ViewPoint

The values of the founders of TATA are sometimes overlooked in today’s society. They shouldn’t be

Families are by their nature gender mixed teams, which could be one reason that their businesses are so accepting of women. Many are taking positions of real power they couldn’t have 30 years ago. 

Almost all businesses in China started in the past 30 years, and many are still founder-owned. Issues such as the one-child policy mean they face unique problems. 

Classical economics says that if a business doesn’t grow, it will die. But what does growth mean? Often for family businesses, it is non-monetary. 

Families have a unique currency, but it must be nurtured and directed correctly to become a positive force, and not a destructive one. 

Family businesses face many challenges to remain competitive, and the best solution is often to bring non-family professionals into top management positions.

They often concentrate on SMEs, but if politicians really want to boost economic growth they should help family businesses overcome some of their problems. 

Many family firms find it hard to think 20 years ahead, but whatever their plans for the business they have to. And it is never too soon to start. 

When it comes to financing growth families are wary of banks and traditional private equity. Alternatives are out there, and one model in particular would be a perfect fit. 

Cliches about “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations” are nonsense, but families have to deal with increasing complexity as their business matures.