taking an inherited company forward

The way to take an inherited company forward

Chanakya advised those benefiting from an inheritance to look at the positives of the business and change the negative points with their own positives.
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There are first-generation entrepreneurs, and then there are the ‘businessmen’ who have inherited their parents’ creations. What matters in both these cases is how the person manages the business.

While most of the work is already done by the parents in the case of an inheritance, Chanakya still had a piece of advice for children born with a silver spoon in the mouth: “In the case of inherited territory, he should cover up the father’s defects and display his virtues.” (13.5.23).

All establishments, inevitably, have their negative points along with various positive aspects. Chanakya advised those benefiting from an inheritance to look at the positives of the business and change the negative points with their own positives:

Identify the positive aspects

As far as inheriting a business is concerned, we find that the previous generation did the worst work: Starting up, sales, capturing market, etc. They went through some really hard times when there was no capital, uneven cash flows when even such basic necessities as infrastructure and other comforts were not available.

At the end of the tunnel, they saw a light and eventually started making money. But, more than the money, it’s their original experience that makes the most valuable inheritance. This knowledge will help people from repeating mistakes.

Neutralise the negatives

Earlier generations lived in a different time and era. The market conditions were different then. Economic conditions were different. Even government policies and structures were unique then.

Everything, right from technology to travel and even communications, was slow. However, we should study these situations as next-generation leaders striving to fill top positions. Only then we will be able to see the business from a new perspective.

Be a ‘positive’ change

After getting the power to make decisions, move your company slowly to the next level without giving any serious jerks to the existing system. In other words, install the required new systems and processes, but do so while maintaining relations with your previous clients, employees and while growing your business too.

Basically, you should come across as a new-age leader who is also grounded in the traditional values on the basis of which your seniors built the business in the first place.

And when you finally commence operations in your new capacity, remember this: “What I have, is my father’s gift to me. What I do with what I have, is my gift to my father.”

Dr Radhakrishnan Pillai is an Indian management thinker, author, and Founder of Atma Darshan and Chanakya Aanvikshiki. Dr Pillai has extensively researched Kautilya’s Arthashastra, the 3rd century BC treatise and incorporated it into modern management.

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