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A Journey Of Discovery To A 'Feeling Owned Business'


From a "Family-Owned Business" to a "Business Owned by Family" and eventually back to a "Feeling Owned Business," this journey encapsulates a profound transformation in the ethos of familial and business relations.


Initially, the business was built upon a foundation of prioritizing emotional connections, fostering a culture where familial bonds were paramount, even above profit. However, as success burgeoned and family members dispersed across different cities, a palpable sense of isolation crept in, giving rise to a culture of individualism and self-interest.


In India, where the allure of worldly success, particularly wealth, often accompanies a cautionary tale of ego and power, this narrative mirrors a familiar societal paradigm. Yet, within this context, there emerges a tale of resilience and redemption, where strong familial ties and a commitment to values lay the groundwork for enduring sustainability.


Initially, the familial fabric was woven with threads of love and unity, despite the constraints of limited resources. However, as the business expanded and new familial relations were forged through marriages, the tapestry began to unravel. Survival mindset seemed to have creeped in. Diverse cultural backgrounds introduced subtle shifts in dynamics, leading to a gradual erosion of shared values and a focus on individual gain—a transition from "We to Me & Myself."


Amidst these changing tides, a poignant incident serves as a catalyst for introspection. The eldest cousin's daughter, arriving early to visit her parents, finds herself inadvertently neglected, her presence overlooked amidst the bustle of daily life. A simple act—ordering a pizza—sets in motion a series of events that culminate in a heartfelt reunion, reminiscent of bygone days. The pizza gets delivered to a cousin’s children who start enjoying till he looks at the name & figures out what has happened. She says it fine but smiles inside at all the action by his family to make up. The whole house comes down & it seems like an open townhall. This daughter, attuned to the shifting familial landscape, takes it upon herself to reignite the flames of empathy and cooperation within her kin.


Gathering for a candid dialogue, the family confronts the divergence from their foundational principles. She raises a point to say that some of us are cribbing about the funds we contribute for running the charitable hospital established by grandpa which is like peanuts if we look at our earnings. They recognize the need to bridge divides, both within the family and across their business ventures. As they delve into discussions, they unearth deeper issues of health, collaboration, and societal responsibility. Reflecting on the wisdom of the founder, they realign their priorities, shifting from a pursuit of individual success to a collective ethos of prosperity and benevolence—"Live & let live."


Embracing this ethos, they institute quarterly family meetings as a forum for fostering communication and unity. An external facilitator is enlisted to streamline operations and ensure alignment with shared objectives. Additionally, they commit to prudent financial stewardship, minimizing excesses and redirecting resources towards collective betterment.


Next generation participation in the business is moved to merit over entitlement. All children must go outside the family business for some work experience was agreed upon.


In this transformation, they find not only renewed purpose but also a rekindled sense of belonging—a return to a "Feeling Owned Business." As they navigate the complexities of wealth and power, guided by the founder's values, they pave a path towards enduring sustainability and generational prosperity.


United by a shared commitment to family, community, and legacy, they stand poised to weather the trials of time, their journey a testament to the enduring power of love and kinship in the face of adversity.

About the author - Naveen Khajanchi (EMCCC – INSEAD) is an Executive Coach, creator of ATM for Happiness and the CEO of a leadership search firm.


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