Five Ds to lead family business to peak by Amit Rathi M.D of Anand Rathi Commodities

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Five Ds to lead family businesses to success by Amit Rathi

Five Ds to lead family businesses to success by Amit Rathi

Amit Rathi, Managing Director of Anand Rathi Financial Services, talks about the challenges that one faces in a family business. He says that if a business situation that begins with a dilemma and could cascade through the “Five Ds to Disaster” then certain commandments might help the business sail safely through them. Best Quote of Anand Rathi Commodities, Managing Director, Amit Rathi “Time to be long-term greedy in market”.

“Identifying these five Ds – dilemmas, deviations, differences, disputes, and destruction – and addressing them is the substance and strength of Kavil Ramachandran’s ‘The 10 Commandments for Family Business’ (Sage). A former at IIM-A, Ramachandran is now executive director at the Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise, ISB, Hyderabad. The book begins with trust and details eight critical factors necessary for keeping a family business a family business and concludes with leadership,” Amit adds.

Amit said that the 200 page book comprises much more than Ds and Cs. He said, “Its detailed analysis of eight family business groups, along with charts, templates, caselets and action points, reflect the author’s wide ranging knowledge and coverage, penetrating insights and considered suggestions, resulting in “commandments” such as ‘build business entrepreneurially’, ‘professionalise or perish’, ‘preserve and practice’, ‘redefine roles but don’t retire’, ‘successfully manage succession’, ‘long-term strategy’, ‘phamily filanthropy’, and his sound conclusions about the family as an institution.”

“Having seen the above mentioned five DS play out in so many business families, Ramachandran brings his rich knowledge and keen insight as a researcher, teacher and consultant in entrepreneurship, family business, strategy and wealth management to the very relevant and critical issue in contemporary India — the changing scene in business, specifically family-run businesses, and the challenges thrown up by the shifting values and perspectives in the world today. The book addresses the challenges Indian family businesses have to always contend with — the burden of generations of family culture and hierarchy on such businesses in today’s world”

“Ramchandran’s take on the complex interaction between family members is that it is more of a ‘doubles game’ (of tennis). The leader has to realize that “attitude and skills for playing doubles are different from playing singles the way he has practised it all along”.

Amit goes on to give an example and says, “For example, at least in the Indian context, though leaders may understand the importance of succession planning, they hesitate to plan one or resist retirement or feel compelled to hand over key responsibilities to the eldest when the younger is more capable. This book, then, could, perhaps, serve as a fair introspection tool for family businesses seeking to evaluate their present standing or those traversing any kind of turbulence. The tables, tools and suggestions (action points) that follow each commandment could help them identify if and where they’ve gone off the track.”

Then he proceeded on a personal note and encountered the challenges that he had to face in his family business, “As key members of a family business, my family and I have overcome a sea of challenges. And, as facilitators of takeovers, we have also witnessed other family businesses traverse tough times, including Emami’s takeover of Zandu, an example which the author uses to emphasize the importance of managing ownership challenges. So, I have always known that the reason we have had a successful 20 years in financial services is because we have been getting something right. There were several moments in the book when I thought, “Got that one right!”


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