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Interview with Professor Rodney Ramcharan [#permalink]

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New post 07 Sep 2017, 22:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: Interview with Professor Rodney Ramcharan
Associate Professor of Finance and Business Economics (tenured), Marshall School of Business, Previously at the Board Governors of Federal Reserve System, International Monetary Fund

https://sites.google.com/site/rodneyramcharan/

This is a part of the MCC’s Exemplar Series, where each week, we shall seek to bring to you the best thoughts out there and seek to stir a debate on matters in the material world, so to speak.

Pro tip: Might help you with your interviews as well!

It’s great to have you here with us Sir. Today, we want to pick your mind on Global Economics, with emphasis on the first half of the year, and how it has gone by. We have completed a course in Global Economics, and have a new found curiosity in the post 2008 crisis world. What’s your take on the Banks in US right now, and your thoughts regarding the current regulatory environment?

Professor: I think the two main sources of regulation that the US has pursued is asking banks to have more capital so that the losses can be better weathered, and the insistence that banks have more liquidity. If Banks are holding more liquid assets when the depositors come to withdraw, the Banks will have enough cash. I believe post crisis there has been more push in these two areas. If you are forced to have more liquid assets, then there will be less funds available for loans. And this certainly has been the case that lending post crisis is lesser than pre crisis. But that does not mean that it is sub-optimal. My intuition is that the last thing one wants is a replay of the crisis, as the US and the World does not have the capacity to have a fresh bailout to meet a new crisis. So, if one has to err on the side of caution, now might be the best time for it, so that economies can rebuild themselves. The EU for example, has just allowed the Italians to close one of their big banks, and as they are still dealing with the last shock, the last thing one wants is for the US to do away with regulations.

Coming to India, where there is a talk of bad bank, to address specific challenges the economy is facing. What’s your outlook on this? Should a developing country like India looking at such a solution?  Or is it just administrative in nature?

Professor: The bad bank idea came about with the Great Depression. In the 1930s, the US had massive amounts of bank failure due to a lot of assets that fell in value. When the banks failed, the local governments tended to sell the assets quickly, and the externalities from the fire sale led to other banks also failing, as the value of marked to market assets shrink when similar assets are owned across banks. And this contagion effect made matters worse!

So I think what the idea is about is that it takes the bad assets out of the market. And if a bank is failing, I can move my bad assets out and revitalize it with fresh equity. Once the balance sheets become cleaner, I can go lend again. Concentrating the assets out of the banks and into a single bad bank means no liquidation pressure – there is no fear as to my equity holders that the assets need to be sold off quickly.

Secondly, it gives the owner of a bad bank (critical) time to find the right sets of buyers that can put these assets to their best use. These buyers need not be Indian buyers. They could very well be private equity players who know how to say, run an airline. They have done the same thing countless times in the US and Europe where turnaround happens – due to their (management) expertise in running them. What then happens is that there is a best deal available with no pressure to sell them fast. The wrinkle in all of this, is that this process needs to be insulated from politics. If the Govt. gets involved in a non-economic way, then a market efficient outcome may not be likely.

To pick an example, suppose this happens in the US, and the bad bank has been created and is being housed in a committee run by the senate.  And then a Senator has friends who know about these assets and would like to buy these assets.  The senator may say that if you make a contribution to my campaign, I can pick up the phone and ask for these assets to be sold to you at a real big discount. Then, one has problems, as the taxpayers may not end up benefiting. So essentially speaking, these sales have to be very transparent, maybe with open bids and people need to trust the process. There has to be a right mechanism to pick the bids, avoiding the cronyism that is at risk.  It must not become a political game where those with friends in high places end up benefitting the most.

Interesting. Although it could work in India, we would like to know examples of this, has this worked in the past?

Professor: I have two examples to my memory. First, the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, started in 1935 by the then authorities was aimed to do exactly this – to buy up all the bad assets of the banks in US, and the RFC did do a pretty good job in preventing a fire sale and helping the banking system heal. The research regarding this suggests that at the time, the process of insulating them was done pretty well. The other one was the savings and loan crisis in the US in the 80s and the Congress set up a bad bank to dispose these assets beginning in the 90s. This is where I would ask you to check up online, especially on the Keating 5 scandal, where 5 US Senators were accused of corruption in 1989. And that’s where the cautionary tale comes in. The Fed in 2008 stepped in, for example, and bought the assets, and set a floor price to dispose of the assets. As the prices were plummeting, the Fed effectively set a floor price. For the mortgage backed assets, the US Fed became the largest buyer.

So what are the new regulations post crisis US is proposing?

Professor: Some in the US were unhappy regarding the Fed stepping in to buy these assets. The Dodd Frank Act was passed after much debate. The new regulations required banks to write a living will. (Essentially speaking), you need to write down while you are still alive, who will get to have these assets in case you do not survive. The credibility of these will get tested only in a crisis – whether or not this leads to a fire sale again, we are yet to see. Couple of things here. We have no way to judge the efficacy of these in good times, and when times are bad – and if the designated buyer is not in a shape to buy it, what happens then? Dodd Frank limits the ability of the Fed to do this, as it will not be legal anymore for them to buy assets.

Is the answer then to reduce the size of banks so that the risk of spreading contagion is limited?

Professor: So the answer here is that there is no answer! Every answer has a cost. And if it was easy, it would have been done already. If you reduce the size of banks, you do make the system more resilient. But, there are other costs. For instance, take GE, a big corporation. If all the banks are small, where would GE go to get loans? Banks have gotten big because firms have gotten bigger. If you limit the size of banks, you limit corporation growth, and economic growth.

A tough situation indeed. Coming to the current US administration – they have promised a lot of economic stimulus. Do you feel they will provide what is required to drive the economy? How do we see steady growth?

Professor: I think the conventional view now is that it is unlikely Mr. Trump will get much out of Congress. His ability to get more out of the congress is limited despite Republicans controlling majority of the Congress. He does have a very short window, as there are midterm elections next year. And if the Democrats come back and take the House, there will be a slimmer chance of him getting anything done. So slim chances of getting the stimulus he promised.

Professor, last question here. Coming to China, their system has a lot of debt, and there are concerns about the shadow banking system. There is a cloud that we have over the data from China, and in light of this, how do you see Chinese growth? Will it be the next fault line, so to speak?

Professor: So, I think we have a lot of evidence now that significant increase in leverage in this case can be problematic and even one spark can lead to a lot of damage. The Chinese authorities are aware of that. The mitigating factor is that the central government has the potential firepower to address any spillovers from a debt overhang, if there are any. Note here that we don’t know for sure that there are problems, but that is a saving grace. Also, the Chinese Government has shown its capability in its past to handle economic challenges well, and that is reassuring. Now if you ask, is there a debt crisis in China? Well there is a lot of debt there, and that is for sure. But the magnitude of impact is hard to say. Future Chinese growth will depend a lot on their politics, their execution of policy, etc. No one can give a definitive answer to this.

It was an absolute delight to have you here interacting with us, Sir.

Professor: Ah thank you, you guys have been patient listeners!

Please note that views expressed here are solely for the purposes of educational debate. Permissions required before reproduction.
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A Founder’s Guide to Professionalizing a Family Business [#permalink]

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New post 08 Sep 2017, 00:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: A Founder’s Guide to Professionalizing a Family Business
The founder of every thriving family business faces an inevitable question: How should our ways of working evolve to meet the challenges of managing a growing company? Experts typically tell founders that the answer is to professionalize, meaning that they should emulate the structures, governance, systems, and processes of a modern corporation. Yet in many cases, that approach to professionalization destroys what made the family business special in the first place. Many founders also fear, justifiably, that they will lose control of a business that is an integral part of their identity.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We have a different perspective on what it means to professionalize a family business. In our view, such a business should start by determining which of its distinctive attributes—its entrepreneurial skills, its spirit, or its special strengths—have enabled the enterprise to thrive. It should then adopt the characteristics of a modern corporation that will augment those attributes and that fit with its culture. Professionalizing does not have to mean removing the family from its role in the business. But it does mean making a deliberate choice to define clear roles for the family and for professional managers. This approach will allow the business to benefit from uniqueness where it matters and prepare for scale where it is needed.

FOUR STEPS TO PROFESSIONALIZATION

  • Define the Family’s Role- First, family members must agree on the need to professionalize and clarify their vision for the company’s future. They must align their aspirations for the business and for themselves.
  • Strengthen Governance- Governance should be addressed at four levels, each of which must be clearly defined and consistent with the others; Family, Board of Directors, Corporate Center and Executive and Management Committee.
  • Strengthen the Company- Professionalization requires strengthening the company itself. Several elements like Leadership Team, Organization Structure, Business and Support Processes and Control Systems are especially critical to a high-performing enterprise.
  • Define the Company Way- In addition to the “hardwiring” described above, institutionalizing the company’s culture, values, and leadership behaviors is essential to successful professionalization. The leaders of the business must clearly and explicitly articulate their culture and values and then take steps to communicate and institutionalize them, with the goal of preserving them as guiding lights into the future.
Source: Bhalla, Vikram, and Orglmeister, Christian, the Boston Consulting Group, September 6, 2017; https://www.bcg.com/publications/2017/f ... iness.aspx
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Dilhan C Fernando: The Next Gen Brewing Ambition at Dilmah Tea [#permalink]

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New post 08 Sep 2017, 00:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: Dilhan C Fernando: The Next Gen Brewing Ambition at Dilmah Tea
Dilhan Fernando is a man of faith on many levels. The youngest son of the founder of Dilmah Tea has faith in the quality of the genuine Ceylon tea they produce, faith in the philanthropic Christian tenets his father raised in him and he instils in his children, and faith in family business as a model for global success that works, if managed well.

“I would encourage family businesses to stay true to their values and to consider how they might re-engineer themselves to adapt to the challenges of the 21st century rather than sell out,” Fernando says.

Fernando embodies the infusion of new ideas and enthusiasm that savvy second-generation family members must bring to the family firm if it is to survive and thrive beyond one generation. However, the 49-year-old director of MJF Holdings Ltd, knows it is a fine balance between respecting the pioneering heritage of his 82-year-old father’s legacy and appealing to a global market of billions of consumers with ever-changing tastes.

Fernando was aged 19 in 1989 when his father brought him into the company as a professional. He was content to work in different departments at his own pace and grew into the business as it grew over the next decade. His father’s commitment to integrity, tradition, and personalised customer service became his own.

“Over the years it has evolved, but we have a very clear structure within our business where my father overlooks all our businesses [in MFJ Group],” Fernando says.

The family is working this year on a charter to ensure the legacy of the business continues, he says. Certain principles have already been incorporated and protected, such as giving 10% of their pre-tax profits to charity, “but beyond that there are so many aspects that are hard to define, such as the principle of dignity and our humanitarian activities. The principle of direct delivery of assistance, and the performance measure of changing lives, rather than the convention of corporate social responsibility parameters.”

Fernando studied at the London School of Economics and worked at tea packaging factories owned by friends of his father’s to learn their best practices. He returned to the Dilmah Tea operation and worked his way up. Staff were asked not to consider either Dilhan or Malik the sons of the boss, Fernando says.

Dilhan’s three children, his eldest son is aged 16, will have to earn their positions in the family business, just as he did. His older brother Malik has two teenaged daughters ­– one studies medicine at the University of Bristol in the UK and the other studies business at University College London.

Dilhan says the group is large enough for the third generation of Fernandos to find their niche within it, should they choose. “What I teach my children is that we do not have a right to all of this,” Dilhan says. “When you understand that your success is not generated by yourself, but by blessings from God, then I think you automatically acquire humility. At the heart of it all is humility. And if you lose that humility, that is the day that your business begins to go south.”

Source: Beech, James, September 6, 2017, http://www.campdenfb.com/article/dilhan ... dilmah-tea
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Quick Tips for applying to Cycle-1 [#permalink]

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New post 13 Sep 2017, 05:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: Quick Tips for applying to Cycle-1
With almost a month left for the Cycle-1 deadline, Here are a few tips we have put together for making a strong application.

1.Application is the opportunity to talk about yourself

We get to know about your achievements, experiences, goals and aspirations. Elaborate on the need and timeliness of pursuing a  management programme. Keep your essays as clear as possible, it helps us assess your need and potential

2.Get a good recommendation

The recommender should be a person who can comment on the quality and depth of your work experience.

3.Build a strong Employment profile

Project your roles, responsibilities and achievements at work. This information helps us assess your career progression, leadership potential and ability to contribute to the peer group at ISB

4.Showcase a well -rounded profile with awards and activities

Awards/activities help us assess your leadership potential, roundedness as an individual, ability to contribute and succeed while at ISB and in your future endeavours. Mention the most important of the extra/co-curricular activities, you have undertaken/participated during education or at work.

5.Review and Reword

Review your essays  a couple of times before submitting them. Check for grammatical errors, typos, word limit and reword if necessary.

Log on to the application portal to complete your profile here : apply.isb.edu For any other support reach us at apphelp@isb.edu

All the Best!

 
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Quick Tips for applying to Cycle-1 [#permalink]

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New post 13 Sep 2017, 05:01
FROM ISB PGP Admissions Director Blog: Quick Tips for applying to Cycle-1
With almost a month left for the Cycle-1 deadline, Here are a few tips we have put together for making a strong application.

1.Application is the opportunity to talk about yourself

We get to know about your achievements, experiences, goals and aspirations. Elaborate on the need and timeliness of pursuing a  management programme. Keep your essays as clear as possible, it helps us assess your need and potential

2.Get a good recommendation

The recommender should be a person who can comment on the quality and depth of your work experience.

3.Build a strong Employment profile

Project your roles, responsibilities and achievements at work. This information helps us assess your career progression, leadership potential and ability to contribute to the peer group at ISB

4.Showcase a well -rounded profile with awards and activities

Awards/activities help us assess your leadership potential, roundedness as an individual, ability to contribute and succeed while at ISB and in your future endeavours. Mention the most important of the extra/co-curricular activities, you have undertaken/participated during education or at work.

5.Review and Reword

Review your essays  a couple of times before submitting them. Check for grammatical errors, typos, word limit and reword if necessary.

Log on to the application portal to complete your profile here : apply.isb.edu For any other support reach us at apphelp@isb.edu

All the Best!

 
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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When fathers know best [#permalink]

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New post 15 Sep 2017, 04:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: When fathers know best
Last month, luxury lifestyle magazine August Man featured fathers and sons in midsize Singapore family businesses: Anthony Lim and sons Raymond and Jeremy of Cortina Watch, Alan Tan and son Alvan of Alan Photo, Tan Soo Pong and son Lawrence of Dragon Brand Bird’s Nest.

Anthony Lim founded Cortina Watch in 1972, and initially, he did everything on his own, staying in the shop and chatting with customers. But with e-commerce, the watch industry is feeling the heat today.

“It’s a different retail experience,” says Raymond. “In Taiwan, there are a lot of stores that don’t stock anything. You go in, try the sizes of the clothes, then order online. Our industry is not as yet affected but we are keeping an eye on this.”

Alan Photo used to be a typical camera shop, but with the rise of the smartphone, Alvan entices customers through REC, which is not just a clever wordplay on “recording” but also stands for “resolve, experience, create.”

Dragon Brand Bird’s Nest was founded in 1957 by Tan Soo Pong’s father. In 1986, it became the first to bottle the delicacy in a glass jar while preserving its freshness.

Final say

Even if the younger generation is already an integral part of the business, and the older ones want to retire, everyone agrees that during crunch time, dad still has the final say.

“A lot of our suppliers still approach me instead of [my son],” says Alan. “What I do now is start the initial discussions and then hand over to my son to follow up.”

“[My father] is from the older generation … and is more conservative,” says Alvan. “But I have to give him credit for his willingness to listen. He is a lot more open to new ideas than many other older people I know.”

“We are a traditional Teochew family, so when we have disagreements and cannot come to a consensus,” says Lawrence, “then we just accept the decision of my dad or uncles since they are the elders of the family.”

The same holds true for the Lim family.

“The final decision still lies with my father,” says Raymond. “That is how we do business.”

Source:  Queena N. Lee-Chua, September 15, 2017, http://business.inquirer.net/236874/fathers-know-best
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Professional CEOs Successful in Legacy Companies when Promoters Move B [#permalink]

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New post 15 Sep 2017, 04:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: Professional CEOs Successful in Legacy Companies when Promoters Move Beyond ‘I, Me, Myself’
This article was first published in www.news18.com on August 21, 2017; Authors- Nupur Pavan Bang and Kavil Ramachandran

Founder shareholders have the right to question the CEO if the performance is not up to the mark. But they must realize their special status as the “founders” and choose the forum wisely.

Unceremonious exits of Cyrus Mistry and Vishal Sikka have sparked the debate on whether it is difficult for the professional CEOs of firms with ‘legacy’ to perform and work.

There are ample examples against it: AM Naik to SN Subrahmanyan at L&T, YC Deveshwar to Sanjiv Puri at ITC, KV Kamath to Chanda Kochhar at ICICI Bank and S Ramadorai to N Chandrasekaran at Tata Consultancy Services are just a few examples of CEOs who served/are serving companies with ‘legacy’ with aplomb. It cannot be generalized. Even in mid-sized firms like Jyothy Laboratories, professionals like Ullas Kamath have made their own identity aside from the founder M P Ramachandran.

The CEO is usually appointed after a lot of due diligence and search. Compatibility of the CEO with the values and culture of the company is an important aspect. So is the ability to take the organization to the next level. There may be many decisions that need different approach than what were taken earlier. In pursuit of long-term performance and transformation of the company there may be a path that was not trodden by the predecessor that is needed to be taken now. Different does not mean wrong. To question the decision of the CEO at each step and not allowing him to work without a sword hanging on his head is unfair and undermines the very selection process.

Passing the baton

Promoters of family businesses often find it difficult to pass on the baton to their successors, especially if the successor happens to be a non-family professional. As a result, transition in leadership is one of the biggest challenges faced by family businesses. While finding the right successor is one part of the challenge, the preparedness of the founder to retire and letting go is the other part. Continuation of the legacy and respect for what has been achieved in the past is healthy. But continued need of the founder to feel acknowledged, useful and important is not.

Succession planning

Infosys was one of the first companies in the country to follow the highest standards in corporate Governance. They faltered in succession planning though. Founders took turns to become the CEO of the company irrespective of whether they were best suited for the job or not. Many good senior executives left Infosys due to meritocracy being overlooked in favour of founders. That was perhaps one of the reasons that when the last of the founder CEO, SD Shibulal, expressed his desire to retire, the Nominations and Governance Committee of Infosys could not find anyone within Infosys to lead the company.

Even if it is assumed that Mr. Murthy has valid concerns about the governance standards at Infosys stooping after the founders stepped down voluntarily in 2014, even if it is assumed that the current board at Infosys is not upholding the core values of governance and transparency set by the founders, what cannot be denied is that the founders did not nurture a successor while at the helm of affairs. The entire Infosys and Tata saga points to the importance of succession in organizations and that the incumbent CEO or the founder do not spend enough time to tackle the issue.

I, me, myself

One of the most important life lessons that the founders and the CEOs should learn is to let go of ‘I, me, myself’ syndrome. The moment one starts taking credit for everything they start alienating people. That is perhaps what is happening with Murthy as well. In his latest letter to the media as well, there are numerous references to how things were great when the founders were at the helm of affairs. While many of his concerns may have merit, the tone of the letter alienates him from the readers and generates sympathy for Sikka.

Right forum

The founder shareholders have the right to question the CEO if the performance is not up to the mark. But they must realize their special status as the “founders” and choose the forum wisely. Else it becomes a case of ‘trial by media’ for the CEO and as Sikka said in his resignation letter to the Infosys board, “This continuous drumbeat of distractions and negativity over the last several months/quarters, inhibits our ability to make positive change and stay focused on value creation”.

Non-founder shareholders with significant shareholdings

Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas and the LIC of India are the largest shareholders in Infosys as individual entities. Qualified Foreign Investor together hold about 38 percent shares, Insurance companies hold 12 percent and Mutual Funds hold more than 8 percent shares. Institutions collectively own about 59 percent shares. Assuming that most of these institutions have invested for the long-term, they are expected to have an in-depth knowledge of the company and seek clarifications from the board from time to time. It is difficult to believe that these institutions would blindly continue to be invested if there were governance lapses at the company.

In conclusion, the problem is not with companies with “legacy”. The problem is with people with an extended sense of “legacy”. When people start to consider that the company is an extension of their own identity and refuse to let go even after they decide to bring in a professional CEO, difficult situations arise.

Source: http://www.news18.com/news/business/opinion-professional-ceos-successful-in-legacy-companies-when-promoters-move-beyond-i-me-myself-1497297.html
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From entrepreneurship to family business [#permalink]

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New post 21 Sep 2017, 21:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: From entrepreneurship to family business
The legacy of Stanfield’s: Like most great entrepreneurs, Charles Stanfield was part inventor, part marketer and part gambler. When he started his textile business in 1856, the Maritimes were fertile ground for success — a fresh start from his native England. Four years ago Jon Stanfield took over the helm of the company that his great-great-grandfather founded 11 years before Canada became a nation.

He immediately embarked on a program of new growth, expansion and innovation — the same kind of attention to detail that his ancestors have been showing for 150 years. “Each generation of Stanfield’s has its own challenges. But in the end my grandfather, my father and I, we’re all the stewards of Charles Stanfield. Our growth philosophy doesn’t change. We’re always moving aggressively in the direction of new business,” says Stanfield.

That philosophy may explain how Stanfield’s has managed to become one of the oldest and most respected family businesses in Atlantic Canada — but they’re not alone.

A few have been in business even longer than Stanfield’s. The Wilson family, also based in Truro, traces the roots of its business empire back to New England Planters, and entrepreneur William Wilson, who made his way to Nova Scotia on the heels of the Acadian Expulsion, some 260 years ago.

Leslie McNabb is director of the Centre for Family Business and Regional Prosperity, a department of the Faculty of Management at Dalhousie, says that many family businesses fail soon after the founder relinquishes control. In many ways family businesses become extensions of the family that created them, complete with all the complications of living as part of a family dynamic — sibling rivalries, entitlement issues, members who refuse to pull their fair share of the weight.

McNabb says family businesses have some real advantages over typical corporations. For one thing they tend to be leaner and are able to implement new policies and new directions much quicker. But bringing family members into the mix can cause real upheavals in a business.

Succession planning is key, says McNabb, yet only 30 per cent of family businesses have a succession plan in place. “All businesses are concerned with succession issues, but when family is involved it takes on an added stress. Family issues tend to creep into the discussion.”

But the hardest thing for any entrepreneur may be relinquishing control of a business they’ve spent a lifetime building.

Source: Mason, Tom, http://thechronicleherald.ca/businessvoice/1503911-from-entrepreneurship-to-family-business
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Wealth & Purpose: Creating Positive Returns [#permalink]

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New post 21 Sep 2017, 21:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: Wealth & Purpose: Creating Positive Returns
In 2008, after 27 years of working for his sixth-generation family business that founded the C&A clothing retail chain, family entrepreneur Stephen Brenninkmeijer, created Willows Investments. He discusses funding and supporting promising ventures with a social mission.

What is the mission of your family?

To be a force for good. For community, for society, for the world where we work and to make a difference. As it says on the Cofra Holdings site, the holding company for my family’s main business interests: “We aspire to advance the development, understanding and use of broader metrics in pursuit of investing in a socially responsible way. We can act upon our human values while we create economic value.”

How have you incorporated these values into your own wealth?

One way is through Willows Investments. I work with social entrepreneurs and in development finance, which started out with microfinance. I have eight investments in my portfolio. A good example is the company Auticon, it is a German business that works with people with autism, training them up to work as consultants in the IT industry.

Why did you decide to focus on impact investing?

What I learnt from Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship was that you could run non-profit organisations like a business, then I took the next step and said: “Why don’t you have people invest, rather than just give them a grant” which was an important learning from microfinance. Traditionally people were supported through grants by non-government organisations, but once microfinance started giving them loans, recipients reacted and said: “Finally people respect us”. When I started, the term impact investing did not exist, but for me it was a no-brainer to support that next level of development.

What has been you biggest philanthropic triumph?

Working with the company responsAbility, because I was their first investor. I helped to recruit the first person. Now it is a business with an asset base of more than €3.5 billion ($3.1 billion) and doing phenomenal work.

What is one project that excites you?

One thing that is very close to me and my wife’s hearts is Jewish, Christian, and Muslim relations. We work very closely with the Woolf Institute based in Cambridge, UK which does a lot of research, and practical projects—for instance they advised London’s Metropolitan Police at the time of the Olympics around how to be sensitive and understanding of Ramadan.

Source: Bardsley, Daniel, CampdenFB Issue 70, 20 September, 2017; http://www.campdenfb.com/article/wealth-purpose-creating-positive-returns
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How do we evaluate PGP applicants [#permalink]

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New post 26 Sep 2017, 02:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: How do we evaluate PGP applicants
With just 20 more days left for the Cycle -1 deadline, we thought we should share a glimpse of what we look for in a candidate and how we evaluate applications and some tips on how can you strengthen your application.

We believe that “People succeed because of their strengths; despite their weaknesses”. Hence we use a strength based evaluation methodology for assessing applicants.

  • TIP: Focus your application on showcasing your strengths
We evaluate candidates on 3 key areas

  • Academic Potential
  • Leadership Attributes
  • Personal Attributes
 

Academic Potential gives us an idea your learning ability and whether you can cope with the rigor of the 1 year at PGP. The Class 12 & Grads and the Test Scores i.e GRE/ GMAT scores contribute to the academic bucket. It has the same weightage for everybody and is independent of the work experience and background.

 

  • TIP: You can make up for an average Class 12 & Graduation scores with a good test score (GRE/GMAT) and vise-versa
 

Through assessing leadership potential we try to understand if you will, in the time to come, emerge as a good leader. Leadership attributes is not necessarily about leading teams- being a good team player, taking initiatives, motivating colleagues etc can be emphasized.

  • TIP: Talk about the individual contributions you have made to take the organization forward. Quote examples of the initiatives you have taken in and outside work.
And lastly, the personal attributes, tell us about how well rounded you are as an individual i.e your skills, capabilities and interests in and outside work etc.

  • TIP: Tell us about your hobbies, extracurricular activities and achievements. Highlight your societal contributions if any.
 

Recommendations play an imperative role in assessing both leadership as well as personal attributes. Hence it is very critical you to choose a evaluator who knows you well professionally, knows how you work, is senior to you in terms of responsibilities and whose work was impacted by your contributions.  This time, the evaluation is quantitative as well as qualitative. And the evaluator has to wait for 24 hours for making changes.

 

  • TIP: Prefer someone whom you have worked with recently.
  • TIP: Designations of the evaluator don’t matter. The evaluator should be able to give qualitative insights about your work, so choose wisely.
 

You can log in to your application at apply.isb.edu ; The cycle1 deadline is October 15.

Write to pgp@isb.edu incase you have any admissions related queries.

Good Luck for your application.
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How do we evaluate PGP applicants [#permalink]

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New post 26 Sep 2017, 02:01
FROM ISB PGP Admissions Director Blog: How do we evaluate PGP applicants
With just 20 more days left for the Cycle -1 deadline, we thought we should share a glimpse of what we look for in a candidate and how we evaluate applications and some tips on how can you strengthen your application.

We believe that “People succeed because of their strengths; despite their weaknesses”. Hence we use a strength based evaluation methodology for assessing applicants.

  • TIP: Focus your application on showcasing your strengths
We evaluate candidates on 3 key areas

  • Academic Potential
  • Leadership Attributes
  • Personal Attributes
 

Academic Potential gives us an idea your learning ability and whether you can cope with the rigor of the 1 year at PGP. The Class 12 & Grads and the Test Scores i.e GRE/ GMAT scores contribute to the academic bucket. It has the same weightage for everybody and is independent of the work experience and background.

 

  • TIP: You can make up for an average Class 12 & Graduation scores with a good test score (GRE/GMAT) and vise-versa
 

Through assessing leadership potential we try to understand if you will, in the time to come, emerge as a good leader. Leadership attributes is not necessarily about leading teams- being a good team player, taking initiatives, motivating colleagues etc can be emphasized.

  • TIP: Talk about the individual contributions you have made to take the organization forward. Quote examples of the initiatives you have taken in and outside work.
And lastly, the personal attributes, tell us about how well rounded you are as an individual i.e your skills, capabilities and interests in and outside work etc.

  • TIP: Tell us about your hobbies, extracurricular activities and achievements. Highlight your societal contributions if any.
 

Recommendations play an imperative role in assessing both leadership as well as personal attributes. Hence it is very critical you to choose a evaluator who knows you well professionally, knows how you work, is senior to you in terms of responsibilities and whose work was impacted by your contributions.  This time, the evaluation is quantitative as well as qualitative. And the evaluator has to wait for 24 hours for making changes.

 

  • TIP: Prefer someone whom you have worked with recently.
  • TIP: Designations of the evaluator don’t matter. The evaluator should be able to give qualitative insights about your work, so choose wisely.
 

You can log in to your application at apply.isb.edu ; The cycle1 deadline is October 15.

Write to pgp@isb.edu incase you have any admissions related queries.

Good Luck for your application.
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Liberalisation led to the Rise of Stand Alone Family Firms [#permalink]

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New post 03 Oct 2017, 03:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: Liberalisation led to the Rise of Stand Alone Family Firms
Indian family businesses flourished and contributed significantly to the growth of the economy in the post liberalisation era

 

A study conducted by the Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise at the Indian School of Business (ISB) reveals that liberalisation led to the rise of Standalone Family Firms (SFFs) in India and they were the primary drivers of accelerating the growth of the Services Sector in the country.

 

Authored by Dr. Nupur Pavan Bang and Professor Kavil Ramachandran of the Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise at ISB and Professor Sougata Ray of IIM Calcutta, the study chronicles the evolution of family businesses in India since the initiation of liberalisation in the country. A first- of- its kind, the study traces the progress of Indian family businesses over a 26 year period from 1990 to 2015.  The authors studied 4,809 firms listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE) of India as a part of the study.

 

The year 1991 ushered in a new dawn in the Indian economy with sweeping reforms across sectors. There were widespread apprehensions about the capabilities of the family owned and managed businesses to withstand the pressure of the newly created “freedom”.  However, the study finds that not only did the family firms withstand the new rush of competitive forces in the economy, but also adapted to the changing business environment.

 

Based on their shareholding and management control, the companies were classified into two categories: Family Businesses (FBs) and Non-Family Businesses (NFBs). Family businesses were further classified into Family business group affiliated firms (FBGFs) and Standalone family firms (SFFs) and NFBs were further classified into State-owned enterprises (SOEs), Multinational subsidiaries (MNCs), Other Business group affiliated firms (OBGFs) and Standalone non-family firms (NFFs).

 

Key Findings of the Study:

 

The rise of standalone family firms:  Close to 73 percent of the listed standalone family firms were incorporated in the period 1981 to 1995. In comparison, only 49 percent of the business group affiliated family firms were incorporated in the same period. As the pace of reforms picked up with liberalisation, more and more standalone family firms started to leverage the changing business landscape. While the family business group firms did take advantage of the reforms in the early stages, it was the standalone family firms that emerged as the single largest ownership category in terms of number of firms.

 

The growth in the number of standalone family firms was driven primarily by the new firms in the services sector. Wholesale trade, financial services and Information Technology were the most favoured industries for the listed standalone family firms. This was reminiscent of the rising contribution of the services sector to the GDP.

 

Growth of the Services sector: In the financial year 1990, services sector accounted for about 45 percent of India’s GDP while its contribution was close to 60 percent in 2015.  Traditionally, family businesses were strong in manufacturing but they showed an equal penchant for the services sector, when the opportunities arose.  But, standalone family firms were the fastest growing category in the services. It was because of their entrepreneurial acumen that India’s services sector has grown so well in recent years.

 

While manufacturing and services contributed almost equally to the total assets for family firms, in the case of non-family businesses, the services sector accounted for more than 90 percent of their total assets. Amongst the non-family firms, the State-owned enterprises dominate the services sector with large assets in the banking sector, whereas, the sector accounted for just 18 percent of the total assets of multinational companies.

 

Family Businesses grew faster and contributed more to the GDP and Exchequer: The study shows that the representation of family businesses grew at a much faster rate than the non-family businesses. In fact, evidence suggests that removal of restrictions and controls in the liberalised era actually unleashed their entrepreneurial spirit.  In 1990, family firms represented 15.7 percent of the GDP in terms of their total income, whereas by 2015, they represented 25.5 percent of the GDP. In comparison, Non-family firms formed 20.5 percent of the GDP in 1990 and 26.6 percent in 2015.

 

Family firms accounted for 28 percent of all indirect taxes and 18 percent of all direct corporate taxes in the financial year 2015, while non-family firms accounted for 26 percent and 25 percent respectively. Though, the pattern has oscillated over the years, overall, the contribution of family firms has gone up from 1990 to 2015.

 

Asset Creation: The total assets were highest for State-owned enterprises owing to their monopoly and massive investment by the government, followed by business group affiliated family firms. In 1990, family firms accounted for 24.7 percent of the total assets of all firms in our sample. This grew to 27.7 percent in 2015. The standalone family firms were able to grow in spite of not having the resources available to a group affiliated firm. While the standalone family firms were large in number [of firms], they were smaller in size. This was perhaps due to their focus on services sector which were less capital intensive and also the lack of resources.

 

Access to capital markets: The average difference between the listing year and the incorporation year for business group affiliated family firms was 14.76 years, whereas for standalone family firms it was 10.01 years. The standalone family firms were probably forced to list earlier compared to those affiliated with business groups due to the capital constraints and limited sources of financing.

 

The SOEs were the last to resort to equity markets to raise funds. The average number of years taken for SOEs to list was 34.07 years, as opposed to 14 to 17 years taken by MNCs, standalone non family firms and other business group firms.  The study also noted that the average number of years taken for the firms to list has been going down over the years pointing to the ease of access to capital markets due to the regulatory changes post liberalization.

 

Impending succession challenges: Succession remains the number one concern for most family businesses even today, as the senior management comprises of family members in most cases. It needs to be seen if the family businesses, especially the ones that are at the crossroad to either transition to the next generation or on the cusp of making non-family professionals their agents, survive the change.

The listed standalone family firms were younger at an average age of 28.73 years than the business group affiliated firms. More than 50 percent of the standalone family firms had been in existence for less than 30 years. The first generation founder would still be actively involved in most of these companies but many of them must be staring at a change of guard in the near future. On the other hand, the non-family firms typically have senior management personnel who are nominated by the board members and appointed for fixed tenures.

The family business group firms have been around for 38.44 years on average and the State owned enterprises have an average age of 54.04 years. The MNCs, other business group firms and the standalone non-family firms have 42.09, 36.9 and 35.16 years of average existence.

 

Conclusions

The study throws up two important developments that are worth mentioning:

  • One, the process of liberalisation in India enabled family firms to take stock, restructure and open up new opportunities in the services sector, thereby, increasing their contribution to the economy.
  • Two, there was a wave of entrepreneurial spirit that got unleashed due to conducive environment.
 

Indian family businesses have shown resilience and have been progressed well over the years. They have increased their footprint in the Indian economy. With better governance and more transparency, they will only get better. Their capacity to transcend time is their greatest strength.

 

Source: Media release for the White Paper- Family Businesses: The emerging landscape, 1990-2015, Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise, ISB, September 2017

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Next generation of family business leaders embracing digital change, b [#permalink]

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New post 03 Oct 2017, 03:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: Next generation of family business leaders embracing digital change, but facing hurdles
PwC conducted in-depth conversations with 35 next gens from 21 countries and polled more than 100 additional next gens for its new report, Same passion, different paths: How the next generation of family business leaders are making their mark. ​ The results showed an incoming generation of family business leaders confronting generational gaps and culture change.

“Our research shows that digital is one area where the generation gap can be a real positive,” said David Wills, PwC’s Global Entrepreneurial & Private Business Leader. “While next gens are excited to tackle digital, the current generation is often more cautious to embrace the proposed pace of change.”

Partly due to a greater degree of transformation and investment needed to effect digital change, many current generation leaders may be cautious about committing to it. About a third of next gens polled (36%) expressed frustration that the current generation does not fully understand the potential for digital and the risks it could pose.

Likewise, the vast majority of next gens see innovation as a core component, with 82% responding that innovation is very important or essential to business success. However a mere 15% of those polled see innovation being implemented well at their firms.

In the study, PwC identified four main approaches next gens are taking to build their own paths to success: stewards, transformers, intrapreneurs, and entrepreneurs. Some next gens straddle more than one of these continually evolving paths, but they can provide a helpful way to separate the different challenges, risks and opportunities that the next generation faces, and how success can look and feel different depending on the route they choose to take.

Stewards – Individuals focused on ensuring the long-term sustainability of the family firm and protecting its profitability by staying true to the established core business

Transformers – Next gens who take on the task of driving significant change in the family firm, with the scope and support to do so

Intrapreneurs – Those whose families carve out a specific venture for next gens within the family firm, effectively the opportunity to be an entrepreneur within the firm itself

Entrepreneurs – Next gens who pursue their own ventures outside the family firm, often in completely unrelated sectors

“These next gens are truly impressive individuals, already making a significant mark whether inside their family firm or on their own,” said Wills. “Our research indicates that ‘success’ can take many forms, and there are many different routes to achieve it.”

Source: http://press.pwc.com/News-releases/next ... ae389b2ec1
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Using Employment Plans to Prevent Succession Setbacks in a Family Busi [#permalink]

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New post 09 Oct 2017, 03:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: Using Employment Plans to Prevent Succession Setbacks in a Family Business
It’s our belief that a significant percentage of family business failures are a byproduct of families and their advisers having given comparatively much less attention to the antecedent imperative to succession planning- employment planning. Without thoughtful employment planning, families increase the risk of succession planning failures for a variety of reasons, including the possibility that potentially qualified successors a) won’t be attracted to work in the family business; b) get frustrated and leave or c) won’t be trusted by family members.

To reduce the risk of these and other related challenges, families in business together should develop an employment plan. While every such plan must be customized to fit a family’s unique constituency and circumstances, we have found that most thoughtful plans share the following components:

  • Eligibility criteria: Families are well served by establishing — and adhering to — clear criteria that must be met or exceeded for members to be eligible to work in their business. Such criteria traditionally include a certain level of formal education and a requirement to gain experience by working outside the family business for a period of time.
  • A compensation methodology: A methodology for how family members who go to work, and remain employed, in the business will be rationally compensated is key. Good compensation plans tend to set a family employee’s compensation on the basis of fair market value (what would the family pay a non-family member?) and seek to align compensation with both individual and organizational goals as well as the organization’s and family’s values and culture.
  • Performance evaluation: While thoughtfully setting compensation is important, no less important is adjusting compensation based on relevant criteria. While a company’s overall performance and market conditions need, of course, to be considered, perhaps the most important criteria are based on fairly evaluating an individual’s job performance. Tracking performance evaluations over time can be particularly helpful when considering whether an individual is ready to be considered a successor.
Without rationally constructed employment plans, families in business together increase their risk of destructive conflict for a variety of reasons. For example, incumbent leaders, particularly founders, might feel that no one is demonstrably capable of succeeding him or her; or founders might feel that a junior generation family member is qualified to take over the business simply by virtue of being from the same gene pool.

Source: Friedman, Scott., Forbes, October 4, 2017; https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2017/10/04/using-employment-plans-to-prevent-succession-setbacks-in-a-family-business/#5c7f242451a1
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Focus on competence, not dynastic succession [#permalink]

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New post 09 Oct 2017, 03:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: Focus on competence, not dynastic succession
It is very difficult to generalise and say that dynastic succession is bad for family firms. In the end, firms that are well-governed and professionally managed, irrespective of being family-managed or not, are the ones that are sustainable.

It is easier for the incumbent family business leader to appoint someone from the family as his successor, as the family member is believed to be entrenched in the same values and hopefully have the same vision for the company that the incumbent leader does. While values and culture are important, they alone cannot create and maximise shareholders’ wealth. Passion, qualification and capability to handle the business are important.

The scion should be professionally qualified and be able to retain the “founder’s mentality” or entrepreneurial spirit that had helped build the business in the first place. The successor should also be capable and mature enough to handle a leadership position, understand the importance of good governance, and navigate the firm to greater heights. If the family scion lacks these traits, it is better to look outside for better candidates to lead the company.

There are two options — choosing someone who has grown up in the ranks in the company, shares the vision of the founder and understands the culture of the company, and second, someone from outside the company who has proved his mettle elsewhere. The problem in the first case is that the chosen successor has always worked under the shadow of the family business leader and may not be able to handle the various ups and downs if the family business leader is not available to guide, or is there as a shadow. The problem in the second case may be lack of shared vision and disruptions that may not receive the approval of the family, even if they are good for the firm in the long run.

Hence, the job of finding a non-family CEO is not easy. But it must be done. The earlier the search for a successor begins, the better it is for the family and the firm. There should be a clear induction and detachment process developed and implemented efficiently. The family business leader should be prepared to truly retire once the transition happens. Interference and encroaching upon the decisions of the CEO later on would lead to a lot of confusion and creation of “no-man’s land”, that is, areas where no one takes a decision as the roles are not clear.

The debate is really about competence versus entitlement. Entitlement leads to destruction whereas competence enables the successor, family or non-family, to become the steward of the company, working towards the benefits of all stakeholders and embracing the objectives of the firm. Therefore, dynastic succession is not necessarily bad as long as it is accompanied with merit.

Source: Bang, N.P., Deccan Chronicle, October 04, 2017; http://www.deccanchronicle.com/discourse/041017/focus-on-competence-not-dynastic-succession.html

 
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A family office in tune with the world of Africa’s startups…and much m [#permalink]

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New post 13 Oct 2017, 03:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: A family office in tune with the world of Africa’s startups…and much more
Singularity, the private investment office of the Nigerian-based Dawlish family, is one of a handful of family offices based in Africa that’s investing directly in the continent’s vibrant startups. Since it was set up three years ago, Singularity has made more than 14 direct investments, with a number of these in Africa or connected to the region.

 

Lagos-based and Singularity’s principal investment officer Lexi Novistske says, despite the difficulties of doing business in the region, there is a buoyant business startup culture in Africa, offering investors a wide array of opportunities. “There are an incredible amount of barriers that make business – and life for that matter – in Africa difficult, but all of these problems are truly opportunities,” she says.

Investments in Africa by Singularity have included a Nigerian-based online gaming company called Mayilo and a news and entertainment app called Sliide Airtime. Novistske, who previously worked in private equity in Nigeria and asset management in New York, says Singularity has been at the forefront of investing in tech startups in Africa, but especially in Nigeria. “We have learned a lot from the journey, but what has really stood out to me is that the basic building blocks that much of the consumer-facing business models are not yet in place. Effectively you have e-commerce without logistics.”

Singularity was launched in 2014 by Issam and Mohamad Darwish. Originally from Lebanon, the Darwish brothers have been pioneers in the African mobile telecoms market and founded IHS Towers, one of Africa and the Middle East’s biggest mobile telecommunications infrastructure groups.

Singularity has also made startup investments in more developed markets, especially in North America. Often these investments are linked to Africa. Notable investments include a Santa Barbara video data group called cielo24 and a Los Angeles apparel e-commerce company called Jewel Toned.

Singularity’s investments often have an impact side to them, but with a big emphasis on sustainability, says Novistske. “East Africa, especially, has been awash with impact investors trying to make a difference with their capital. However, we believe that sustainable impact comes by backing strong, scalable businesses that not only provide access to digital services, but in themselves will be a talent creation engine.”

Source: Bain, David, October 11, 2017, http://www.famcap.com/articles/2017/10/11/a-family-office-in-tune-with-the-world-of-africas-startupsand-much-more

 
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Challenges faced by Family Businesses in India [#permalink]

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New post 13 Oct 2017, 03:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: Challenges faced by Family Businesses in India
In study done by the Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise at the Indian School of Business, significant trends in transition in family businesses were noticed.

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Leadership in family business seems to be undergoing a phenomenal change. While earlier it was autocratic, now it is gradually becoming participative. The younger generation is joining the family businesses and increasingly taking up leadership roles. The senior generation has begun to regard them as capable and well-trained professionals. Some family firms have adopted radical changes in leadership style whereas at the other extreme of this continuum there still remain some firms that are being lead in traditional ways.

Succession planning was something almost unheard of among family firms just about a decade ago. Following the family hierarchy was the usual norm when it came to leadership succession. There was lack of clarity on roles and responsibilities of family members. However, family firms seem to have now learnt the importance of succession planning. The elder generation has also started to realise the importance of professional training and grooming of the younger generation to take up business responsibilities in future.

Wealth management in Indian family businesses largely remains the domain of the family. Family businesses were found to predominantly manage their wealth at the family level. Though many families have begun to take help of professional wealth managers, a significant number of family business owners are not satisfied with the existing wealth management practices and see scope for improvement in this area. An interesting shift in that area is being witnessed with family firms opening to external sources of funding and throwing themselves open to financial scrutiny. This indeed seems to have become a virtue out of the necessity for funds to propel business growth.

Family business owners have realised the importance of harmonious relationships among family members for achieving business success. They have begun to establish communications forum to help family members reach out to each other, sort out differences and have cordial relations. Family firms are slowly beginning to formulate clear guidelines for compensating non-participating family members. Retirement and estate planning is being done in many of the progressive family businesses.

Family firms are increasingly moving towards a professional approach to managing businesses. They are defining clear roles and responsibilities of all family members. In a positive move towards good corporate governance, progressive family firms are also ascertaining the accountability of family members and clearly communicating it to them. However, still processes are more flexible for family members than non-family members. Non-family members are actively scouted for their talent and are gradually being given freedom to make key decisions. Family firms are moving towards establishing stronger systems and processes.

Another trend that emerged from the study is the separation of ownership and management which is being increasingly realised by family business owners. They are gradually beginning to view business management and family ownership as two distinct phenomena. Consequent to this understanding is the realization that management and ownership may have conflicting goals that need to be balanced.

Though it sure has begun, the transition of family business towards modern management is quite a gradual process. Many family firms are yet to implement progressive changes. However, there is widespread recognition among the family business leaders that their businesses must alter the traditional ways to make space for modernity if they need to sustain. Family firms need to shake themselves out of the status quo, overcome the resistance to change and effectively reform their business. Many Indian family firms have taken lead in their march towards professionalisation and modernization. This transition bodes well for India and is a reflection of a nation that is changing for better. The future of Indian family businesses certainly appears to be promising.

Source: Kavil, Ramachandran and Bhatnagar, Navneet, Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise, Indian School of Business, 2012, http://www.isb.edu/sites/default/files/challengesfacedbyindian_1.pdf
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New post 15 Oct 2017, 23:00
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: Life at ISB
When I landed at ISB on April 15 , 2017, I had no idea how I would spend my time while my husband attended classes or stayed busy in his assignments. But now, ISB has become my second home. To be honest, I was a bit apprehensive about living here alone, with strangers all around. Little did I know that these strangers would turn out to be some of the sweetest and closest people in my life. I have forged some really strong relationships here and the whole ISB community has been nothing short of family. The fun part about this place is that there is so much to do here. There are many facilities available for everyone to indulge in numerous activities, be it sports or music.  The SLC and SFA have been organizing a lot of events that keep the students and spouses enjoying to their fullest! The spouses also meet up every now and then and conduct potlucks or parties which are super fun! Overall, I love being a part of ISB and I would definitely miss this place after April, 2018.

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FROM ISB PGP Admissions Director Blog: Life at ISB
When I landed at ISB on April 15 , 2017, I had no idea how I would spend my time while my husband attended classes or stayed busy in his assignments. But now, ISB has become my second home. To be honest, I was a bit apprehensive about living here alone, with strangers all around. Little did I know that these strangers would turn out to be some of the sweetest and closest people in my life. I have forged some really strong relationships here and the whole ISB community has been nothing short of family. The fun part about this place is that there is so much to do here. There are many facilities available for everyone to indulge in numerous activities, be it sports or music.  The SLC and SFA have been organizing a lot of events that keep the students and spouses enjoying to their fullest! The spouses also meet up every now and then and conduct potlucks or parties which are super fun! Overall, I love being a part of ISB and I would definitely miss this place after April, 2018.

-Jagruti Mohapatra

Spouse, SFA newsletter editor
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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