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Building Values- Family Businesses Take Pride in building business community

An entrepreneur’s bounty is the soul’s harvest. Amid tales of entrepreneurship, the family led businesses have remained a legacy. Every business seeks to provide a livelihood for its owners and employees. Family-run enterprises can also be an excellent vehicle for transferring values, both within the family ranks and beyond.

Having started in 1947, the year of liberation, a lone shoe store opened its doors to the public in Colaba, Mumbai. Today with 400 stores across the country, selling an exclusive range of fashion footwear and accessories for the family.

Family run businesses have the advantage of having the entrepreneurial passion in growing the business. There are certain challenges faced by the family, but taking every challenges by the horn they prefer standing united and making a conscious effort of considering these hurdles as a learning which eventually generates growth.


While Philip Kotler and the ABCs of marketing teach great concepts, India is a different geography and some of the most common themes amid family businesses are how they tackle complacency, have clarity in thoughts and communicate business and value.

Once a family business reaches a certain level, there is a tendency to want to rest on laurels. In today’s highly competitive environment, it is important to remain constantly vigilant to retain a position of success. This complacency eats into brand value, fading it through time.

Working like a group of members works well only if the roles of one member doesn’t overlap with others. The better the communication between members of the family, the better functioning in the work environment as well. For example, in our case, the entire family lunches together and updates each other on the various aspects of business each handle. That way messages to anyone external is consistent and the family unit stays strong.


Family businesses are like a blue-eyed girl. They can be enormously advantageous if they work well and can be extremely destructive both to the family and the company if they do not work well. Owner driven businesses have a passion and drive derived from the values of the founder. There is a sense of legacy and long-term view that companies that only respond to external shareholders often lack.

In addition, while processes are fundamental to an organization, sometimes bureaucratic red tape can entangle important decisions causing major inefficiencies in a company. Family run companies have the ability to push through difficult decisions and obstacles with more alacrity if they are needed to achieve the vision of a company.


Professionals working in a company tend to avoid routes or decisions in which there is the capacity of failure. In today’s quickly changing environment it is important to test things quickly and find a route that works. Family driven companies have more flexibility to try out passion projects that may or may not end up working. Another reason how companies like Metro adds up to innovation is by working with family members who are owners in their own right.

Great family businesses do not force their family members to join, rather make members feel like owners. The corporate world is a land of yes-men, and hence decision making remains hazy.

There are different ways to align professional leaders with family core values to ensure perpetuity, and one of the core areas is ownership and recognition. Great family-businesses also jot down minutest details of activities undertaken by workers as well as gardeners.

The CEO or the Chief Ethics Officer draws up a line of breach to ensure that standards are maintained across timelines.

Authored by Farah Malik, MD & CEO Metro Shoes Ltd.

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