The Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise was launched on February 7, 2015 with an aim to advance real-world and academic knowledge of family business. Since its inception, the Centre has been bringing together faculty and practitioners from India and abroad with the broad aim of combining theory and practice to enhance research and innovation in the field.
Recent Journal Publications
The Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise at the ISB conducts and promotes cutting-edge research in the growing field of family business. Despite their significant contribution to the Indian economy, family businesses remain a largely unexplored area of research.
Professor Kavil Ramachandran is the Executive Director for the Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise since its inception in 2015. The Centre is supported by a dedicated and experienced team of research and managerial staff who contribute to the research projects, teaching, mentoring and various outreach initiatives. The Centre is also affiliated with faculty and research fellows that contribute to the teaching and research activities at the Centre respectively.
The Centre undertakes several outreach initiatives that aim at enabling family businesses in India/Asia and other parts of the world to provide thought leadership and develop best practices for sharing among all stakeholders.
Transformation of family businesses require focused training inputs. To prepare and train family members associated with their businesses, operationally or otherwise to take up higher levels of responsibilities, the Centre colloborates with Centre for Executive Education and offers an array of training programmes on different aspects of family business. These include family wealth management, family governance, managing growth in the family business, family philanthropy and managing family business boards. The Centre is also supporting ISB in the initiative to run a unique masters level programme MFAB for young family members who wish to enter the family business in the future. In addition, students enrolled in the Post Graduate Programme in Management of the ISB gain extensive theoretical and practical knowledge about family firms from the course, “Strategy, Leadership and Resource Management in Family Business.”
The Centre disseminates knowledge in the field of family business management through articles in business and popular media vehicles across the world. Several of the articles authored by members of our team have been published in publications such as, CampdenFB, HBR Ascend, Tharawat Magazine for Family Business, the Economic Times, Business Standard, Business Today, Business India, Entrepreneur, and Rediff.com.
The Centre also regularly provides expert comments in media stories and articles on family business. Annually, the Centre also contributes to knowledge dissemination through practice-oriented family business research article summaries in FFI Practitioner – an online newsletter published by the Family Firm Institute, Boston, USA.
The Centre has expanded its impact through establishing a network of academic, industry and institutional linkages in India and abroad through several personal and institutional networks. In academics and research the Centre has built a strong network with faculty members from the Kellogg School of Management, University of Victoria, Ipag Business School, and University of Vermont. The Centre is an institutional member of the Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices (STEP) – a global applied research initiative of top B-Schools across the world. The Centre also has strong institutional connect with industry bodies such as CII and FICCI.
Professor John Ward at the inaugural address of the first Asian Invitational Conference, February 2008
Dean Raj Srivastava addressing the delegates at the 7th Asian Invitational Conference, Feb 2019
Gautam Singhania-Nawaz Modi Split: How Corporate India can Deal with Family Disputes, Divorces
Gautam Singhania and Nawaz Modi are man and wife no more. With a high-profile family business thrust in the media glare for reasons unconnected to the company, new challenges arise. How can corporate India gear up to address issues related to family disputes and divorces? Professor Kavil Ramachandran highlights the need to sensitise board members on family governance issues and how they are practiced. He suggests a unique idea of compiling an annual ‘family harmony report’.
Nov 20, 2023
Gen Shift, Professionalisation are Rewriting the Rules of Succession Planning at India Inc
Isha Ambani and Divya Mahindra’s life trajectories have had a major impact on the future leadership of Reliance and Mahindra & Mahindra groups, respectively. Then there is churn in Kotak, Godrej, Bisleri, and many other businesses facing leadership transition. While some in GenNext are raring to take over the baton, others are not quite. Professor Kavil Ramachandran shares his views on the importance of succession planning in this piece.
Nov 03, 2023
Beyond Perpetual Bonds, Godrej case puts the Spotlight back on Family Business Models
There is a growing need to address differences/splits in family business amicably and also have a relook at the family business models. This issue became more pronounced when the Godrej group’s split hit the news. Professor Kavil Ramachandran and Nupur Pavan Bang, in a story in The Financial Express, suggest ways to address family business challenges.
Oct 04, 2023
Behind the Rise of India Inc's Daughters
A story in Business Standard captures a new trend where daughters in family businesses are earning their spots in the sun. There is Isha Ambani, Nisaba Godrej, Tanya Dubash and many more. This is a marked change from times when they were expected to be homemakers or philanthropists. Professor Kavil Ramachandran attributes this positive trend to the higher education of girls, their exposure to the world and the benefits of a nuclear family.
Sep 29, 2023