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Writing is Easy, not Living: Challenges in Implementing Family Business Constitutions

Nupur Pavan Bang, Anil Sainani, Kavil Ramachandran Drafting a constitution for the family business has gained popularity, with many wishfully viewing it as a cure-all for their current and future challenges. While creating a constitution is essential, families should understand it merely marks the initial phase in fostering a cohesive family business.  In realityParadoxically, numerous families face difficulties in actualizing the principles outlined in the document into practical, everyday reality. We discuss here the key challenges encountered in implementing a family business constitution.  Concept of Family Business Constitution (FBC): There are fundamental differences in the two systems of family and business, necessitating...

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Strategies for Effective Implementation of Family Business Constitutions

Nupur Pavan Bang, Anil Sainani, Kavil Ramachandran The awareness and prevalence of Family Business Constitutions (FBCs) amongst the business families in India is rising. While many families boast of meticulously crafted constitutions, a significant gap often exists between aspiration and reality. Despite their existence, these documents frequently remain dormant, failing to permeate at the strategic, operational, and even familial dynamics level. This article explores strategies for the effective implementation and bridging the divide between the aspirational ideals outlined in the constitution and the lived reality of day-to-day interactions, long-term strategies, decision-making processes, and familial aspects of harmony and togetherness.  Strategies for Effective...

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Family Business Constitutions Challenges and Implementation

Editor's Note: Mr. Anil Sainani is the Founder and Managing Partner of BAF Consultants, a niche consulting firm specializing in family business governance. He is an expert in the field of family businesses and has worked with 200+ family businesses in India, Nepal, UAE and USA housing developed capabilities specialize in advising on Professionalization and Growth of Family Business, Family Constitution Creation and Implementation, Coaching and Mentoring of Family Leaders and Ownership/Management Succession Planning. He has close to two decades of experience of working with Business families like Godrej, GMR Group, Dalmia Bharat, DCM Shriram, Kirloskar, SRF and others, and his cases are...

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Preventing family wars: How to avoid conflicts in family businesses

Family businesses are captivating as their values are naturally woven in the company’s culture and they create a multigenerational legacy. However, at the same time, they are at risk to Family Wars that can engulf them. War is a strong word, but feelings run high enough in families to merit it as rightly pointed out in the book 'Family Wars: Stories and Insights from Family Business Feuds' by Grant Gordon and Nigel Nicholson. We have seen tragedies where a once legendary business empire disintegrated into small units. Hinduja Family Group, one of the world’s largest conglomerates, seems to be under...

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Building and sustaining a professional culture for a family business’s growth

Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: Professional mindset of the senior leadership team or managers means that they must be functional experts who are always looking for new ideas and better ways of accomplishing the tasks. Their emphasis is on making and refining the structures and processes so that dependence on them is the least. Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: “A family business is a never-ending journey, one that is continually evolving. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on something, things change, and you have to adapt quickly and efficiently.” This quote by Genette Gregson, CEO of Australia-based...

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What it takes for a successful implementation of leadership transition in a family business

Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: Leadership transition plan is essentially a clear process with guidelines for transfer of responsibilities from outgoing to incoming leaders. There are three parts of this process – identifying and selecting successors, coaching them and giving them opportunities to start leading. Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: Professionalisation of family businesses for growth requires timely leadership transition. In the absence of a leadership transition plan, when a leader dies or has a disability, there is a crisis in business as more often than not the leadership team is caught off guard and there is no clear allocation of...

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Bridging Generational Divide in Family Businesses Through Communication

Recognising the importance of intergenerational communication, having shared spaces and creating opportunities for interaction can go a long way in facilitating better understanding and trust among family members across generations It was a life of struggles for the family when my grandfather died unexpectedly at a young age, my 85-year-old grandmother recalls. “Suddenly, we had nothing. However, we never spoke about it outside. We did not ask anyone for anything. Our lifestyle did not change when we had nothing. And, it has not changed now when we have everything again.” Those words, spoken casually while I watched The Crown season 5 on...

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Leadership transition in professionalising a family business

Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: Amidst the pressures of today’s fast-paced and uncertain life, it is imperative to plan leadership transition in family businesses beforehand. Deep emotional acceptance, mindset shift, and working on an agreed plan is required both from the outgoing leader and their successor. Many family business owners expect their children to lead the family business without discovering whether they wish to do so or are capable of doing so. By Simran Senani Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: Leadership transition in a family business is a deeply emotional yet crucial part of their professionalisation journey. Even though owners realise that transitioning...

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Incorporating a professional mindset across the organisation in family businesses

Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: Building a professional culture begins with the promoters and senior leadership team becoming professionals in their attitude and behaviour. Many family businesses inherit the founding generation’s dreams, principles and behaviour which motivate them and set them apart. By Simran Senani Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: “Family and Business are two of the most powerful forces in the world. Our families provide our nature in the form of our genes and much of our nurture. Businesses employ our most valuable resources – our people, our time, our capital. When combined, family and business amplify their impact and their complexity.” These...

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Why incorporating a professional mindset in family businesses is key to their success?

Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: It is usually seen that many family businesses established well by the founding generation grow till their lifetime, however, very few are able to sustain that pace in succeeding generations as well. One of the key and crucial steps for the growth of a family business is embarking upon the culture-building journey. By Simran Senani Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: Growing a business is no picnic. Understanding the market, hiring the right professionals, enhancing technical expertise, focusing on financial management, setting up systems and processes, etc. are all required on an ongoing basis. However, despite getting all these factors...

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