Kavil Ramachandran

Professor of Entrepreneurship (Practice)
Senior Advisor, Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise; Senior Fellow, Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Email k_ramachandran@isb.edu


Professor Kavil Ramachandran, a founding faculty set up the Wadhwani Centre for Entrepreneurship Development at the ISB in 2001. Later, he was the Associate Dean (Academic Programmes) before becoming the Thomas Schmidheiny Chair Professor of Family Business and Wealth Management and then the Executive Director of the Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise till recently at the Indian School of Business. He has specialized in family business, entrepreneurship and strategy and has 36 years of combined experience as an academic at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and the Indian School of Business.

He did his Ph.D. from the Cranfield University, UK and has done research on family business, entrepreneurship and strategy; has authored/edited seven books and published extensively in reputed Indian and overseas journals. His consulting experience includes areas such as family business governance, professionalization, succession planning, strategic planning, identification of new opportunities for growth, corporate entrepreneurship and turn around strategies in family and non-family environments. His special expertise is in managing the challenges at the interface of governance, professionalization and strategy, particularly in rapidly growing mid-size multi-generational family businesses.

Ram has demonstrated special interest in mentoring young members of business families. He took the initiative in ISB offering a new MBA level programme for the next generation members of business families (PGP MFAB), and was adjudged the “Faculty of the Year” by students in 2018 and 2019. Ram has been repeatedly included in the top 100 global influencers (academics) in the field of Family Business by the Family Capital Magazine.

He has prepared several case studies, interacted with several well-known family business leaders and global experts, and has consulted on transformation of family business. He is a frequent speaker to communities of family businesses in India and abroad, and writes for popular media regularly. He has conducted training programmes for family businesses on governance, professionalization, strategic management and entrepreneurship. He has served on various advisory committees of the Government of India, World Bank and Securities and Exchange Board of India. His book “The 10 Commandments for Family Business” has been considered as one of the best books in this area. He has been a pioneer academic entrepreneur, propagating the message of strengthening family business in India and outside. Ram has been conferred with Bharat Asmita Acharya Shreshta Award 2022, Best Teacher in Management category by MIT World Peace University, Pune (MIT-WPU).



  • 2001 - Present: Professor of Entrepreneurship (Practice), Indian School of Business
  • 2015 - 2021: Executive Director - Thomas Schmidheiny Family Business and Wealth Management, Indian School of Business
  • 2008 - 2014: Chair Professor of Thomas Schmidheiny Family Business and Wealth Management, Indian School of Business
  • 2007 - 2009: Associate Dean, Indian School of Business
  • 2007 - 2007: Thomas Schmidheiny Fellow of Family Business and Wealth Management, Indian School of Business
  • 1986 - 2001: Professor, Indian Institute of Management - Ahmedabad
  • 1978 - 1979: Lecturer, St. Joseph's college - Calicut



In the Media

February , 2022: Family Capital's 100 Influencers - Academics, Family Capital.

February 13, 2022: MBA for family business scions takes wing, Blearn.

January 11, 2022: Reliance Succession: Why Ambanis, Goenkas and Mittals are talking Succession, Times of India.

February 6, 2022: Strengthening alignment in Family Businesses, Economic Times.

February 1, 2022: Bharat Asmita National Awards-2022 conferred to, Mani Ratnam, Sankar Mahadevan, Dr Krishna Ella, Gaurav Gogoi, Prof. Kavil Ramachandran, Shereen Bhan, Punekar News.

February 18, 2022: Tata Trusts Succession Planning: In the Right Direction, Money Control.

April 12, 2021: Nominee Directors in the Spotlight, Business Standard.

May 19, 2021: In a Turbulent World, Executive Education can Strengthen Succession Planning and Governance, Executive Courses.

September 8, 2021: Some Firms Create Value using Funds Raised via Pledging of Shares, finds ISB study, Hindu Business Line.

January 21, 2021: Keeping alive the good, old family business, Live Mint.

January 19, 2021: Union Budget 2021: What can the family businesses of India expect, Youtube.

November 23, 2021: Mukesh Ambani looks to USA's Walton Family Play Book on Succession: Report, Business Standard.

June 28, 2021: Family Business in India continues to play an Important Role, The Hans India.

January 18, 2021: In Step with the Times, Business Standard.

October 5, 2021: Old Economy vs. New Economy – Indian Family Businesses adapt well to the Digital World, Family Capital.

August 11, 2021: Directors’ Competencies: A Tall Order for India Inc, The Economic Times.

November 24, 2021: Billionaire Family Feud Puts a Century Old Business Empire in Jeopardy, Bloomberg.

June 27, 2021: Family Biz to remain a key force in Nation Building, Times of India.

September , 2021: Kinship and Gender in Family Firms: New Insights into Employees’ Organizational Citizenship Behavior, Family Firm Institute.

July 7, 2021: Ignore Nominee Directors at your Own Peril, The Economic Times.

December 30, 2021: What leadership transition means for Reliance Industries, Business Standard - Youtube.

March 30, 2021: Family businesses well-positioned to deal with Covid crisis: Study, Hindu Business Line.

January 22, 2021: How Dabur is riding the new normal, Fortune India.

September 13, 2021: Not a Family Affair - Who will Head Tata Sons Next ? And Why you should Care?, Outlook.

August 22, 2021: Modern Family Business, The Economic Times.

October , 2021: Wadia's Family Fight, Fortune India.

December 31, 2021: What does Mukesh Ambani's leadership transition message mean?, Business Today.

February 27, 2020: Find Mentor with Right Attitude and Skill Sets, Business Standard.

August 3, 2020: ISB study shows feet-footed family firms adapted to the changing landscape, Hindu Business Line.

November 24, 2020: Gen Next at the helm in new Murugappa group structure, Fortune India.

February 18, 2020: India Inc Backs Promoters in Executive Role, Economic Times.

December 30, 2020: Ambani sold a tech dream for $27 billion, now he has to deliver, Business Standard.

June , 2020: Families/family enterprises better prepared for the post Covid-19 resurgence, Family Business Barometer.

August 12, 2020: SC ruling on daughter's rights, a wakeup call to family businesses, The Hindu.

December 10, 2020: TVS Group - Ownership model, ET Twitter.

December 29, 2020: Are wives more resilient than their husbands in business leadership, Business Standard.

August 15, 2020: I-Day homage to Rana Pratap & his league of extraordinary men: India's first freedom-fighters, The Hans India.

December 11, 2020: TiE global entrepreneurship awards, Insights Success.

November 5, 2020: The courage to choose wisely - Why the succession decision may be a defining moment in your family business, STEP KPMG 2020 Family Business Case Report.

August 2, 2020: Breaking through the patriarchy: Women calling the shots In family Business, Business World.

September 15, 2020: The many fights of the Kirloskar brothers. Who will win the next round?, Money Control.

March 23, 2020: Coronavirus: Health scare forces work from home, but is India Inc ready?, Business Standard.

February 13, 2020: Fine Tune the Opportunity, Business Standard.

November 25, 2020: Women have more defined roles in family business: Study, Times of India.

September 23, 2020: From insiders to outsiders - Mistry family finally ready to let go of crown jewel, Forbes.

April 10, 2020: Should you Join the Family Business or Work Elsewhere First?, Harvard Business Review Ascend.

December 29, 2020: Mukesh Ambani sold a tech dream for $27 billion. Now he has to deliver, Live Mint.

July 18, 2020: Change of guard: Shiv Nadar makes way for daughter Roshni Nadar Malhotra at helm, Economic Times.

March 1, 2020: How to Manage Business during Family Feuds, Entrepreneur.

September 16, 2020: Reading the tea leaves surrounding the personal asset allocations of India’s super rich, The Wire.

Research & Publications