Family Business – The reason for my Blogs on Family Business…..
(Raju Swamy – August 10, 2015)
I have been consulting to Family Owned-and-Managed Businesses for over 30 years, right from the time I started my consulting practice……started first with purely business-related strategic planning and operational management issues. However, I began to notice that almost hidden were relationship and other issues from within the Family that had a significant influence on the management and decision-making process within the Family Business itself.
The real purpose of this blog site is to reproduce selected actual mails to my clients – identity hidden, of course – that are part of the process of advising them, in a given situation. The primary target audience for these blogs includes key members/ heads of Business Families who may through these blogs recognize their own symptoms and possibly infer directions to do something preventive. However, as far as solutions go, each Family has to be treated on a 1-to-1 basis……there are no stereotypes.
For example, the blog (actual Mail) on the ‘Founder not letting go….’ is about an actual Client Family Business of mine……right now I have more than one client facing the problem of ‘Letting Go’, in different ways……
Another of my ‘Mails to a Client’ tries to explain to a Client on my consulting process that is aimed at helping the Client Family Business overcome whatever issues there are, so as to concentrate on Growth…….of the Family Business itself, and of the individuals who constitute the management of the Family Business.
To me, in my approach to resolving issues of Family Business, the focus is on Growth……Growth is the Key, Stagnation Kills…….it is mostly Stagnation that snowballs into conflict, and accumulates dirt, and leaves behind the unpleasant precipitate that could break up a Family Business, and the Family behind the Business….
I am not ‘Spiritual’ in my approach to problem solving…….it is just that I was fortunate that my primary experience of nearly 20 years in management, soon after I passed out of Business School (IIMC), with an MBA, was with an extremely progressive, professionally-managed Family-promoted Business Group…..A Leader in the Automotive Components Industry in India, and now possibly in the World. And the real bonus was that I got to work directly with the very enlightened Chairman of the Group for a number of years, across a wide spectrum of responsibilities related to the future of the Business Group, including new projects, and the development of people, and Leadership to promote Growth. I have also been a Marketing person, right from selling in a region to being a Country Head. This varied experience has been a great influence in my consulting style, based on my understanding of the Logic of Business.
Soon after, when I set up my consulting practice, it was again an enlightened and very well-exposed-to-business Partner of my very first Family Business Client who introduced me to the importance of understanding the behind-the-scene Family Relationships, Values, and Vibrations that inevitably influenced the Business Dynamics of the Family Business. Once again, this Family Business Group is today, as we speak, successfully firing on all cylinders, and continues to be India’s largest, and one of the World’s leading production and marketing houses in its industry, and also owns the No. 1 Brand in this Industry.
Getting back, therefore, to my not being ‘Spiritual’………I have been profoundly influenced by the ‘Logic of Business’ in general, and of the Family Dynamics that influence Family Business, in particular. I do believe, and I do promote, certain ‘Core Values of Family Business’…… Trust, Integrity, Ethics, Relationships, Reputation, Results, Accountability…….Now if these Values, as a whole, correspond to content of ‘Spiritual’ books and teachings, I would just claim to be blessed by coincidence……I make no effort to quote from them…….
A phenomenon I have observed: Even while it is often quoted that ’75 to 80 per cent’ of the World’s businesses are Family-owned, newspaper and magazine articles and interviews focus only on the Big Brand Family Businesses that form just a small percentage of all the Family Businesses in the World…….the reasons may be obvious from the publishers’ angle……To me, as an active stakeholder in the mission to ‘Upgrade Governance and Competitiveness’ of Family Businesses, there is more excitement in discovering the ’74 to 79 per cent’ below the tip of the iceberg…..A Family Business is definitely more interesting, from any side you look at it, than a Business of any other kind……It still continues to be more ‘Human’…..
& Advisor to Family Business
PROMAG Consultancy Services
Apt. 206 Brigade Rathna
42 Ranga Rao Road
Bangalore – 560004 INDIA
Tel. +91-80-26676298/ Cell: 9845271498
Strengthening Family Dynamics for Family Business Growth…….since 1985