Bringing Professional Culture to a Family-Run Business

Bringing Professional Culture to a Family-Run Business

  • Case
  • Teaching Notes
Abstract

Shri Ghewar Ram established a marbles artifacts business, Shri Ram Articles, in 2000. Although the business expanded, it was troubled by family conflicts which resulted in the establishment of Shree Ram Marbles and Minerals as an independent entity, run by Ghewar Ram. This business in turn soon expanded. Ghewar Ram’s elder son Bharat, though very young, joined him in the business. Ghewar Ram and Bharat shared similar ideologies and successfully established the business on the two pillars of precision and quality.

Then, in 2017, as a fresh MBA graduate with high aspirations of implementing new ways of conducting traditional business, Lakshman Singh Kacchwah, the younger son of Ghewar Ram, joined the well-established family business. Lakshman soon realized that it would not be easy for him to give the business a new dimension as his father’s traditional mindset was not open to strategic change. Lakshman’s dilemma is how to use his education and expertise without the family impeding his efforts at modernization. The family wanted to perpetuate its long-tested conservative approach and showed resistance to Lakshman’s suggested transformations.

This case provides students with an opportunity to simulate the decision-making of a member of a real-world family business as it transitions into its second generation, highlighting the challenges of the generation gap, transitional challenges such as the dilemma of professionalizing the business versus keeping it within a close family group, divergence, and emerging leaders within the family.

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