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The 10 Commandments for Family Business

The 10 Commandments for Family Business

First Edition

March 2015 | 240 pages | SAGE Response

Family business: we live it, we breathe it, yet we do not understand its significance entirely. This book helps in understanding the phenomenon of family business better. The 10 commandments in this book work like a handbook for business families to refer to and act upon.

Foreword John L Ward
Introduction: Paradoxes Making Family Business Unique
Commandment I: To Communicate and Build Trust
Commandment II: To Professionalize Your Business or Perish
Commandment III: To Preserve and Practice Values
Commandment IV: To Manage Ownership Challenges
Commandment V: To Redefine Role But Never Retire!
Commandment VI: To Successfully Manage Succession in Business
Commandment VII: To Build Businesses Entrepreneurially
Commandment VIII: To Develop Long-Term Business Strategy
Commandment IX: To Give Back: Family Philanthropy
Commandment X: To Understand ‘Togetherness’: Role of Consultative and Compassionate Leadership
Conclusion: Family as an Institution

“A must read for members of business families, advisors, educators, and students interested in learning about the unique paradoxes, challenges, and dilemmas of enterprising families and how the most progressive Indian families are handling these paradoxes while making global gains. The number of templates and exhibits make it a unique source book for business families to go-ahead and implement many ideas.”

Pramodita Sharma
Editor, Family Business Review and Sanders Professor of Family Business, University of Vermont, USA

“This is a book of practical wisdom that will be greatly valued by business families in India and other emerging markets. The 10 Commandments are like 10 rare jewels of family treasure that will help families perpetuate their businesses across generations.”

H. C. Thomas Schmidheiny
Founder and Chairman, Spectrum Value Management Ltd, Zurich

“This is a great book that is long overdue in India. Professor Ramachandran has shared very important insights from his many years of work on family business. He has focused in this book on the most important 10 building blocks of successful family businesses. I strongly recommend it as a must read for all those associated with family business.”

Adi Godrej
Chairman, The Godrej Group

“This book is need of the hour, highly readable and written in a lucid, simple, refreshingly different, and insightful style, and a ‘must read’ for all stakeholders of family businesses.

This book is very topical and timely. It is written more as a practical guide or self-help manual with a set of ‘do it yourself’ tools like action plans, checklists, and templates at the end of every chapter to enable families to introspect, self-evaluate, and develop their Family Business Governance—a complex arena of human enterprise, opportunities, and challenges. Every concept is illustrated by real-life caselets or anonymous anecdotes from Indian family businesses.

Following the 10 Commandments, business families will mature to perpetuate and institutionalize to sustain through generations and if neglected or not persisted, will be doomed by the 5Ds (dilemmas, deviations, differences, disputes, and destruction).

G. M. Rao
Group Chairman, GMR Group

“Professor Ramachandran brings out a set of very thoughtful, yet actionable ideas within his ‘10 Commandments’ framework to build successful and sustainable family businesses. A whole new generation of family businesses will scale up successfully in this wave of economic growth. They should use this book as a practical guide to provide business family governance.

It’s carefully curated examples add not only color, but insightful real-life perspectives. Given that he is one of the most eminent family business academician and researcher in our country, one could expect nothing less from this narrative.”

Gopal Srinivasan
Chairman and Managing Director, TVS Capital Funds Ltd

The 10 Commandments for Family Business is a comprehensive and well laid out tome that has been researched well and written lucidly. Drawing up his vast reservoirs of teaching, research, and consulting experience, Kavil Ramachandran explores, probes, and seeks to resolve the 5Ds that most family businesses around the world face today: dilemmas, deviation, differences, disputes, and destruction. By capturing the key characteristics of family business across countries, societies, and environments, Kavil is able to provide some valuable clues and links on how family business can remain dynamic, even in an era of rapid economic, social, and generational change. In Kavil’s own words, the 10 Commandants will help families in churn to start the process of building sound mechanisms, without waiting for a doctor to be available.

Reassuringly, this book is not a theoretical foray. The 10 Commandments for Family Business is replete with anecdotal evidence, besides case studies and caselets from India and overseas. Kavil uses these liberally to draw his insights and inferences. The action points, templates, and exhibits at the end of every chapter are especially illuminating. Many family business owners can, in fact, use this book as a ready reckoner and a checklist to professionalize and lengthen the span of their businesses. In his inimitable style, Kavil hasn’t pulled his punches; he has been candid and realistic in his analysis—but he is also reassuring and optimistic, like all good writers and analysts should be. I strongly recommend this book not just for owners of family businesses, but also for those professionals who wish to start a business of their own enterprise someday.”

Sunil Kant Munjal
Joint Managing Director, Hero MotoCorp Limited and Chairman, Hero Corporate Service Limited

“A must read for anyone involved in a family business, it provides advice that finds application at every point in a family business’s life cycle.”

Peter Leach
Chairman and Founding Partner Peter Leach & Partners LLP

“Professor Ramachandran brings out the essence of having family values and nurturing the same in the business toward its sustained growth and success. The emphasis on communication and dialogue, trust and transparency in any business regardless of culture provides great insights to be reflected upon across generations.”

M. M. Murugappan
Vice Chairman, Murugappa Group

“This is a great book that is long overdue in India. Professor Ramachandran has shared very important insights from his many years of work on family business.”

Adi Godrej,
Chairman, The Godrej Group

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ISBN: 9789351501381