CasesManikutty, Sankaran., Ramachandran, Kavil. "Aravind Eye Care System – Retaining the Legacy", Harvard Business Publishing, 2017Read Description >Close >The case deals with multiple challenges faced by Dr. Nam, the second generation head of Aravind Eye care, a social enterprise providing eye care in India. His goal of setting up 100 eye hospitals had hit a road block as a number of new private eye hospitals had come up. The owner family had grown into its fourth generation and branched out. The next generation had grown up with different aspirations. Their career path were not likely to be similar to that of their previous generation. Dr. Nam realized that he had a lot to do within a short period of time to keep the legacy and growth intact.

CasesRamachandran, Kavil;  Mehrotra, Sonia . "Eastern Condiments: The Changing Curry Company", 2017Read Description >Close >Discipline: General Management
Industry: Spices & flavors
Length: 14p
Subjects covered: Assessing performance; Family businesses; Loyalty; Metrics; Organizational change
Publication Date: March 3, 2017
Navas Meeran, the Chairman and Managing Director of Eastern Condiments Private Limited (ECPL) had been instrumental in the growth and professionalization of ECPL by bringing in non-family professionals, introducing state-of-the-art systems and processes in manufacturing, and nurturing the values of compassion and loyalty that his father had instilled across the organization. In 2014 he had taken a sabbatical and handed over the company operations to his younger brother Firoz. ECPL, the flagship company of the INR 8 billion, family managed Eastern Group headquartered in Kochi, India, was engaged in manufacturing and marketing spices, blended spice powders, pickles, breakfast staples and beverages in both domestic and international markets. The company began as a small shop set up by their father M.E. Meeran in 1961. It had grown to record revenues of INR 5.60 billion in 2014. Though Navas was pleased with the company's 2015 business performance under Firoz's leadership he was uncomfortable with the pace and execution of major organizational changes brought in by Firoz. He was worried about Firoz's aggressive approach; the speed of the internal changes Firoz had made to tap external market opportunities had resulted in 10 -15% attrition at all levels in the organization. Was it right for a traditional family run business bred on a culture of compassion and loyalty to make a sudden shift to a metrics-based performance culture? Would Firoz's efforts to transform the company into a professional organization ultimately sustain the growth of the business? Was there a need to both cultivate professionalism and reward loyalty across the ECPL value chain? Could a company based out of a Tier 2 city such as Kochi be able to attract high-quality talent easily? These were some of the questions that worried Navas.

Learning objective:
Professionalization of a business is about putting in place structure, systems and processes. Family owners need to practice professionalism to professionalize their business. Professionalization calls for appropriate changes in the structure and processes at the top management level to ensure that key people have the same organizational perspective. It should provide platforms to debate on HR policies; avoid creation of silos, that are detrimental to growth of the business.

CasesRamachandran, Kavil., Bhatnagar, Navneet. "Ketan Logistics: Charting The Next Route", 2016Read Description >Close >This case is about the dilemma faced by a next generation member whether to continue working for his family business or venture out on his own. Both alternatives have strong positive and negative implications. Rohit was a third generation member who jointly headed the western India unit of his family business, Ketan Logistics Limited (KLL). Rohit’s grandfather, had setup KLL in 1986. Over the years, the company expanded its fleet, acquired license to operate freight trains, diversified into ocean freight and transportation of large industrial equipment and food products. By 2014, it had become an integrated, multimodal logistics provider to business customers. KLL’s operations were divided into four geographic zones, each headed by a senior family member. KLL took several measures to professionalize operations, like: deployment of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, adoption of a code of conduct and organization of employee training and workshops. After completing their studies, all next generation members except one joined KLL. Some of them like Rohit had high aspirations and wanted changes at KLL but often faced strong resistance from seniors. Accumulated frustration in the next generation led some to consider venturing out at different points in time. For Rohit, his close friend had recently come up with an attractive proposal to fund the entire new business that Rohit had in mind with 50% sweat equity for Rohit. He was emotionally connected to his father and other family members and did not want KLL to suffer but was worried about his own future as well. He would not get such an opportunity again easily. For Rohit, it was a tough choice to make.

CasesAlur, Sivakumar., Ramachandran, Kavil., Bhatnagar, Navneet. "Leadership Succession at Achal : A Tough Nut to Crack", Harvard Business Publishing, 2015Read Description >Close >Giridhar Prabhu, the owner of Achal Industries, a four-decade-old cashew processing and exporting, proprietary family enterprise plans to retire in the next five years but is dealing with succession challenges. His three daughters were not interested in pursuing the business. Prabhu knows that he will not be able to manage the business on his own for long. He was contemplating future options that included convincing one of his daughters to rethink her decision or inducting professional non-family members to steer the enterprise’s future or selling the business. He was in a dilemma on choosing an option that would be good for him, his enterprise, and his family.

CasesRamachandran, Kavil., Mathew, Alexander.,Bhatnagar, Navneet. "Professionalization of Sudarshan Chemicals Industries", Ivey Publishing, 2015Read Description >Close >This is a case on the interlinkages among strategy, professionalization and governance in building sustainable Indian family businesses. Sudarshan Chemicals Limited, set up by the Rathi family in Pune in 1951 has over the years emerged as one of the largest pigment manufacturers in the world. It has evolved over the past half century without any major turbulence at the interface of family and business. Since beginning, the company has strictly adhered to the practice of professionalism. Employment of family members in the business was conditional to their fulfilling specific educational qualifications. They considered share ownership of the company did not entitle anyone a job there. Non family executives were highly respected for their professional capabilities. The case narrates how smoothly the family practiced strong sense of governance that enabled them to behave professionally. In 2003, management of the company was completely handed over to the second generation that formalized many of the best practices with the help of a consultant. There are no major decision dilemmas in the case, but it is a good case to discuss what else and how better things could have been done in Sudarshan. The case establishes the interdependence of professionalization and governance at all levels in implementing the company strategy.

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