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Family Business

February 1, 2002

With the recent news that a member of the Ford family is again head of the Ford Motor Company, we look at the history and the issues that have affected the turbulent transitions from its founder, Henry Ford, to the current fourth generation

The news last October that a member of the Ford family would head the Ford Motor Company for the first time in over two decades was greeted like the return of King Arthur. William Clay Ford, Jr, great-grandson of founder Henry Ford, was replacing the unpopular non-family executive Jacques A Nasser as chief executive. At the Ford plant in Dearborn workers cheered their new leader.

February 1, 2002

Dabur India Ltd is undergoing the challenging transition from family management to professional management, while staying true to the legacy and traditions of its founders

The headquarters of Dabur India Ltd stands just outside New Delhi, on a crowded road lined with a variety of old buildings and undeveloped land. Almost as if leaping centuries into the future, you come upon a few tranquil acres of sloping, landscaped lawn and garden, in the middle of which is a silver and glass tower that would not be out of place in California's Silicon Valley. Completed in 2000, the building stands as a symbol of how far Dabur India Ltd (Dabur) has come in the past century.

February 1, 2002

Philanthropy plays a large role in the lives of many family businesses. Through their foundation’s schools and hospitals, the Murugappa family has demonstrated their commitment to Indian society

Why do business-owning families engage in philanthropic activities, and why do such activities take on such importance? When the Murugappa family accepted the IMD Distinguished Family Business Award at the gala dinner celebration in Rome in October 2001, fourth generation Mr Murugu explained:

February 1, 2002

2001 IMD award winners, the Murugappa Group, have drawn upon their business acumen, heritage and faith in the family system to help them successfully adapt to change

The Murugappa Group, headquartered in Chennai (Madras), India has grown from humble beginnings to become a very important conglomerate. The company started as the dream of a driven entrepreneur in Burma in the early 1900s. Today it boasts revenues of US$850 million and employs 22, 500 people in its 27 business units. The company is presently undergoing a major change, as it restructures its family governance system. It realises that change is necessary if they want to continue to compete in the world marketplace.

February 1, 2002

GEEF, the organisation representing owner-managed and family businesses throughout Europe, is concerned about the difficulties which entrepreneurs encounter when transferring their business from one generation to the next or when the business is sold to a third person.

GEEF, the organisation representing owner-managed and family businesses throughout Europe, is concerned about the difficulties which entrepreneurs encounter when transferring their business from one generation to the next or when the business is sold to a third person. For this reason, an extensive benchmark study has been conducted to give an overview of relevant taxation situation in the GEEFcountries: Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain Sweden and the UK.

February 1, 2002

So, are family businesses performing better?

". . . when they are strong, they are the best . . . when they are bad, they are horrid"
Katherine Graham, former family CEO of the Washington Post Company

February 1, 2002

Serial entrepreneur Richard Owens is Chairman of ROI Pty Ltd (the Owens family's property development business) and Managing Director of Oakvale Wines Pty Ltd, which includes vineyards and a winery situated in the Hunter Valley district of Australia. He settled into the wine business having sold his successful supermarket chain. Richard is married to Mary and has four children, who all work full- or part-time in the family business

Monday morning starts with measuring the size of a loading dock in one of the warehouses where we store wine. I wanted to prove to my staffthat there was a way to transport wine in and out of the warehouse without incurring the cost of a fork lift truck. The result? It is not possible and I will have to incur the cost. Not a good start. My staff are right and I'm wrong.

February 1, 2002

Despite changing realities of the new economy, a group of companies – ‘hidden champions’ – has stayed true to its core principles, with business characteristics similar to those of family-run businesses

The media hype associated with the trends of the new economy has shown how modern management principles may come and go. The rise and fall of 'dot-coms'have left many people wondering what future business trends and principles will be. Throughout the good and bad times of the changing realities in the 'new'economy, a group of companies has stayed true to its core principles: the hidden champions. Many of the characteristics of the hidden champions run parallel to those of family-run businesses. In fact, many of the hidden champions are exactly that – family-run.

January 1, 2002

The business of haute horlogerie is specialised and dominated by a small number of firms. Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Vice-President of Chopard, reveals how their family business has remained one of the leaders

When German jewellery- and watchmaker, Karl Scheufele, bought the small Chopard Swiss watchmaking firm in 1963, his intention was to develop a distinctive brand, while maintaining a tight control over the production process.

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