There were no induction programmes then - neither for the family nor for professionals. I trained under my father Burjor Godrej and my uncle Naval Godrej, and was encouraged to use my management training to improve things," says Adi Godrej, Chairman, Godrej Group. Running a company was apparently simpler in 1963, when he joined the family business. Godrej, fresh from mit's Sloan School of Management, was the only one in the group with a management education.
|Size: Rs 13,000 crore|
No. of generations in business: 4
Key measures in place: Family council formed, which holds formal meetings with an agenda
Goal: To manage issues related to family and business
Mantra for success: Good governance leads to market value
Much changed, however, after Godrej became chairman a decade back. "We created a family council. All family shareholders above 18 are members," he says. Of the 16 such members, eight have executive roles in the group. The council meets four to six times a year.
Apart from the council, there is also a Thursday lunch attended by the ones with executive roles. "The lunch is largely an informal affair, while the council meetings are held with an agenda," Godrej says.
The Godrej Group does not have a written constitution or code. Godrej believes that flexibility is key. Today, family members joining the business go through the same induction process that professionals taken on board do. "Issues arise when family-shareholder members seek special favours, not just in relation to public shareholders but also to other family shareholders," he says. "The family must be committed to principles of corporate governance."
What has kept the Godrej Group together? "We've been lucky in that there have always been more businesses to run than there were family members available," he says.READ: What binds Dabur's Burmans as a strong business family