Passing the Baton: Role Transition of B.K. Jhawar
(6 pages of text)
Most family businesses do not last long. Only one-third are able to survive the transition from the first to second generation. A critical issue in the survival of family businesses is the management of succession. Most successions fail because first-generation founders find it difficult to disengage from their business as they approach the age of retirement. As a result, they fail to prepare the next generation of successors for the leadership role. A founder’s failure to plan for succession is due to various reasons, such as a lack of non-work interests, psychological identity with a firm, and fears of aging or death. Due to these reasons, the founder’s retirement is frequently portrayed as a negative event. Succession, in turn, is often seen as a phase of crisis and upheaval, which a business must overcome. However, this need not necessarily be the case. Retirement can be a new and exciting phase of life, while succession can be viewed as a strategic opportunity to revive a business.
This case involves an accomplished business leader, B.K. Jhawar, founder of Usha Martin Group, who successfully managed the twin challenges of retirement and succession. By the time he reached the age of retirement, Jhawar had built up a social venture (KGVK) as his second career. Before completely disengaging from the business and transitioning to his new role full-time, Jhawar prepared the second generation for business leadership and effectively passed on the baton.
This case has three major objectives:
- To discuss the twin challenges of retirement and succession and how both can be managed effectively.
- To understand the actual process of leadership transition in a successful succession.
- To discuss the benefits of any philanthropic activity that a family business may undertake.
The case fits into any course on family philanthropy, social entrepreneurship, family business succession, or retirement. It can be used both in MBA and executive education programs, particularly in developing countries.
Social Advocacy Organizations
India, Medium, 2010
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