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A family affair

A family affair

A far greater proportion of companies in the region are family owned than the global average. But even successful family owned companies rarely make it past the third generation.

July 4, 2010 11:53 by

The Middle East director of consultancy PRTM, Anil Khurana, says cultivating talent and expertise with both family members and expat workers is critical.

“If you have a bright, capable expat in a family business, he or she is often asked to be a troubleshooter for the family,” he says.

Developing areas of expertise could help families use resources more wisely, especially if they face changing demands brought on by privatization. “In this region, I think, the government’s role is pretty large, but governments around the region are privatizing more and more,” Khurana says.

Whereas in the past a government would pay a well-known family handsomely to construct a road, it may now invite bids for private contracts. Companies then need to invest the money in construction themselves.

“If you privatize roads, the metrics become different,” Khurana says. “That’s not to say family businesses do not have a role, but that’s to say they have a different role.”

Despite these changes, Chiniara continues to remain optimistic. “They are taking charge of their future and they actually are more educated, they are more ready to face globalization and challenges and they are actually better equipped,” he says.

“People are conscious of a transition taking place and they are actually much better equipped.”

Trends magazine.

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