Academic Advisory Council

The Academic Advisory Council regularly reviews the research and publication activities of the Centre and provides guidance and oversight to the core team. The Academic Advisory Council includes scholars from around the world who have been academically involved and are well recognized in the area of family businesses and provide valuable inputs to the core team as and when necessary. 

Professor Thomas Zellweger

Chair in Family Business & Director, Swiss Institute for Small and Entreprenuership, Centre for Family Business, University of St Gallen

Thomas Zellweger holds the Chair in Family Business at the University of St.Gallen, Switzerland where he is also the Director of the Swiss Institute for Small and Entrepreneurship and of the Center for Family Business. After two years in investment banking at Derivative in Brussels, he completed his PhD at the University of St. Gallen. He was a research fellow at Babson College, a visiting professor at the University of British Columbia, and is a permanent visiting professor at the University of Witten/Herdecke. Thomas serves on several editorial boards of academic journals and his research has been published in Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal or Organization Science, amongst others. His research has also received several international awards and has been discussed in the international media such in The Economist, Forbes, and the New York Times. Thomas is a member of supervisory boards of family firms and advises family firm owners on governance and strategic questions.

Professor Andrea Calabro

Professor of Family Business & Entrepreneurship at IPAG Business School


Andrea Calabrò is Professor of Family Business & Entrepreneurship at IPAG Business School. He holds a Ph.D. in Management and Governance from the University of Rome Tor Vergata and has been Professor/Chairholder of Business Administration and Family Entrepreneurship at University of Witten/Herdecke (2011-2017). He co-founded the Family Business Research Strategic Interest Group (FBR SIG) at the European Academy of Management (EURAM) and is co-founder and organizer of the International Family Business Research Forum (IFBRF). Since 2014 he serves as Associate Editor of  Journal of Family Business Strategy. He has published journal articles on family firms, internationalization, and corporate governance in leading international peer-reviewed journals such as:  Corporate Governance: An International ReviewJournal of Business ResearchJournal of Business EthicsFamily Business ReviewInternational Business ReviewJournal of Small Business Management, Journal of Family Business Strategy.

Professor Kevin Au

Director, CUHK Centre for Family Business

Professor Kevin AU graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong with a B.B.A. and earned his Ph.D. in management/ international business at the University of British Columbia. He co-founded the CUHK Center for Entrepreneurship and serves as associate director. He also serves as the director of the CUHK Centre for Family Business.  His research interests are international management, entrepreneurship, family business, and social network. He has published many academic articles, cases, and book chapters, and written several books such as <中大創業人> (in Chinese) and “Family Enterprising in Asia: Exploring transgenerational entrepreneurship in family firms.” Apart from serving academic community on the editorial boards of several journals, he has provided consulting and training for the government and business corporations. His clients include Home Affairs Bureau, the Hong Kong Cyberport, Coutts Bank, and a number of business startups and family enterprises in Hong Kong. He also serves as directors to HK Business Angel Network, FFI, STEP, etc.

Professor Sougata Ray

Executive Director and Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship (Practice)

Sougata Ray is Executive Director of the Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise and Professor of Strategy and Entreprenuership (Practice), Thomas Schmidheiny Chair at the ISB. He has been a Senior Professor of Strategic Management, a member of the Board of Governors and Dean at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta. He is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and Indian Institute of Engineering, Science and Technology, Shibpur. He blends over three decades of experiences in diverse roles – international quality academic and practice research with hands on corporate experience at Infosys Technologies Limited in strategic and senior executive role as Head of innovation Lab and at Steel Authority of India Limited as a front line executive, as independent Director at Indian Oil and Tata Group Companies and as co-founder of two start ups and member of advisory boards of several start ups and social enterprises. He has been a visiting scholar in some of the finest institutions in Asia, Europe and North America. He has been an advisor to many family businesses, medium and large corporations and start ups, and Principal Consultant to leading International Development Agencies. A fairly sought after teacher among his MBA and doctoral students, Sougata has received several prestigious research and teaching awards and many more award nominations. 

Professor Kavil Ramachandran

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

Kavil Ramachandran (Ram) is  Senior Advisor of the Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise and Professor of Entrepreneurship (Practice) at the ISB. He received his PhD in Business Management from Cranfield University, UK, in 1986. For the next 15 years he served as Professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. His areas of specialization are family business, entrepreneurship and strategic management. He has done extensive research on various aspects of family business and has published in Journal of Business Venturing, Global Strategy Journal and Journal of Business Ethics. His special areas of interest are strategy, governance and professionalisation; he has been a consultant to family businesses in India and outside. He is a frequent speaker on family business and regularly contributes to the media.