‘Innovation, experience always take biz to new heights’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 23 Apr 2017 09:27:30

Business Bureau,

VIDARBHA Industries Association (VIA) Entrepreneurship Forum recently organised a programme for the business houses of Nagpur titled ‘Un-conference on issues in family business due to generation gap’ at VIA hall.

The objective of the programme was to understand the reasons behind the growing issues and concerns in business families due to generation gap. More than 25 people from business families working in various domains such as manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, logistics, environment consultancy etc., along with dignitaries from VIA participated in the programme.

Akash Agrawal, Chairman- Entrepreneurship Forum of VIA addressed the participants. In the programme participants expressed their concern on the growing trend witnessed in business families where the next generation was reluctant to join the family business or opted to start new business independent of the family business.

Atul Pande, President of VIA who himself is a part of a renowned business house of Nagpur, expressed a similar concern about the co existence of Gen X and Gen Y in family business and the turbulence thereof.

The session thereafter took the unique ‘Un-conference’ format inwhich a brain-storming was done by the participants belonging to business families to identify the various challenges pertaining to the generation gap in business families.

For the discussion, the generation born between mid-1980’s and late 1990’s were termed ‘Gen Y’ while the older generation was as termed ‘Gen X’. The issues that came up were broadly classified under the following categories: Inter-generation differences between Gen X and Gen Y, professionalism (method of running a business), implementing technology in business, bringing innovation/change in business and competition, co-creation and collaboration.

Participants from Gen X and Gen Y gave their opinions on challenges like lack of trust between Gen X and Gen Y.
President of Vidarbha Economic Development Council and businessman Devendra Parekh, said, “A synergy between innovation of the young and experience of the elderly always takes the business to a new heights.”

Another point highlighted was that the older generation may be apprehensive towards employing professionals and delegating some operations among family members. The panel members were of the opinion that this apprehension is spawned from the ego of the head of the family concern or the ‘I ’syndrome.

Vinay Chawla who works with a social organisation said, “Those operating business with a traditional mindset do not trust people outside the family and therefore, refuse to hire professionals. However, doing so would alleviate some burden of operation or management for the head.”

Paul D’Souza suggested mindful employment of professionals and application of technology to make business management easy.
The discussion saw impressive participation from top business houses of Nagpur, who not only deliberated on the Gen X and Gen Y conflict, but also offered practical solution to bridge the gap.
Prof Ashit Sinha, former Vice President of VIA proposed the vote of thanks.
The programme was conducted by Anita Rao, Convener Entrepreneur Forum VIA. Suresh Rathi was also present.