Case Abstracts

Succession Planning at Tata Case Study
Wallace Jacob
Assistant Professor
Tolani Maritime Institute

Tata conglomerate is India’s largest business group running businesses in seven sectors in more than eighty countries and providing employment to over 4,25,000 people. Tata Sons is the holding company of the Tata Group. Sir Cyrus P Mistry was the sixth Chairman of Tata sons. The information pertaining to the chairmen of Tata Sons is given in Table 1.
Table 1

NamePositionTenure and Contribution
Sir Jamsetji Nusserwanji TataFounder of the TATA groupBegan with a textile mill in central India in the 1870s
Sir Dorab TataChairman, Tata sons*1904 – 1932, setting up Tata Steel and Tata Power
Sir Nowroji SaklatvalaChairman, Tata sons1932 – 1938, consolidated the core businesses of iron and steel, cotton mills, banking, and hydro-electric works. Merged several cement businesses in India leading to the establishment of ACC  
Sir JRD TataChairman, Tata sons1938 – 1991, launched the airline now known as Air India
Sir Ratan N TataChairman, Tata sons1991 – 2012, The Government of India honoured Mr. R. Tata with Padma Vibhushan, in 2008
Sir Cyrus P MistryChairman, Tata sons2012 – 2016, earlier the managing director of Shapoorji Pallonji Group. When Sir C. Mistry was at the helm of the Shapoorji Pallonji group, the business grew into a billion-dollar enterprise and executed complex projects in marine, oil and gas, and rail sectors.  
(Source: accessed on 27 Oct 2016 at 1140 hours IST).
(*Ratan Tata is the lifetime chairman of Tata Sons Ratan Tata and Tata Trusts together control 66% in Tata Sons. Pallonji Shapoorji Mistry owns 18.5% stock in Tata Sons1.)
Sir Cyrus Mistry’s tenure as the Chairman of Tata Sons was cut short in a board meeting conducted on October 24, 2016. Mr. Mistry was the Chairman of Tata sons for the shortest period of time hitherto. Cyrus Mistry’s widely leaked explosive 2,100-word mail2 (shown in Exhibit 1) to the board targeting Ratan Tata and the luminaries close to him with a string of allegations related to questionable deals and steps brings out many bitter facts. According to Cyrus Mistry, his dismissal was illegal and invalid. Cyrus Mistry also claimed that the Articles of Association of the holding company were changed after he took office, “alternative power centres” had been created reducing him to the position of a lame-duck chairman”.
Several theories have been built to explain Cyrus Mistry’s ouster. These theories dwell on under-performance, clash of cultures, reversal of policies and practices, erosion of values, handling of certain delicate situations, Mistry’s inability to deliver on the promises he made at the beginning of his tenure, Mistry kept his plans secret from the directors, although the directors were asking for more visibility.
Finding Cyrus Mistry’s successor will be an uphill task because the prospective successor would demand:
(i) Reasons for Mistry’s ouster,
(ii) Autonomy in operations,
(iii) Well-defined reporting and governance structure,
(iii) Details pertaining to exit/severance package
1. The Times of India, “Sacked Chairman Didn’t Deliver On His Initial Promises; Executives From Within Weren’t Elevated to Board: Tata Loyalists. Mistry failed to keep trust of Trusts: Insiders”, October 28, 2016, pg 19
2. The Times of India, “We’ll prove to the public Mistry’s lying: Tata Sons”, October 28, 2016, pg 1

Sanoor Poha Rice Mills: Story of Female Leadership and Family Business

Sulagna  Mukherjee
Associate Professor
TA Pai Management Institute, Manipal
Ravindranath Shanbhogue
Advocate, Freelance Teacher
Visiting Faculty - T A Pai Management Institute, Manipal

The case reflects on the life of a woman entrepreneur, Anitha Kamath, who took up the responsibility of the Sanoor Pova rice mill in 1993. This rice mill was part of the family business looked after by her husband for twenty years. His sad demise in 1993 forced Anitha to step into the business with no exposure at all about this kind or any other form of business. When Anitha took over this twenty year old business the things were not at all easy for her. The rice mill was in a rural set up where women were never allowed to look after the business. She faced opposition from all quarters of the society. The workers who were working in the unit were not at all willing to work under a female leader. The other male family members who were also into rice mill business created opposition so that she is forced to sale the business to them. The government officials also were not an exception. To their surprise she emerged as a strong leader who transformed this rice mill business as one of the leading rice mill in the area and went on to receive the FICCI award as the best female entrepreneur. But now  at the age of 62 Anitha is in the crossroads. She does not know whom to pass on the leadership of this family business as none of her children are interested in staying in the rural set up and take this business forward. She at one point of time thought that she should sale the rice mill and from the proceeds will starts a new business in similar lines in Bangalore where her children are settled. But what prevents her from doing is her attachment to this rice mill which she has nurtured over 20 years. So the case basically explores the dilemma and the alternatives which Anitha has in her mind to keep the business alive.
P.N. Gadgil Jewellers- Crafting a Sparkling Brand

Sonia Mehrotra 
Associate Professor & Head - Center of Excellence for Case Development
Prin. L.N. Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research
Uday Salunkhe
Group Director
Prin. L.N. Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research
Anil Rao Paila
Sr. Dean & Sr. VP- Strategy and Branding

Prin. L.N. Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research Bangalore campus

In 2016 Saurabh Gadgil worried of his business brand challenges. Gadgil as the Chairman and Managing Director of PN Gagdil Jewellers Private Limited (hereafter referred as PNG) was the sixth generation steward of their family business that boasted of a legacy of 183 years of existence in Maharashtra, the Western State of India. In 2012 the family had a faction in the business that led to his uncle Govind Gadgil to part ways to start PN Gagdil and Sons Private Limited. Both PNG and PN Gadgil and Sons, co-existed in Maharashtra.  Since 2012 PNG had engaged in various activities both internally as well as externally to professionalize the business. Internally they adopted ERP, making their business activities process driven as well as recruiting professionals at various levels. Externally they had been on an expansion drive opening various outlets in different parts of Maharashtra, experimenting with different store formats, different business segments as well engaging in branding activities with Hindi cine stars as their brand ambassadors. The challenge was that since the two factions of the family business carried the similar ancestral name – the customer perceived the PNG and PN Gadgil and Sons to be the same brand; any wrong business dealing (if done) by the other faction of their family business – the PN Gadgil and Sons, would affect and dilute the PNG brand in the market. Gadgil knew that he could not change their ancestral name; and wondered what could be the ultimate solution to this problem? Should he continue to invest in branding promotions to create their distinct market brand identity or should he propose to his Uncle to buy them out?          
Conflicts in a Family Business: A Case of Durga and Company
Manoj Joshi
Amit Business School

Shailja Dixit
Amity Business School
Amit Kumar Sinha 
Amity Business School
Balvinder Shukla
Amity Business School

Purpose –
The purpose of this Close Held Family Business (CHFB) case is to investigate the nature of conflicts that arise in a closely held family business. It also attempts to identify the key variables that must be fulfilled in order to ensure a smooth and successful transition from one generation to the next. The case necessitates why prevention, management and resolution of conflict is essential to carry on the bequest. The case also focuses on how succession planning is biased towards the male members of the family ignoring the capabilities and competence of females in the family.

Design/methodology/approach –
Unstructured interviews around multiple stakeholders in the family business identifying the core issues that lead to conflict in the family and organizational structure has been used. In order to reduce biases multiple sources or incumbents within the areas of conflicts were interviewed.

Findings –
It is observed that conflicts are inevitable within closely held family businesses, specifically when the ownership and management is in the hands of the founder manager. However, it is widely accepted that conflicts are paramount to forward progression both for the family and business when it is considered constructively. The case also highlights the negligence of female siblings in the family.
Research limitations/implications –
The case reflects the importance of understanding the critical issues around family and business; family business together. The outcome is useful in relaying better understanding on dimensions of conflicts that plague family controlled business. However, generalization may not be plausible as this case refers to a small business in Indian context.
Practical implications –
Small businesses must relay importance of managing conflicts and bringing in earlier
QUO VADIS (A) & (B) case
Rangamannar S Veeravalli
Director - PGXPM,
Head - Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE), 
& Associate professor
Jayshree Suresh
Hand in Hand Academy

Case A

CK Kumaravel – ‘Ku’ for friends and ‘CKK’ for others – had just returned from his brother’s office, after having called off the merger of his Naturals beauty salons chain with Green Trends (GT), his brother’s. After years of hardships and struggle in his last business, the Naturals Hair & Beauty Salons chain, his current venture, had become a runaway success over the past year and a half, quickly climbing to be 75 odd salons strong chain – the largest to-date in India. His immediate elder brother, CK Ranganathan (CKR), the most successful of the family, had reached out to CKK to buy-out, merge Naturals with his own beauty salons chain “Green Trends” (GT), and offered CKK to run them both. CKK, delighted, had gone ahead, signed an MOU, merged both enterprises, and had taken charge. Quickly it became apparent to CKK that the GT managers did not have a clue on how to run this business successfully, and the team was not customer-centric but was centered on what their Boss (CKR) thought about each thing, and only addressed them. It became clear that they are not going to run the business as it should be done, and, gravely, they are not going to change. After days of turmoil and soul-searching, he told CKR that this merger would not work, asked the MOU to be cancelled, and came out. CKK thus found himself standing with just 2 people of his former team to run all of his 75+ salons, and a newly educated and invigorated competitor in GT, doing everything exactly the
same way that Naturals did, to deal with! “What am I going to do? How am I going to revive and grow Naturals again?” ruminated a
despondent CKK. 
Learning Objectives*: The case explores how the protagonist rises from his previous business failure, How he places his wife to be the Leader of the new Venture, how they build the business evolving a distinct/unique Partner/Franchise Business model that involves women as the franchisee partners and entrepreneurs, captures the marketing innovations done to grow and succeed, Influence of siblings’ success on protagonist, Merger/Acquisition within Family, role of trust versus contract between siblings in dealing with business surprises, etc. 
Key words: Overcoming Failure, Husband-Wife as Protagonist, Woman Entrepreneurs,Marketing Innovations, Business Models, Partnering-Franchising, Merger/Acquisition within family.

Case B

Naturals is now 560 salons strong, the undisputed # 1 salon chain in India. Over the past couple of years they had a dream run, expanding from a mere 75 +_ salons. But all of that growth and success has been still only in south India – the four southern states plus Orissa!
All of the efforts to create a solution to penetrate rest of india - especially north and west - and become an all India player, have proved elusive and remained a mystery / conundrum till now. “Just what is/are the reasons why we have not been able to succeed in north and west? What are factors to succeed there? What are we missing?” were the questions that constantly plagued CKK, the protagonist’s mind.
CK Kumaravel – ‘Ku’ for friends and ‘CKK’ for others – knew that the answer to these questions is the key to open the treasure trove – the path to go from 560 to 3000 salons, which can happen in just another year or two!! After all, India is a 10,000 salons market!! 
Learning Objectives*: The case explores how does a newly successful family venture figure out, (i) to come out of a debacle, (ii) Scale the Venture, and (iii) take the Enterprise to the next level as a professional organization as well. How the protagonist comes up with the
growth strategy and business model, and how growth necessarily needs the venture to become an organization. The Marketing Strategy & Innovations.
Key words: Growth, Scale, Professional Organization, Strategy, Innovation, Business Model, Family Business.
* Provisional.

Tatas Succession
Poornima Charantimath
Professor , Centre for Entrepreneurship Development
KLS Institute of Management Education & Research

The surprise sacking of Tata Sons Chairman Cyrus Mistry will go down as a landmark event in Indian business history. The directors of the holding company of the sprawling Tata conglomerate announced on Monday 24th October 2016, that they were replacing Cyrus Mistry at the helm of affairs. The group executive council he has set up has been disbanded. Ratan Tata returned as an interim chairman till a new leader is found. Several of Mistry’s operational decisions were challenged by Ratan Tata. Among the six chairmen Tata Sons has had so far in its history, Mistry’s is the shortest tenure of less than four years.

Ratan Tata has taken the group he inherited from his uncle JRD from $5 billion to $70 billion. Cyrus Mistry took over as Ratan Tata’s successor in December 2012. Ratan Tata had two decades to transform Tata group into a global enterprise and make his mark. There is no doubt that he left behind a much larger, better managed and more competitive conglomerate.

At the core, though, there appeared to be a clash of cultures and management styles; there was concern over the erosion of long-held "values" and the reversal of certain policies and practices. A question worth asking in this context is whether his removal was less to do with the ability to deal with legacy issues and more to do with a lack of clarity about the future. Or was it just a clash of personalities? Was Mistry’s performance so bad that he had to be removed? Was succession planning process in the professionally managed family business was faulty? Was there a breach of corporate governance? What next?

Key Words: Decision, Boardroom, Legacy, Succession planning, Corporate governance.

Pooja Gupta
Assistant Professor
Symbiosis Institute of Business Management- Bangalore
Madhvi Sethi
Associate Professor
Symbiosis Institute of Business Management- Bangalore
Rajesh Panda
Symbiosis Institute of Business Management- Bangalore

This case talks about dilemma of a first generation entrepreneur. Jatinder Agarwal, was the owner of SK Enterprises a light-engineering firm manufacturing Bright Bars, Engine Parts and Ceiling Fan Shafts. He had set up the business in 1984. His brother, Ramesh was helping him in the business. The business had prospered and grown from a single product manufacturing workshop in 1984 to two factories manufacturing multiple light engineering products. In 2015, the business was doing well and both Jatinder and Ramesh were excited to involve their respective sons, Pranav and Sanidh in the business after completion of their education.
The case talks about the challenges faced by Jatinder and Ramesh with the entry of new generation. Jatinder and Ramesh were working in the business with an implied structure where the business was a sole proprietorship in the name of Jatinder but the decisions were taken by both the brothers collectively. With the entry of new generation, Jatinder had to decide how to restructure the business. He also had to take a decision regarding the future course of strategy which would help the business grow further.


The family values that holds the third generation members - Liberty shoes

D P Sahoo
Associated Professor HR & OB
IMT Ghaziabad

A small shoe manufacturing unit, was set up by its founders, D P Gupta, R K Bansal and P D Gupta with the vision to generate employment for a class of untouchables of the society, which no industrial house was investing due to social reasons. Manufacturing footwear had always been the work of the cobblers, a backward class of Hindu society. To change this trend the founders, the inhabitant of Karnal, in the year 1954, decided to set-up a shoe manufacturing unit and formed ‘Liberty Footwear’. This was a joint effort of Mr D. P. Gupta, with Mr P. D. Gupta and Mr R. K. Bansal (all were cousins). The Organization has travelled a long way since then and presently has six production units and the retail sales turnover was INR 1000 crores during the financial year 2014-2015. It figures amongst the top 5 manufacturers of leather footwear in the world, producing more than 50,000 pairs a day, using a capacity of more than 3 lakhs square feet of leather per month. The Company also carters to the fashion-driven and quality-seeking customers of more than 25 countries, which includes major international fashion destinations like France, Italy and Germany, USA and others. The company sells its products through 6,000 multi-brand outlets and more than 500 exclusive showrooms. It is committed to quality and is an ISO 9001: 2000 and SA 8000 safety Certification Company.

The Organization has succeeded in establishing it-self both in the domestic and international market. The third generation of the family are now managing the business, with the second generation in lead positions. 

Lalla Lajja Ram, a freedom fighter, and his daughter Saraswati Devi Bansal, a learned scholar of the time, transcended their family values to their successors, D. P. Gupta, P. D. Gupta, R. K. Bansal, the founder of ‘Liberty footwear.’ 

The case study analyses the binding values of the Bansal and Gupta family members in business, attributing the same to be their reasons for their success in business.

Key Words: terminal values, instrumental values, cohesion and cooperation , moral behaviors, family agreement (protocols), culture and ethic, family business sustainability , next generation in business.

The K.C Group: Creating a Million Opportunities

Pallvi Arora
Assistant Professor
University of Jammu
Akriti Saini
ICccR & HRM, University of Jammu
Geetika Dharmat
ICccR & HRM, University of Jammu
Shivam Mahajan
ICccR & HRM, University of Jammu
“Always do right and this will gratify some people; but astonish the rest. Whereas success and failure lies in conformity with the domain of time”, the group explains its dynamic vision with the given statement. Founded by a legendary businessman, Lt. Sh. Kishan Chand Mahajan (1886-1960) who was an “Iron-Man” with a tender heart and a “Great Visionary” of his time, the case will be discussed over the dimensions of various business ventures that the group has created over the decades and how the city has been transformed into a modern scenario as painted over the canvas by a successful organization, the K.C group. The Advent of New era of K.C. Group set in the state as well as in the Inter-States thus diversifying the business interests in Paints, Biscuits, Bread, Flour Mills, Metals, Cinema Halls, Restaurants, Hotels, Education etc. the question lies in the further expansionary options that can be seen and realised within the due course of time. Thus, the case will be an insight to “What Next?” for the group to emerge as a pioneer in the today’s vibrant and online era.


Satish Nair
Associate Professor (Adani Institute of Infrastructure Management),
Deputy Registrar (Adani Institute for Education and Research

Saloni Gandhi
Student, MBA (Family Business & Entrepreneurship)
Institute of Management
Nirma University
October 2016, Ahmedabad, Gujarat (India). Into his fiftieth year, Ashutosh Gandhi, Managing Director of the Polyethylene Terephtalate (PET) preforms manufacturer, Ahimsa Industries Limited (AIL), mulled over the next phase of growth. His daughter, Saloni, would complete her MBA by March 2017. Ashutosh wished to discuss her future role with his wife and whole-time director of the company, Sneha, who had assisted in its administration since inception in 1996. The duo had consistently resisted the temptation to co-opt their only progeny as a Director in the company (as practised in many Indian family businesses). Ashutosh had recognized Saloni’s creativity and fiercely independent nature and gave her full freedom regarding her future. Saloni resolved to pursue an MBA specializing in entrepreneurship and family business management. During this phase, she contributed to AIL’s activities as much as her academic engagement could allow her. Ashutosh planned to discuss with Sneha about suitable complementing roles between the three of them. After all, the small family had been fully involved in AIL from the very beginning. Ashutosh fretted over Saloni’s possible next steps. How would his vision for AIL gel with Saloni’s own line of thinking? What about her own growth plan? How would he leverage her abilities? Would Saloni be better off replacing Sneha? Or, would she be more comfortable and effective in strategizing Ahimsa’s new business developments? What should be the future signals for Ashutosh to begin transferring his powers to Saloni? How to identify a mentor/advisor for himself?! Was he being hasty?!
Successor development; Father-daughter succession; Women in family business; Managing growth; Family business governance; Nonfamily management

Jayshree Suresh
Hand in Hand Academy

This case study is about  a Gujarati  Desai  family,   from Ahmedabad . The  family  are the owners of  a successful  tea business.   Their  Tea  business had grown and  sustained for  over more than  100 years. Shri  Piyush Desai (PD) is a third generation entrepreneur who is the  main driver of the business. He is contemplating to retire from active business and devote time for the philanthropy activities. The case highlights, the management of  Business, Family, and Personal goals . The learning for the participant is how to  balance and manage all the three  independent but dependent silos?  What is the  role of Family MoU in Family Managed Business?  Ethics and Values are found to be  the common thread between all the three.  To know  from  the  family owned business, how to  succeed , grow and sustain in  a highly competitive   tea market   which  is dominated by big business houses like Tata’s and , Hindustan Unilever.  

Key Words:  Family Business – Family MoU -  Balancing Family, Business and personal goals. 

A Doctor's Dilemma - The Case of Enterprising Entrepreneurship
Nitesh  Bhatia 
Assistant Professor
Central University of Jharkhand
Taposh Ghoshal 
Astra Training Consultants
This case is about a young doctor who nurtured a dream to serve the society as a professional medical practitioner. He attended one of the best schools of the country and then studied medicine. But as fate would have it, he had to abort his dream under family compulsions and assume the responsibility of his family business that included a resort named Holiday Home, sponge iron factories, fisheries, real-estate and construction companies.

He is Dr. Mohit Narsaria. The 32 year young doctor undertook the daunting task with grit and determination. But his arduous journey was not without its predicaments. As he stepped into his new role, he found his uncles and close-relatives unexpectedly withdrawing help. With no business experience and hardly anyone to bank upon except his engineer brother, he waged his own battles, had his share of choices and chances but with hard work, passion and never say die spirit, he consolidated the business portfolio, restarted the construction business, hived off others and focused on hotel business to establish it as one of the finest hotels in the city. He also aspires to initiate his father’s dream project of establishing a hospital for the masses.
Today, as his business grows, Mohit faces grim challenges both on external and internal fronts in his construction and hotel business. It is demanding his entire concentration, time and energy. The case provides a kaleidoscopic view of factors affecting a family business, and depicts strategies that could establish outstanding entrepreneurship in a family business.

Entrepreneurship, Family, Business, Management, Passion, Strategies

Case Study: A Family Enterprise Challenges: Solid waste Management Business

Nirmal Soni
Assistant Professor - Economics and Finance
Institute of Management
Nirma University

The solid waste management is a big and lucrative private sector business in the western world. The solid waste management is not only a highly profitable business opportunity but it could also be put to use for variety of innovative enterprising avenues like power generation, road construction, recycled building materials for which the Government is giving subsidies as well as the other support. It is well aligned with the Environmental protection programs and also identified as the need of time by the Government if India’s new initiatives like ‘Startup India, Standup India, Smart cities, Swachh Bharat’ etc. The case aims at highlighting the Positive Economic Externalities generated by the possibility of optimum utilisation of solid waste at the dump yard ‘Pirana’ near Ahmedabad, the paradigm shift from a state liability into an earning opportunity for many and serving the society at the same time. The case study shows the flip side of the dirty picture and pricks the entrepreneurial acumen by presenting the Pirana Garbage dump yard as a business opportunity on the lines of western solid waste management model.

Key Words
Positive Economic Externalities, Environment Protection, Solid waste Management, Swachh Bharat, Enterprise, Dump yard Pirana.

Kagzi: Sustaining the Dying Industry of Handmade Paper

Prashant Gupta
Jaipuria Institute of
Sheenu Jain
Assistant Professor
Jaipuria Institute of
Invention of papermaking revolutionized the process of transfer and retention of knowledge. While China was pioneer in developing technique of paper making, India also developed the craft of paper making quite early. The case deals with the journey of the clan of Kagzis, the hand-made paper makers in India, believed to be pioneer in the industry. They have been running the family business for about 600 years, transferring the craft from generation to generation. While the industry saw its zenith during the Mughal period, it was on the verge of extinction under the British rule, who promoted mill-made paper manufactured in England. The Kagzis got shot in their arm through support from the erstwhile rulers of Jaipur and Gandhiji, who promoted use of the paper for legal and commercial purposes. The case describes how Kagzis, through their capability to maintain quality, and to bring product innovation for various end uses of the paper, reached the peak of their performance in early years of first decade of the century. The case highlights the sustainability challenges for the family business specially threat from the cheap Chinese products. The case examines the recent dynamics in the dying family business and highlights the protagonist’s dilemma as to whether to harvest or to divest and how?

Keyword(s): sustainability, divest, harvest, paper making, hand made paper
M/s Glocal Milk Food and Products (GMFP) A

Sanjay Kumar Mishra
Assistant Professor,
School of Business,
Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University
Aditya Kaushal
Assistant Manager
Deloittee Touche Tohmatsu India Pvt. Ltd

M/s Glocal Milk Food and Products (GMFP), engaged in the manufacturing of milk and milk products is a partnership firm of Raman Kumar Pandoh and Sona Pandoh established in the Bari Brahamna Industrial Area (BBIA), Jammu, Jammu & Kashmir, India, with input milk capacity of 40,000 litres of milk per day. Apart from the partner’s contribution, the project was financed through term loan and secured overdraft facility from a commercial bank based in the state of Jammu & Kashmir and grants in aid from the Government. Raman Kumar Pandoh, Managing Director, GMFP, before venturing into his own business, spent more than three decades with a MNC before deciding to set up dairy farming business. Later on, he opted for forward integration through setting up of collection centers and subsequently, milk processing unit in the BBIA.  
Raman was a happy man for being able to execute the project of setting up of milk processing unit and making it operational within the planned period. However, within six month of its being operational in November, 2014, the firm started facing the problem of liquidity, adversely impacting its business activity. This was further accentuated by the obligation to repay interest and principal on outstanding borrowings from the bank after the end of the moratorium period. Raman was facing a daunting task to maintain its milk processing unit operational at the planned level and was willing to explore all available options.
Key words: family business, milk products, supply chain, mortgage, restructuring