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Kavil Ramachandran

Kavil Ramachandran

Professor Kavil Ramachandran is Executive Director of Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise, at the Indian School of Business.

Literacy for the 21st Century: Reading the Global Business Environment

Kavil Ramachandran: You have led a major multinational corporation for many years with operations across the world and have major investment interests across a spectrum of activities globally. What do you see as some of the major global trends in business and some of the key learnings? Since the 1980s, there have been a lot of positive arguments for the …

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Family Business Governance Rooted in Values: The Case of Merck, Darmstadt

Merck, the oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company in the world, was founded in 1668 in Darmstadt a small town in Germany. The Merck family, with 156 family shareholders continues to own 70 per cent of the company and determines its strategic direction. Merck was criticised for organisational complexity on account of its 70 divisions and for making large, capital intensive …

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Indian Family Business: Creating Legacy

ISBInsight: Family businesses are often in the media spotlight but at the same time, there are gaps in data about family business in India. How do you address some of these lacunae? Kavil Ramachandran: When we started work on family business at the Indian School of Business (ISB) in 2003, there was hardly any interest within media about family business. The …

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Is India’s CSR Law Having the Desired Impact?

ISBInsight: Professor Ramachandran, could you set the context for us for CSR in India?  Kavil Ramachandran: In the last few decades, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become an integral part of the public discourse with academicians, practitioners, policy-makers and media laying stress on equitable outcomes through business-society interactions. This is also contextual because there is a greater concern about sustainability of all kinds across the …

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Standalone Family Firms Lead on Gender Parity

Two Minute Read Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared at the 2018 World Economic Forum at Davos, that “time’s up” for gender inequality.1 His remark has bearings for the global community. At 130 out of 160 countries, India has one of the worst Gender Inequality Index ranks for a large emerging economy, according to the United Nations Development Programme report. 2 It …

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Equal Stewards: The Women in Family Business Programme

How can women contribute to building family businesses as long-lasting enterprises? What does the future for women look like in terms of leadership of the firms? How can women add greater value to board level discussions? On August 6 and 7, 2018, the Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise at ISB conducted a tailor-made programme for women belonging to business …

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The Three Circles of Family Business

A 2014 McKinsey study projected that by 2025, family-owned businesses may come to account for as much as 40% of the world’s large enterprises, from a low of roughly 15% in 2010. In emerging market economies such as India, institutional voids and limited levels of professionalisation keep family involvement in business much higher than in advanced countries. The Thomas Schmidheiny …

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When Family Businesses Go International

Professor Kavil Ramachandran, The Thomas Schmidheiny Chair Professor of Family Business and Wealth Management, Executive Director of the Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise, Indian School of Business.

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The Rise And Rise Of Family Firms

The year 1991 ushered in a new dawn for the Indian economy with economic reforms across sectors. The entrepreneurial spirit among Indians took advantage of the opportunities, and a new class of family businesses—the standalone family firms (SFFs)—emerged. In a paper titled Family Business 1990-2015: The Emerging Landscape published by the Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise at the Indian School …

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