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How Next Gen Business Leaders Are Doing Things Differently

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The next generation of business magnates bring more than just a paycheck: They do things differently to be relevant to their future employees, customers and shareholders. Their visions transcend beyond just creating a legacy. They question age-old practices and make amendments to introduce sustainable solutions.

Sometimes mixing old-school values with a modern twist, gives shape to better ideas. “While my dad’s legacy has been instrumental in shaping my approach to business, I bring my own perspective and strategies to the table. My dad’s motto is hard work, honesty, and innovation, and I’ve blended that with agility, transparency, and customer centricity. I am also a fan of the startup spirit, which makes me open to taking calculated risks and exploring new avenues of growth,” said Anant Nahata, Managing Director, Exicom. He is the son of Mahendra Nahata, chairman, HFCL.

When it comes to women leaders in family businesses, recognition and rewards do not always commensurate with passion, proven business capabilities and successes. The growth path is not seamless – as it is for men in the family. Logical and strong conviction about any matter can however help in pursuing one’s objective. “I have consciously and mindfully cultivated a few differences, as I sincerely believe as a woman professional, one needs to be more mindful. I depend on my instinct and tact as a woman leader in business for more effective results,” said Priti Sureka, director, Emami Group.

New leaders often make bold choices in order to introduce better changes. Around 2014 Exicom was working on how best to solve the problem of high energy opex for teleco’s and introduced Li-ion batteries and hybrid power systems for telecom and those really became default standard at telecom sites for years to come and helped slash diesel genset usage at telecom sites by 30 per cent on average. “One pivotal move was our strategic entry into the electric mobility sector. Guiding this expansion, I led the introduction of Li-ion batteries and EV chargers, firmly establishing Exicom as a pioneer in these domains. As of today we have supplied 50K-plus chargers across people’s homes, CPO’s and heavy duty charging infrastructure and hold the highest market share in India.”

Similarly, Sureka enjoys creating disruption and staying ahead of competition by driving innovation and digital transformation across all spectrums of business in the Emami Group. “Emami has been a traditional marketing company, but to keep up with the changing times, it has undergone a transformation to emerge as a digitally transformed organization through new business models, service innovation and technology deployment. I am happy to have been a key part of this transformation, which is helping to maintain and strengthen Emami’s existing brand equity as a leading Indian MNC.”

Business practices aligned with environmental friendliness, inclusivity and similar priorities are needed more than ever right now. Today, there are various CSR initiatives adopted by companies, “From a CSR standpoint, I took a bold stance by championing the cause of the LGBTQ community. This was at a time when such advocacy was relatively uncommon and the movement was not widely acknowledged. Addressing a topic considered taboo, I believed it was essential to stand up for equality and inclusion, regardless of societal norms,” said Ms. Joita Sen, director and head of design & marketing, Senco Gold & Diamonds.

While change is the only constant, some believe in the traditional value system of family business. Family businesses are well suited to being solid corporate stewards because they’re already conscious of how the family name is perceived. “My father-in-law was forward-thinking in his approach, embracing technology and modern processes. Similarly, I recognize the importance of staying current with technological advancements to streamline operations and enhance customer experiences,” Sen added.

According to the confederation of Indian Industries(CII) family business contributes 60-70 percent of GDP of most developed & developing countries. It has been observed that just 13 per cent of the family business survive till the third generation and only four per cent go beyond the third generation and one third of business families disintegrate because of generational conflict. “However, the close-knit structure of families, which fosters teamwork combined with respect to family values and family elders, has been the key to success of many family businesses. Indian family businesses form the backbone of the Indian economy and hence there is a need to extend the life span of the family businesses so that the economy can continue to derive benefit from their contribution,” the report added.

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