IILM institute for Higher Education organized the Family Business Conference on 11thApril, 2016 at IILM Lodhi Road Campus New Delhi. The aim of the Business Conference was to bring out the complex and emotional issues that arise in the family business systems. The conference also aimed to explore the ways in which families can lead the way in business by looking at the issues of entrepreneurship succession. The Conference started with lighting of the lamp by Mrs. Malvika Rai, IILM Chairperson and Mr. Kartik Bharat Ram.
Mr. Kartik Bharatram, Deputy Managing Director of SRF Ltd delivered the Keynote address. Some of the other speakers included Ayush Mehra – Director, Study by Janak, Radhika Puar – Founder, The Grapevine, Shafali Marwah – Owner, Catch Twenty Two Clothing, Amit Saneja – Founder, Strategy Box, Shivi Jain – Director, Cargo Planners Pvt. Ltd., Aqshat Balbir – Co-Founder, Nkube Incubator and Prashant Baluja – Owner, Baluja Shoes.
In his address, Mr. Kartik Bharat Ram highlighted the fact that seventy percent of the world’s businesses are family owned. He also highlighted the important aspects of first generation and second generation businesses and spoke about the challenges faced by both.
Panel for the Session 1 included Mr. Kartik Bharatram, Prof. Rahul Mishra and Ms. Navneet Kaur from IILM. The session focused on the importance of family values and beliefs, mission and purpose. Mr. Kartik stated that family values essential for the successful running of the family business are integrity, humility, respect, excellence, loyalty, togetherness and philanthropy. He also emphasized that open communication and complete transparency are a must for successful running of family business thereby highlighting that most of the family business undergo a crisis in its third generation due to the emergence of too many stakeholders trying to manage the business. He also discussed succession planning, taking the example of his 125 years old business.
Session 2 of Business Conference was on “At the Intersection of start-ups and Family Business”. The session was coordinated by IILM Professor Shruti Jolly The panel comprised of Ayush Mehra – Director, Study by Janak, Radhika Puar, Founder, The Grapevine, Shafali Marwah, Catch Twenty Two Clothing, Amit Saneja – Founder, Strategy Box, Shivi Jain- Director, Cargo Planners Pvt. Ltd., Aqshat Balbir- Co-Founder, Nkube Incubator and Prashant Baluja- Owner, Baluja Shoes. The session primarily highlighted the fact that while entrepreneurship might secure many of the headlines at the top business schools, family businesses are still the predominant form of businesses globally. 77% of all new business ventures established in the United States are founded with significant involvement of family in the business. The session also compared the fact that in India also, there is a link between the family business and start –ups. The new start ups are coming up with the involvement of family. This session explored a wide variety of views from various diverse speakers. Mr. Prashant Baluja casually shared his experience by quoting that “First generations create family business, second generation enjoys family business and third generation destroys family business”. On the other hand, Ms. Shivi Jain stressed that synergizing first generations and second generations is very essential for building the strong foundation of the family business. At the same time, Ms. Radhika Puar motivated the students by sayings that “don’t be afraid to re-invent yourself”.
Session 3 of the Business Conference was a student panel discussion in which various students of IILM participated as panelists and shared their experiences as young members of the family business. The panel included Harit Virmani (UBS Stage 1 student, Virmani Brothers Pvt Ltd), Shashwat Goel (UBS Stage 3 student, Aristo Motors), Sumer Sethi (UBS Stage 3 student, Unique Fashions), Kaveri Sachdeva (UBS Stage 2 student, Mobikasa Inc.) and Nitika Gupta (UBS Stage 2 student, Dada Dadi Inc.) Various interesting points came up as a result of this panel discussion among the enthusiastic students and the budding entrepreneurs of tomorrow. This was a very inspiring session as it included ideas and experiences coming from undergraduate students. Sumer Sethi shared how he made his elder generation learn that “the risk of not taking the risk is the biggest risk”. Kaveri Sachdeva explained how the practical teaching pedagogy in IILM classroom helped her in her family business and giving effective presentations to her clients. Shashwat Goel shared that the biggest challenge for a family business is the disconnect between the younger and the older generations. Nikita Gupta stated that her family business has developed her personality from multiple aspects and Harit Virmani shared about his everyday learning and challenges from his family business.
The Business Conference came to an end after three highly interactive sessions full of knowledge sharing. The active participation from students and faculties made it a great success.