Challenges of succession planning in family run businesses in India.

Challenges of succession planning in family run businesses in India.

March 16, 2023

One of the key challenges faced by family run businesses in India is the succession planning issue which is being handled well by some families while most of the families struggle for a smooth transition into the generation next family members.

This is the experience I had with one of our clients, their company was operated by a mid-size family in India. The business had been operating for decades and was highly successful, but the patriarch of the family was getting older, and it was time to start thinking about succession planning.

The patriarch had three sons, all of whom had grown up working in the business. The oldest son had always been the favorite, but he lacked the leadership skills needed to take over the business. The middle son was highly intelligent and had a strong work ethic, but he was often at odds with his father and other family members. The youngest son was the most creative and innovative of the three, but he lacked experience and was seen as too risky by some family members.

The family struggled to agree on who should take over the business, and tensions began to rise. The patriarch wanted the oldest son to take over, but many family members believed that the middle son would be the best choice. The youngest son was largely ignored, even though he had some strong ideas for growing the business in new directions.

Finally, after much debate, the family decided to create a succession plan that would involve all three sons. The oldest son would be given the title of CEO, but he would be supported by the middle son as COO and the youngest son as CTO. The three brothers would work together as a team, with each bringing their unique strengths to the table.

At first, there was some tension between the brothers as they adjusted to their new roles. But as they worked together, they began to see the value in each other’s contributions. The oldest son provided stability and experience, the middle son brought a strong business acumen and the youngest son brought fresh ideas and innovation.

As the years passed, the business continued to thrive under the leadership of the three brothers. They had their share of disagreements, but they always managed to work through them and make decisions together. And when the time came for the oldest brother to retire, the middle brother stepped up as CEO, with the support of his two brothers.

In the end, the family business was able to overcome the challenges of succession planning by recognizing the strengths of each family member and creating a plan that allowed all of them to contribute. By working together as a team, they were able to ensure the continued success of their business for generations to come.


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