Will history repeat for the third generation at Dr Reddy's?

 E Kumar Sharma        Last Updated: December 25, 2017  | 14:40 IST
Will history repeat for the the third generation at Dr Reddy's?

"In my hour of need, I turned to Prasad...I needed somebody who was competent and whom I could trust implicitly. Prasad fitted the bill perfectly. I persuaded Prasad to accept my offer of becoming the managing director...," wrote Kallam Anji Reddy, the founder the Dr Reddy's about his son-in-law GV Prasad in his autobiography. Some 27 years since the incident that Reddy was referring to, Dr Reddy's is getting ready to seek its shareholders approval to induct G V Prasad's son-in-law Akhil Ravi into the company.

First, it does not look as if Prasad, the co-chairman and CEO of the company or Satish Reddy, the chairman of the company, are out to seek the intervention for a bail out from a crisis. Also, it is not as if Akhil, that is how he is referred to (Ravi is his family name) is joining the board or in a leadership role. Far from it, if approved by the shareholders, he will join at the middle management level, which in the company's pecking order is the director - three levels below a vice-president. This means, he may have to prove himself and work his way up. But in terms of educational background, there are some similarities with his father-in-law Prasad. Akhil is a BTech in chemical engineering from IIT, Bombay followed by a masters in business management from the Indian School of Business (ISB), GV Prasad did his chemical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago while also bagging an outstanding senior student award followed by an MBA from the Purdue, where he figured in the dean's list. Akhil, just over 30, on the other hand, has worked at ITC before his MBA and got a promotion within a year of joining McKinsey, the global management consulting major that he has been with for the last four years.

Those who track family businesses, feel a family member involvement may be good for a business provided those joining are got on board for their capability and not on account of inheritance. "Involvement of a family member into the business is a good thing as long as the person being inducted is armed with the capability and passion for the job and here the capability includes professionalism, which is not just a college degree but also a component of attitude." At Dr Reddy's much would depend on how Akhil is groomed and what role he gets. Those, who know Prasad, feel, whenever the onboarding happens, which again is linked to the shareholder approval though the company board has approved the move, it will start from the trenches with exposure to all the crucial basics of the business.


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