The Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise combines knowledge, practice and innovation in the field of family business to foster the prosperity and perpetuation of family businesses across generations.
It is a widely accepted fact that family businesses contribute significantly to their respective economies globally. What is less known, is that, family businesses almost always outperform non-family businesses by a great margin over the long run.
In the past, family businesses in India were perceived to be orthodox, unprofessional and unstable. Today, however, there is increasing awareness on the need for good governance practices and professionalization of these organizations.
Family businesses face certain unique challenges related to governance, custodianship, leadership and succession. Moreover it is highly influenced by the culture and environment in which it originates. These problems are even more acute in a multi-cultural and diverse country like India. Hence instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, they need customized solutions backed by research.
In order to grow and prosper across generations, it is important for them to transform and adopt cutting edge management practices developed across the world. This is only way they can continue to thrive over several generations, creating wealth not just for the business, but for society at large.
The ‘Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise’ was set up to enable Indian family businesses to learn about the subject, exchange best practices and benefit from cutting-edge research. Initially a Chair (Thomas Schmidheiny Chair for Family Business and Wealth Management) was established at ISB in 2006, which was later upgraded to a full-fledged Center in 2015, encouraged by the impact of the work done.
Over the years, the Centre has contributed significantly to the growing body of research on various aspects of family business. The Centre has also brought together faculty and practitioners from India and abroad with the aim of combining theory and practice to enhance research and innovation in the field of family business.
Led by Professor Kavil Ramachandran, the Centre seeks to close the gap between theory and practice by creating and disseminating knowledge through research, education, publications, conferences and outreach activities in this critical field of importance. With limited management literature available on addressing the challenges faced by family businesses in India, the Centre is committed to advancing knowledge in this area.