Indore (Madhya Pradesh): South India is more progressive towards women as southern family businesses (FBs) report a higher proportion of active female participation (97.8%), while those in the western region reported only 41%. The state of the Family Business Report for India for 2023 covering 357 family businesses from 17 cities (including Indore) across the nation showed that there is a rise in female participation in family businesses. However, female representation at the CEO and senior leadership levels remained limited.
“There was a difference in female participation across regions, with southern businesses reporting the highest proportion of active female participation (97.8%), while those in the western region reported only 41%,” the report said, highlighting gender inclusivity in FBs in India.
One of the leads at the survey, professor of finance & economics Tulsi Jayakumar said, “Despite the FBs surveyed having taken steps towards inclusion of women in their businesses, the proverbial ‘glass ceiling’ continues to remain in FBs, with women not occupying commanding roles.” She added that geographical variations highlight regional nuances in female participation.
Only 25% care about tech, failing online sales
Only about 25% of FBs prioritise digital and new technologies, as per the report. However, the majority are embracing online sales for diverse reasons. Prof Varun Nagraj, who also worked on the report, said that a majority of the FBs surveyed responded that they had no digital sales. “Most FBs had digital sales between 0 to 20% with a miniscule proportion reported their online sales were above 50% or reported 100% online sales,” Nagraj said.
• A significant 83% of manufacturing businesses fall into the micro or small category, in contrast to 73% in the service sector.
• The tradition of multi-generational involvement persists, with the first and second generations actively engaged in 70% of family businesses.
• Family ownership is predominant, as 51% report 100% family shareholding, demonstrating a commitment to control retention.
• Emphasizing the closely held nature of Indian family businesses, 63.3% hold over 75% of the shares.
• A rising trend of female involvement is observed, particularly in managerial roles. While 40% of family businesses have women as owners, the majority (54.7%) have female members actively managing the business.