No two families have the same challenges. And all families’ face unique challenges. The best of families will run into challenges which they may not have faced before. At these times, the family will realise that inspite of their best efforts and intentions, they may not be able to reach any kind of agreement. Delays, hesitation, non-willingness to listen to different points of view, are some of the issues that families have against other family members. At times like these, having a third person to help the family reach a consensus, will be more effective than what families may do, by themselves.

Dr. Rajiv Agarwal has consulted for families in the various areas of family businesses. Some of the areas (not exhaustive) where he has been advising are:

Business Continuity
Professionalising family businesses
Succession, planning and induction of next generation
Strategic Planning for businesses
Business Strategy
New Business Ventures
Family and business roles and responsibilities
Conflict handling
Business Exits
Valuations of ongoing businesses

Dr. Agarwal has been advising families to arrive at a consensus and to work together as a family and maintain the relationship of the family. After all, the family relationships are key!

Some of the instances where advisors could help are:

The new generation is having newer ideas and want to take the business in a new direction, whereas the elders are concerned about the survival and continued operations of the business.

Business is doing well under the family members but the growth is restricted, due to the various limitations. The question of who will take over next, and how does the business grow is also key. How should the business grow in a manner where processes and systems are put in place? Where the family members are freed up to follow more opportunities and the family business is still running well?

Newer family members are growing up and the senior generation need to plan for the newer generation’s future and possible role in the family business. How should they plan for their entry? What if some family next-generation are not interested in joining the family business?

The environment has changed and the current business may not be profitable in the near future. Besides, the next-generation members may not all be needed in the current business. What should the family do?

The business has grown tremendously and the family is wondering, do we all need to be in the business? Can we run the business better?