Working with your Dad?


Today is Father’s Day and we wanted to put together a piece for you to kill it as a father-child duo in the business.

While the lessons from the Ambanis and the Tatas are all out there for us to learn from, we collated some very practical suggestions from SMEs running successful family businesses.

Create a board for decision-making

A board allows for an unbiased decision that puts the company ahead of pride when emotions between the father and son are bound to affect a vital decision.

A board of advisors also brings in a perfect perspective which is not influenced by what may have happened at home.

Avoid bringing relationships to work

Considering each other as business partners instead of father and son (or daughter) may sound impossible at first but removing relationship labels from the work is imperative to efficiently run a business. This ensures a smooth 2-way communication with no hesitation driven by age and relationship barrier (especially in Indian families where often decision-making is assumed to come with age and very often, one has to respect the decision of the elder in the family).

Learning from each other

Instead of viewing your father as technologically challenged, see how you could have him learn the new ways of working smartly.

At the same time, fathers need to ensure that while they’re more experienced, they need to share their learnings as wisdom that supports decision making over merely quoting experience as the final means to taking a decision.

There’s a two learning that needs to be embraced.

Spending time outside of work

One of the keys to having a healthy father-son (or daughter) relationship is to ensure that you do things beyond work and have fun. Unwinding over a vacation or sipping your favourite drink and discussing what’s going on life would ensure that work doesn’t take away all your bonding time.

While it is important for you to have a great business, its absolutely more important to never forget the relationship you share and the sanctity it demands.

Here’s to seeing many successful family businesses.

Happy Father’s Day.

Himanshu Bhalla