Mumbai: With the final season of Succession, HBO's tragicomic drama about the succession woes at a family-owned media empire, hitting the TV screens, HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh offers Indian family businesses a bunch of advice to avoid conflicts among relations and survival of their enterprise.
Parekh counseled the family-run businesses to inculcate right corporate governance practices and to have a succession plan in place. He also asked the family members to avoid going to courts for settling their disputes and opting for a mutually trusted arbitrer instead.
The septuagenarian tycoon made these suggestions while speaking at 'Viraasat', an event to commemorate 25 years of the Centre for Family Business & Entrepreneurship at Mumbai-based SP Jain Institute of Management Studies and Research's (SPJIMR), where he serves as Chairman of the Board of Governors.
Deepak Parekh speaking at 'Viraasat', an event to commemorate 25 years of the Centre for Family Business & Entrepreneurship at Mumbai-based SP Jain Institute of Management Studies and Research's (SPJIMR), where he serves as Chairman of the Board of Governors. | SPJIMR
While acknowledging that he doesn't have a hands-on experience running a family business himself, Parekh said that he has interacted with several such enterprises over more than half a century.
"I have known business families that have managed to stay extremely close knit for generations, though these are now very few and far between. I have on a few occasions played the role of a boxing referee -- physically unscrambling warring business families. In hindsight, I was fortunate not to have got some blows myself," he said.
Parekh also emphasised on having a "strong, diverse and inclusive" board of directors, and not 'mixing-up' age-based seniority and patriairchy with leadership. "It is important to be able to prioritise what is good for the company over what is good for the self," he said.
The Sydenham College alumnus also lauded institutes like SPJIMR in helping family-run businesses to gain deeper understanding of changing market realities and stay relevant.
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