canadian Securities Exchange in September, 2016.

Glance’s technology is used in restaurants and by other merchants and the company says it’s currently developing a rewards-based cryptocurrency to be integrated into its platform.

Ms. Green, the company’s largest shareholder with a slightly higher stake than Mr. Griffin, was fired as president and chief operating officer in February. Ms. Green is still a director and has called a shareholder meeting in June to remove three of the company’s five directors and replace them with her own picks.

It’s a small company that’s not a household name, but it offers lessons for other entrepreneurs. While there’s an old adage that says never go into business with family (or friends), experts say the corporate pairing of relatives can be powerful, if properly handled.

“When an entrepreneurial family gets together to work on something, they care so much more than someone who doesn’t have their name on the building or doesn’t have a stake in the community. To me, that’s a recipe for building a great business,” says David Simpson, head of the Business Families Centre at Western University’s Ivey School of Business. “However, when it goes poorly, it goes poorly doubled down because you’re losing your brother or sister or cousin.”

Family members in business together should also outline what happens if one person wants out, or there’s a disagreement in direction, Mr. Simpson says.

Most often, it’s money and corporate strategy – including how various family members are compensated and disagreement over the direction of the company – that lead to family business feuds, says Jane-Michèle Clark, an instructor who teaches the family enterprise course in the entrepreneurship program at York University’s Schulich School of Business. Ms. Clark recommends business families hold strategy sessions that cover topics such as their family values, how they want the business to work for them and vision for the company.

In an interview, Ms. Green said she would go into business with family again, but acknowledges that a public company may not be the ideal setting. “If you can work with the people that you love, I think that’s fantastic,” she says, but adds that in hindsight, having agreements on how to handle business disputes would have been a good idea.

Still, Ms. Green feels the current feud won’t damage her family relationships in the long run. “This is just a blip in our long-term relationship.”

Source: Bouw, Brenda, April 29, 2018, https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/small-business/managing/article-when-family-business-gets-ugly/

 

 

 
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Communication, delegation crucial to make family biz work [#permalink]

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New post 30 Apr 2018, 03:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: Communication, delegation crucial to make family biz work
Long before they excelled in business, they were a family who brought out the best in one other. Pages Holdings Inc. (PHI) Chairman Bunny Pages said the family business, which they established some 15 years ago, wouldn’t be where it is today if the family members didn’t share the same vision.

“Ours is a business that involved all family members since day one, every day,” said Pages, whose former wife Ma. Elena Zaldarriaga and their children John, Charlie, Cheryl, Randy, and Michael have been all actively involved in growing the Pages businesses.

PHI started with Thirsty Fresh Fruit Juices and Shakes and Mooon Café. Now, the company has grown into 17 brands, with the latest addition of Summer Frozen Delights that opened in Ayala Center Cebu yesterday.

The Pages family is one of the recipients of the Philippine Family Business Awards 2018, awarded by the Ateneo Family Business Development Center (Ateneo FBDC) in cooperation with UnionBank.

Pages said the award is meaningful for him, especially that it commends the efforts of each family member working as a solid team in growing the business.

“My job as chairman and CEO is really to balance everybody’s ability and talent, and make sure that we are all looking in the same direction as a team rather than looking at each other and finding faults,” said Pages.

He admitted it is also quite a challenge because of innate differences but his job as a mentor and leader of the group is to make sure everybody works together and not leaves anyone behind.

The family crafted a family business constitution four years ago to help them run the business professionally and to ensure the company’s longevity. Delegating the responsibilities to family members has also made business operations more efficient. Each family member was entrusted with a brand to take care of and grow.

But when sibling conflicts arise, Pages said communication is the key. He said he drops everything just to fix the siblings’ relationship right away. “There will always be differences. But at the end of the day, it’s the love and respect for each other that keep us together and stronger,” Pages revealed.

This, he added, is evident in the progress of the family’s business over the years.

The Philippines is the second country in Asia that has the highest percentage of highly-stressed family businesses next to Indonesia, said family business consultant professor Eric Soriano, in a separate interview.

Some 48 percent of the family businesses have found it difficult to remove family members from positions of power while 43 percent experienced disagreements between family members over the direction of the company.

Source: Cacho, Kat. O., April 30, 2018; http://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1733492/Cebu/Business/Communication-delegation-crucial-to-make-family-biz-work

 
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Your Family Business Won’t Survive If You Don’t Plan for the Leadershi [#permalink]

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New post 07 May 2018, 03:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: Your Family Business Won’t Survive If You Don’t Plan for the Leadership Transition
Despite their outsized impact on our economy, many family businesses haven’t planned properly — or at all — for a transition in business ownership. One study by MassMutual found that more than 40 percent of respondents expected to retire within 10 years. However, fewer than half of those expecting to retire in five years and less than one-third of those expecting to retire between six and 11 years reported that they had a chosen successor.

There are three main challenges that family business owners typically face:

  • How can they pass on the institutional knowledge gained through years of experience so that the next generation can keep the business going in the right direction?
  • Do they want to pass on their business culture and values, such as a connection to the community or concern for employees, to the next generation?
  • Most importantly, how can the business be strong and sustainable without them?
To address these challenges, an owner must first understand the three key stages of the business lifecycle and what must be done to progress to the stage where ownership can be successfully transitioned.

Stage one: Entrepreneurial. The founder/owner runs the show; the long-term vision is in his or her head. Rarely is there a written strategic plan. While the owner may have the support of key personnel, they are expected to execute while the owner makes the ultimate decisions.

Stage two: Durability. In this stage, an owner is surrounded by other leaders who have the responsibility and authority to make decisions. The business follows something of a shared vision and also has more formalized operating processes; performance metrics; and a semi-independent board, which is either fiduciary or advisory.

Stage three: Legacy building. Here, the owner and other company leaders have done a really good job of capturing knowledge and disseminating it throughout the organization. Few family businesses actually progress to stage three. To get there, owners need to envision what their lives might look like 10 years down the road.

Answering questions regarding successor readiness helps owners clarify what would give them confidence as the transition evolves. The transitioning leader might gain clarity on the current state by asking: “What is working today?”

Embracing a new role helps many business leaders to both add value, due to their vast experience, and to learn new skills that will benefit both the company and the next generation. However, this is not always easy. Owners are generally engaged and entrepreneurial people, and it is difficult to step away from the heady days of making all of the important decisions. Some owners choose to include their transition objectives as part of the strategic plan and may begin to introduce new organizational practices, such as an advisory board or a family council, to help to achieve those objectives.

Because a business transition may not come naturally to the owner, it is crucial to create a formalized process that includes well-defined goals, open communication and frequent feedback. Through this process, the owner gains the ability to move from the power player position to that of a people builder.

Source: Stewart, Lisë., May 4, 2018; https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/312807
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3 Reasons People Sell the Family Business [#permalink]

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New post 13 May 2018, 21:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: 3 Reasons People Sell the Family Business
“Should I sell the family business?” is a question that all owners ponder at various times. There are certainly situations where selling the family business is the best answer; in some cases, it may be the only answer. It is also important to avoid the viewpoint that selling the family business is in someway a failure. Unfortunately, statistics that measure survival rates of family businesses tend to equate selling the family business with its demise, but it can be positive.

While the business has not “survived” in terms of a given family’s ownership (although in so many cases it survives with new owners), sale of the business can be a great success for the founding family. It can provide financial freedom to accomplish other goals, allow family members to truly focus on family and promote application of the family’s talents in other arenas (e.g., philanthropy).

That said, many families consider selling their businesses at some point in their careers. For those who have invested years of work, financial capital and often their identities in the legacy of the business, letting go is very difficult. For many, the decision to sell may be laced with guilt of letting down the family or failing to fulfill the legacy as well as feelings of failure.

If you are an operator considering the sale of your family business, read on for a list of valid reasons to sell the business that can serve as a tool in facilitating the sale discussion with your shareholders. If you have never considered selling the business, but see your situation reflected on the list, you might want to give the option of selling at least some consideration.

Discovering the right time to sell the family business involves taking an honest look in three key areas:

Is the business causing destructive family dynamics: The first step is to identify the problem and discuss it as an ownership group. At that point, it may be appropriate to bring in outside help. If you have already used a family business consultant and have not been able to resolve the dissension or come to compromises the family can live with, sale may be the best option.

Are current conditions unable to support a viable business: Even if the family owners get along, it may be that preservation of the business is impossible under current ownership. If you believe that the next-generation owners are not capable of maintaining the culture and values of the organization, it may be best to sell to other owners who are. Or the business may not be able to compete in the current environment. If the shareholder group is not up to the challenge of changing the business to meet the current competitive environment, it may be time to sell. Requiring a capital infusion to remain viable is another challenge that can lead to sale.

Has the family lost passion for the business: The last but probably the most important reason to sell is if owners no longer have a strong passion for the business. Particularly for businesses that require a great deal of owners’ attention, such as service orientated entities, it is crucial that owners maintain enthusiasm for the business. If the owners’ commitment wanes, it is time to consider whether holding the business makes sense. At this point, the decision to sell becomes a purely economic one.

While sale of the entire business is one option to address the problems raised above, there are other options to consider such as buying out part of the ownership group, bringing in outside management or bringing in an equity partner.

Source: May 7, 2018, http://www.vendingmarketwatch.com/article/12407942/3-reasons-people-sell-the-family-business
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A unique family business [#permalink]

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New post 13 May 2018, 21:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: A unique family business
“A lot of people get into funeral service for different reasons. Some, it’s because they’ve had a loss in their family and they see it as something they want to do. I think initially people get into it to help others, they just have that nature of wanting to help someone.”

For Jeff Thackeray, co-owner of Memento Funeral Chapel in Bonnyville, Cold Lake, and St. Paul, it was the satisfaction of knowing that a job well done meant helping a family during a difficult time in their lives. The Thackeray’s have been working in the funeral service industry for over 50 years, and in April, they were recognized by the Alberta Funeral Association for 50, 40, and 25 years of service.

It started with Jeff’s father Don, who at the age of 18 worked at a funeral home in Saskatchewan. Over the course of 50 years, he continued his career in the industry in one way or another. In 1975, Don and his wife Elda purchased their first funeral home in Bonnyville. Before their son Jeff had decided on whether or not to get into the family business, Don and Elda took a short break. Don explained, “Twenty-eight years ago I took a sabbatical and worked for another funeral home in British Columbia to see if I wanted to continue, because Jeff wasn’t involved at that time.”

It wasn’t long before Jeff and his wife Teresa felt the same pull to help others as Jeff’s parents once did. In 2009, the couple purchased the family business, expanding into St. Paul in 2016. Even though Don and Elda no longer own the funeral chapel, they remain steadily involved in its daily operations.

Growing up, Jeff remembers his father often leaving during hockey games, birthday parties, or other family functions in order to respond to a tragedy. At the time, Jeff admits he didn’t realize the impact his father’s work was having.

“I saw all of the bad stuff like my parents leaving in the middle of the night or my birthday party because someone passed away,” he said.

This was why he hadn’t shown much interest in the family business, until he grew up and saw the real reason his parents just couldn’t quit.

“When I was young, I saw the bad parts of the business, later on I learned to see all of the good parts,” expressed Jeff.

The family is first to admit the funeral business “isn’t for everyone.”

Don said, “It’s like every occupation, there are good days and there are bad days. You hope that you can be in a good mood all of the time.”

Source: Maceachern, Meagan., May 8, 2018, https://www.bonnyvillenouvelle.ca/article/unique-family-business-20180508
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Updates on Family Business [#permalink]

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New post 25 May 2018, 00:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: Updates on Family Business
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Here are some updates from the world of family business! You might fin [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2018, 21:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: Here are some updates from the world of family business! You might find these interesting!
Using outside directors in your family business

http://www.grbj.com/articles/90739-usin ... y-business

What Harvard, McKinsey taught Lavanya Nalli: Being planned, relying on hypothesis 

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/ma ... 363049.cms

Four Types Of Family Businesses You’ll See In Asia And How To Govern Each Effectively

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nusbusines ... 0fc761659f

The business of family: Building with the Birlas

https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/busin ... 568381.htm
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Why India needs a PBO [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jun 2018, 19:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: Why India needs a PBO
By Kaushiki Sanyal, Senior Analyst, Bharti Institute of Public Policy, ISB

This article was first published in Financial Express on April 11, 2014.

The requirement for legislative approval of financial measures is a democratic instrument enshrined in the Indian Constitution. This allows the legislature to keep a check on the government’s spending of public resources. However, there is a sharp disconnect between the formal power and the actual budgetary role of the legislature. A key reason for this disconnect may be because of the design of parliamentary democracies which limit the power of legislatures to either reverse or amend the budget. Other structural reasons for the disconnect may be the limited capacity of legislators to scrutinise fiscal matters, lack of access to in-depth budgetary information and limited time to scrutinise the budget. Over the years, this has adversely impacted the time spent by MPs on scrutinising the budget.

This indicates an abdication of responsibility by Parliament of one of its most crucial functions and does not bode well for the country’s future. While the issues related to the design of parliamentary democracies may be difficult to change, the structural issues can be addressed by putting in place certain measures to help parliamentarians scrutinise fiscal policies in a more robust manner. To that end, this article proposes that Parliament take the initiative in establishing a Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO), which would strengthen the former in carrying out its role of financial oversight.

The concept and the need for such an office in India is discussed here with some examples of PBOs in other countries.

What is a PBO?

PBOs are non-partisan research bodies that provide legislators with neutral and high-quality analysis of fiscal matters that is independent of the executive. Typically, they focus on analysing the full budget cycle, the broad fiscal challenges facing the government and the financial implications of legislative proposals.

A PBO may be established as a statutory body under the direct control of Parliament with a clear set of deliverables. The body could be run as an autonomous institution with an independent board of directors. The head of the PBO should testify before a parliamentary committee on all fiscal matters. PBO should also be subject to audit scrutiny to ensure accountability.

The key advantages of having such a body are: (a) it can raise the quality of debate and scrutiny in Parliament as well as enhance fiscal discipline; (b) it can address the information asymmetry by breaking the executive’s monopoly on information; (c) the information would be available to both majority and minority parties; and (d) a PBO can provide information in a more transparent and timely manner which can enhance citizen participation in the budget process.

At present, budget-related information remains a monopoly of the executive with little scope for independent, high-quality analysis. Also, debates on legislative proposals hardly ever go into their fiscal implications. For instance, the Right to Education Bill, 2008, which required the government to reimburse unaided schools for expenditure on every child, did not provide any estimate for this purpose. Financial Memoranda of Bills only provide the estimated expenditure at the Union level. In addition, MPs in India (unlike developed democracies) are not equipped with well-trained research staff who can provide them with timely and credible inputs. It is essential for MPs to build analytical capacity in budgetary matters in order to be able to hold the government accountable. A PBO can provide MPs with independent, non-partisan and quality research analysis.

A PBO should evaluate complex budget information and produce policy briefs so that MPs can more easily understand fiscal and policy issues. PBOs in different countries undertake a variety of tasks which include producing economic forecasts that are independent from the executive branch of the state, analysis of the budget, examination of fiscal implications of legislative proposals, production of baseline estimates of revenues and expenditures based on current laws and production of policy briefs on present schemes.

Who may use a PBO’s analysis?

PBOs primarily cater to research requests from MPs across party lines as well as requests from parliamentary committees. PBOs in countries such as Uganda and Kenya exclusively cater to requests from committees while Canada carries out service requests from individual MPs but ranks them below committee requests in terms of importance. The US services requests from committees as well as individual legislators.

Should a PBO’s work be available to the public?

A balance needs to be struck between the need for transparency and the need to maintain the confidentiality of requests made by individual clients (this is likely to increase use of the service). All reports of the PBO except those prepared on the request of individual MPs or parliamentary committees can be made public. The on-request reports may be made public with the express consent of the client or may be declassified after a certain time period has elapsed.

The international experience with PBOs

Over 13 countries have established specialised budget offices attached to the legislature including the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Korea, Hungary, Uganda, Kenya, Thailand and Bangladesh. The countries have adopted different models to suit their individual needs. For instance, PBOs fall within the jurisdiction of Parliament in the US, Korea, Uganda and Canada while it is under the executive in the UK and Sweden. The functions may differ too. The US Congressional Budget Office (CBO) provides information on economic outlook, cost estimates of specific legislative proposals, long-term budget outlook, etc. The Canadian PBO provides independent budget projections, fiscal sustainability report, and financial analysis of Bills.

The impact on fiscal oversight in countries with PBOs is difficult to measure though some of the results have been encouraging. The CBO in the US focuses on costing or scoring legislative proposals relative to the baseline. This has helped discourage Congress from making unaffordable proposals. In Australia, the PBO does a costing of different political parties’ electoral manifestos, which can discourage unaffordable election commitments.

An effective PBO can be a useful tool for strengthening the oversight capacity of legislators. However, in the last analysis, it is up to the legislator to take fiscally prudent policy decisions.
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Policy Workshop on Understanding Governance [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jun 2018, 19:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: Policy Workshop on Understanding Governance
The Bharti Institute and the office of Shri Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda, Member of Parliament (MP), Kendrapara (Odisha), jointly organized a Policy Workshop in association with Young Indians (Yi), Chandigarh Chapter on February 15, 2014 at ISB’s Mohali campus. The workshop aimed to provide a platform for youngsters to develop an understanding of important policy issues, the role of MPs, the working of a political offices, approaches to public policy, opportunities in the field and ways for citizens to engage with elected representatives.

Mr. Rohit Kumar, Head of Policy and Research in Mr. Panda’s office, led the first session titled ‘Understanding governance better: Our Constitutional structure’, explored issues such as distribution of powers among the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, checks and balances, and the three levels of government – centre, state and local (Panchayats and Municipalities).

Ms. Yashita Jhurani, of Mr. Panda’s office and Mr. Gaurav Goel, Co-Founder, Samagra Development Associates conducted the next session titled ‘The MP and his People’. The session focused on explaining the nature of an MP’s role in the constituency and the monitoring and reviewing of projects and schemes including the MP Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS).

In the following session on “Public policy – Challenges and Opportunities” Prof. Matthew Hull, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Michigan and Dr. Kaushiki Sanyal, Senior Analyst, Bharti Institute of Public Policy spoke about issues such as policy making in the digital age, avenues of citizen engagement with policy making and career opportunities in the field of public policy. Dr. Sanyal also presented insights from some ongoing projects of the Bharti Institute.

The post-lunch session featured a talk on “Important Institutional and Systemic Reforms” by Mr. Panda. The discussion included specific references to federalism, electoral reforms, Parliamentary reforms and judicial reforms. The session stressed the need for parliamentary reforms in order to avoid legislative deadlocks on the floor of the House. The discussion also dwelt on the topic on relative merits of caps versus traceability in election funding.

The last session explored the “Dynamics of the Interaction between the Legislature and the Executive” through a conversation between Mr. Panda and Ms. Vini Mahajan IAS, Principal Secretary, Government of Punjab and moderated by Prof. Rajesh Chakrabarti, Executive Director of the Bharti Institute of Public Policy. Ms. Mahajan pointed out that the bureaucracy not only implemented policy but often initiated policy change as well. The discussion highlighted points of difference and areas of much needed collaboration between the two important institutions of governance in the country.

Over 100 participants from diverse backgrounds attended the workshop.
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Here are some updates from the world of family business! You might fin [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jun 2018, 21:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: Here are some updates from the world of family business! You might find these interesting!
Tariq Premji joins board of Wipro Enterprises 

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/ar ... aign=cppst

Kirloskars get ready to diversify into financial services with new NBFC 

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/ar ... aign=cppst

Farhad Forbes elected global chairman of Family Business International

https://www.aninews.in/news/business/bu ... 901100002/

After Flipkart deal, Walmart India looks to scale up kirana store business

https://www.livemint.com/Companies/dOyd ... irana.html
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Here are some updates from the world of family business! You might fin [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jun 2018, 00:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: Here are some updates from the world of family business! You might find these interesting!
Kirloskars get ready to diversify into financial services with new NBFC

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/in ... 489035.cms

Tatas plan monetisation of infrastructure, realty arms 

//economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/64551456.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

The bond that keeps promoters of Emami together 

//economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/64551263.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

Germany’s Knauf to acquire USG

http://www.businessnorth.com/daily_brie ... 107d1.html
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Here are some updates from the world of family business! You might fin   [#permalink] 15 Jun 2018, 00:00

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