The Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise (ThS_CFE) at ISB, generously funded with support from Thomas Schmidheiny, Founder and Chairman of Spectrum Value Management, Ltd, Switzerland, was launched on February 7, 2015. The Centre combines knowledge, practice and innovation in the field of family business to foster the prosperity and perpetuation of family businesses across generations. The Centre engages closely with leading family businesses in India and Asia, through collaborations, conferences, workshops and forums. These engagements have helped the Centre contribute significantly to the growing body of research on various aspects of family business and emerge as the face of family business scholarship in India.

Family Enterprise Quarterly
Volume 2. Issue 4

October - December, 2023


The Centre's Journey

Chronicling Indian Family Enterprises



Journal Publications




White Papers


Books&Book Chapters


Working Papers

Research - Generating Knowledge that Creates Impact

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.


Founded by Professor Kavil Ramachandran in 2015 and presently led by Professor Sougata Ray, the Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise 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.

Practice and Outreach

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.

Education - A Platform for Learning and Enrichment

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 offers an array of training programmes on different aspects of family business. The Centre faculty teach on Post Graduate Programme in Management, Post Graduate Programme in Management for Family Business and Advance Management Programme for Infrastructure. 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.  

Knowledge Dissemination and Networking

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 leading publications. 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.




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