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What It Takes To Be The Next Generation Of Family Enterprise Leader In any family business, with the next generation begins to take the reins, a fresh flow of ideas and innovation is bound to take place.

By Kabir Singh Bhandari

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In any family business, with the next generation begins to take the reins, a fresh flow of ideas and innovation is bound to take place. Over time in any family business, the growth ambitions need to change from thinking and acting like a small, regional company to a large, globally-focused company. Ofcourse, there are various differences and comfort levels around risk, which need to be ironed out. With a rapidly changing world, Gen Next needs different leadership skills to run a family business in a different economic climate which is more global and technologically advanced than their previous ones.

All this and more was the topic of discussion at the Entrepreneur 2023 Summit for a panel titled 'What it takes to be the next generation of family enterprise leader', moderated by Deputy Editor Punita Kapoor, with the panellists comprising Shammi Agarwal, Director, Pansari Group; Afdhel AW, Director, Indus Motors & Founder, IndusGo; Uttam Malani, Executive Director, Centuary Mattresses; Pushpank Kaushik, CEO, Jassper Shipping and Vidur Kapur, Director, O3+ Skincare.

When asked about when did they decide that the family business is something they would want to get into and not venture out, this is what each of them said about their personal experiences.

1. Shammi Agarwal, Director, Pansari Group

When I completed my studies I knew it was time to join the family business. Generally every family wants that the next generation should take their business forward. However, to be able to add to the legacy, one has to work passionately and have a purpose in life. In our case we used to get the work done for big brands and continue to do so, but we always had a dream of have making our own brand a household name. In short, to take the legacy forward, the vision and purpose should be clear and you should be passionate about it.

2. Vidur Kapur, Director, O3+ Skincare

In my case, just like me, my father was born into the beauty industry, with my grandfather starting the trade back in 1962. I feel when there is so much of a family legacy, it's literally in your blood. You know you have to do it because right from the beginning it what you've seen growing up. Being born into it, you strive with it and you grow, along with having trade insights that shall help you excel in the field.

3. Afdhel AW, Director, Indus Motors & Founder, IndusGo

It's a similar story for all of us. Being a second or third generation, you are always surrounded by a family that's constantly eating and sleeping business, something which you love. The one challenge, however, is when you know you will be getting into it that you may become too relaxed as far as your academics are concerned. This is something we are trying to formalize for the next generation to make it more structured.

4. Pushpank Kaushik, CEO, Jassper Shipping

It's more about the open communication that happens when we are growing up. Our perspectives are considered and we understand what are the requirements and lags that we can cover up with education and technology. At the same time, ofcourse, we want to contribute and let the legacy and business we carried forward.

5. Uttam Malani, Executive Director, Centuary Mattresses

For so many of us it's really not a question of if, but when we shall be getting involved, because with second and third generations like us, it almost like you not teaching a fish how to swim. It just needs to be in the water and it shall thrive. Initially I was working with a multinational and when the time was right I decided to join the business. However, you don't want to repeat the same thing that other family members have been doing, its adding your own flavour that you want to do. So that's how it panned out in my case about 16 years ago when I joined.

Kabir Singh Bhandari

Former Senior Assistant Editor

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