Cheema Boilers Limited: Sustaining the Family Business

Abstract

This case describes the challenges of governance and long-term sustainability for Cheema Boilers Limited (CBL), a family business in India. Founded by Mr. Harjinder Singh Cheema (HSC) and his three brothers, CBL was a leading manufacturer of steam boilers for generation & process heating in India. For three decades, the family business had grown tremendously because of the high demand for boilers in the industry. However, the patriarch of the company, HSC, was worried about the impact of the family on the business. One of four brothers had recently separated from the company, and next-generation family members, though involved, were not excited about running the family business. Unlike their elders, next-generation family members were also not close to each other. HSC was worried that the prevailing situation in the family might lead to another split in the business, which could adversely impact the company. To preserve the long-term sustainability of the business, HSC needed to create a governance mechanism to ensure that the remaining three branches of the family stayed together.

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