ATMIYA University Family Business Conference 2022
| Susmita Saurav, IOP Correspondent - 07 Apr 2022

'Connecting Roots for Sustainability Routes'

“Business skills are culturally integrated in Gujarat”  - P. P. Tyag Vallabhdas Swami, President, Atmiya University, Rajkot

“We need to balance different types of leadership approaches for sustainable growth of family businesses” - Prof. Wolfgang Amann, HEC Paris in Doha.
“Allow new generation to experiment and explore in business” - Pratima, Kirloskar, Group Promoter - Kirloskar Brothers Ltd, Pune & President, Innovation Society
“Only 3% of businesses go beyond the 3rd generation” - Dr. Hitesh Shukla, Saurashtra University, Rajkot

 

By Susmita Saurav

RAJKOT, APRIL 07, 2022

 “Entrepreneurship is culturally integrated in Gujarat. Business skills are in the blood of Gujaratis”,  said P. P. Tyag Vallabhdas Swamiji, President, Atmiya University, Rajkot while inaugurating Saurashtra region’s first-ever “Family Business Conference 2022” organized by Atmiya University on April 02, 2022. 

PP Tyagvallabha Swami, who envisioned this unique conference, shed light on the agenda and idea of the family business conference.

While addressing all the dignitaries as 'Atmiya Swajan', Swamiji explained the importance of family values in a business model. He fondly expressed his purpose behind organizing the conference and explained how to guide and inspire new generations of students to pursue the business models as it is important for sustainability.

Guest of Honour Ms Pratima Kirloskar, Group Promoter - Kirloskar Brothers Ltd, Pune & President, Innovation Society, Pune in the Virtual Address talked about different aspects of family businesses. Starting with sustainability and its importance, Ms. Kirloskar gave examples of technology-based innovations that have changed the entire business landscape globally. She also explained how business models are becoming inverted and suggested that to run a lasting business, domain knowledge is extremely important. Stressing the need for change in the mindset, she explained that one should remember that a manufacturing plant also needs strong domain knowledge.

Highlighting the need for new business culture in traditional family businesses, Ms. Kirloskar suggested that families must let their newer generations explore more.  

In his special address, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang C. Amann (HEC Paris) shared his views on family businesses with an emphasis on leadership roles. Highlighting the fact that family businesses are outperforming non-family businesses around the world, he suggested that the diversity of leadership styles and approaches must be appreciated for developing sustainable business models. Stressing the need for more human sensitive businesses, Prof. Amann said that business survival does not only mean financial, but also it should be humanistic.

Delivering the Key-Note address at the Conference, Prof. (Dr.) Hitesh Shukla, Professor, Saurashtra University, Rajkot highlighted that only 3% of businesses go beyond the 3rd generation. Dr. Shukla said, “One should change the business models according to time. The rules applicable to the first generations might not apply to the next generation.” 

Quoting from the Ramayana and Mahabharata, Prof. Shukla said that openness of thought and action is key to driving a successful family business. He said, “In the Family governance, meetings regarding different issues should be done timely and quickly.” Emphasizing the need for gender balance, Prof. Shukla explained how important it is to welcome a new daughter-in-law to the family. “She should feel that she belongs in the family. Because the next generation will find their first teacher in the form of a mother. If the mother is disconnected from the family ethics, then she will not be able to teach ethics to the next generations,” added Dr. Shukla, who has published an international book on the Family Businesses. He added that business owners cannot win alone or lose alone and talked about the importance of 3 learning outcomes: 1) Learning of Family; 2) Learning about relationships and people; and 3) Learning to LET GO.

Welcoming the guests, Prof. Shiv Kumar Tripathi, Vice-Chancellor of Atmiya University, introduced the theme of the conference. Addressing the entrepreneurs as “Karm-Yogis” Prof. Tripathi explained how family businesses were important for the global sustainable development agenda. Mentioning 'Rajkot as the first SDG Aware City Project' he also emphasized taking a humanistic approach for greater social impact.

During the inaugural session of the conference, eminent family business owners and industrialists were felicitated by Atmiya University. During the felicitation ceremony, selected business leaders reflected their views on the conference. 

Shri Ruda Bhagat, a well-known diamond entrepreneur, in his speech said, "Do all your work with honesty and quality. As we say, we are in a new era of modernization. And a new era begins every day. Every day, someone creates history in the field of business and innovation.” He also strongly emphasized on the need of having healthy competition, saying it helps improve the quality and product specifications. 

Shri Nareshbhai Patel (Patel Bras, Khodaldham – Chairman) in his brief speech opined that we should be giving our best shot in everything whatever we do. He also shared the importance of family values in Business management. 

Shri Chandubhai Virani, a very successful entrepreneur, explained how important it is to let the next generations flourish and learn. He said, "Let your next generation not be dependent on you. Let them decide by themselves because you are not going to be available for them for eternity." He also said not to focus on a money-earning business, but to focus on a strong vision. 

Shri Prakashbhai Varmora from Varmore Tiles emphasized reading habits. He added that he is used to reading the biographies of famous personalities and Great leaders. He said, “Wiseman reads history, but crazy man creates history”. 

Shri Rameshbhai Tilada from Dawat Beverages suggested giving our 100% efficiency to any business model. 

Shri Ajay Kumar Aggrawal from DIGJAM, Shri Arvindbhai Patel from Hibond Cement, Shri Rahilbhai Pujara from Poojara Telecom, Shri Sureshbhai Sompura from Aristone Ceramic also graced the event and shared their views.

Shri Ajay Thakur, Head, MSME and Start-up, Bombay Stock Exchange, Mumbai elucidated that the focus should always be on value creation. "A business should be given to a person who has abilities and capabilities, and sometimes few employers should also be given some equity after knowing their skills. A business should be focused on sustainability. Family should have a mechanism of transparency so that the business goes smoothly," Mr. Thakur said. 

In concluding reflections from media, Mr. Onkareshwar Pandey, Founder, Commonwealth Thought Leaders Forum, quoted “Write something worth reading, or do something worth writing."  He said that the time calls for Family businesses to adopt Data-Driven Digital Leadership and corporate governance culture with family feelings.

The conference consisted of two plenary sessions in addition to inaugural and valedictory sessions.

The Plenary session I on 'Leading Family Business for Generational Success & Sustainability' was chaired by Prof. Pankaj Gupta (online) and moderated by Dr. Vishal Khasgiwala.  

Dr. Ernst Von Kimakowitz, Co-founder, Humanistic Management Network, Switzerland, explained the principle of having the right rationality between profit and loss. He also explained the need for long term orientation in terms of what a business will be doing in the next 30 years. 

Dr. Sheenu Jain (Head of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at IIHMR University, Jaipur emphasized the topic of women’s role growing through the prism of a family business. 

Dr. Baisali Mitra, Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Ahmedabad unfolded the context of sustainable business rooted in mindset and attitude, women in a family business, the digital divide of the country, and language activism. 

Shri Bharatbhai Vaghela, a well known Builder & Hotelier, said that business should be done with the purpose to generate employment. He mentioned that a large business can also start with humble beginning.

Shri Sureshbhai Sompura, owner of Aristone Ceramics (Anchor Sanitaryware), suggested being flexible when doing something new.

Dr. Nilesh Kalani said that transparency should be followed in a family business.

The second Plenary Session continued with the same topic, 'Leading Family Business for Generational Success & Sustainability'

Moderating the session,  Shri Pooran Chandra Pandey,  Board Member, UN Food program India, mentioned Japanese ethics regarding family businesses "One has to combine both intelligence and ability and take it to the next generation's business mindsets," Mr. Pandey added.

Ambassador Anup K Mudgal, India's former High Commissioner to Mauritius, who joined online, in his keynote address said that family businesses have proven successful globally in all business verticals including agriculture, manufacturing, hospitality, transport, construction, or even health care. 

Prof Christian Hauser, University of Applied Sciences, Chur, Switzerland shared his experience of family business. He touched upon a sensitive idea of nepotism in the context of merit-driven leadership promotion in family businesses. 

Shri Grinij Haria from Impetus prolific Pvt Ltd., and Prof Rajeev Sharma from Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India-Ahmedabad discussed the ongoing scenario of the family businesses.

Dr. Pallavi Aggarwal, Incubation and Entrepreneurship consultant, Shri Grinij Haria from Impetus prolific Pvt ltd., and Prof Rajeev Sharma from Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India- Ahmedabad discussed the ongoing scenario of the family businesses.

The Valedictory Session of the conference was presided by Dr. Sheela Ramachandran, Pro-Chancellor, Atmiya University. Prof Sheela Ramachandran thanked everyone for participating and encouraged the conference team to take next steps in driving the family businesses linked sustainability interventions in the regions.

"Sustained family businesses have indicated that most of them have demonstrated charity and service to society. Family business should be promoted for the betterment of society," added Prof. Sheela Ramachandran. 

Chief-Guest Prof. (Dr.) Mette Morsing, Head, Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) Secretariat, UN Global Compact, New York quoted, “if you want to change a business, you must change how business is taught. The environment should be preserved with the help of SDGs, and business should be taken care of by keeping these all things in mind."

She further said, "Management education should also be emphasized for greater sustainability performance of businesses. Action is superior to talk, talk drives action. A family business develops cultures of high trust with familiarity with co-workers and a much more strong culture."

Dr. Divyang Vyas (Dean, Transformative Academics, Atmiya University) welcomed the guests at Valedictory Session. Dr Vyas emphasized that being in a region with a strong entrepreneur intent, one can see the strong roots of a family business, their good practices and their contribution to society. 

Prof. Divyang Tivari, Conference Secretary, presented the Conference Report. Dr. Ashish Kothari, Dy. Registrar, Atmiya University thanked everyone for their valuable presentations.


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