Change is the only constant in the world. In mythological structures, we have different ashrams through which a person passes. Philosophical schools believe that a man’s life is divided into various stages, and he must continuously adapt to his ever-evolving surroundings.
Similarly, businesses have a succession path and many things change when a new generation takes the driver’s seat. They bear the responsibility of carrying forward the old traditions and ideas, and their own hunger to do something remarkable.
Recently, I had a chance to meet two such gentlemen who are living between two generations. The predecessors started it all, experienced the hardships and lived through painful times. They struggled and laboured for their hard-earned success. They were the generation full of dedication and virtue-the followers of traditions and now, the stalwarts of business corridors.
The two gentlemen have nothing less than genuine respect and gratitude for those who came before them. Additionally, they’re also viewing the other part of the spectrum- the more casual Millennials. People who have it all, but care for none; they, who are aware of a lot more than they should be, yet remain detached from their responsibilities. They have many pursuits, but following customs might not be a priority for them. They might have new ideas, too; maybe starting something new or just travelling the world. (YOLO, right?)
They might care more about saving the planet than continuing family traditions. The youth- the Millennials or the gen Z- do not care about nation, religion and family just yet.
For some time now, I’ve been thinking about the people between these two adamant and somewhat stubborn generations. They’re the ones in the driver’s seat right now, who have ownership of the clan. (Kaleen Bhaiya of Mirzapur, Mukesh Ambani of Reliance, or the two gentlemen next to me- we are all in the same boat.)
Their present time is amazing. They are successful and have done enough for the family name. They’ve earned the fortune for future generations, maintained the social structure well, and lived life the way it should be lived.
But, they are struggling with what is next.
The way businesses are managed is changing rapidly. After the next decade, we might see a completely new mode of doing things. The name, the brand, and the years of hard work- everything is at stake again.
This time, business owners don’t even know the rules of the game. They are yet to figure out the digital way of business. They have tried to adapt multiple times either by involving a family friend or a neighbour to oversee the technological aspect of their businesses. Sadly, it is not enough.
There is a lot to be done, and even more to plan. The dilemma, however, still stands: Who are they doing this for? Is the next generation willing to help them? Will they want to carry the family traditions forward? The answers to these questions would define the success and longevity of their life’s work.
In a lot of businesses, especially in tier 2 and 3 cities, this is a painful story. From big industrialists and factory owners to shopkeepers, everyone is afraid of being the last generation in their business.
In light of this, it becomes more significant than ever to discuss what business succession should look like in the modern era. It is clear that the older generation’s views towards business management are not feasible in a world that is so heavily dependent on digitization and technology. However, it would be equally imprudent to dismiss the wisdom of the forerunners, who have witnessed the highs and lows of business.
The need of the hour is an integrated approach towards business, which ensures that neither generation’s notions are ignored, while also minimizing the inevitable intergenerational friction. Master Insiders is one such organisation, where we make it our mission to assist you in grooming new leaders for your business until you can take a back seat, comfortable in the knowledge that you’ve put your trust in capable hands. We help you make action plans, identify future leaders, and optimize your business’ growth potential.