Chatterjis & Sons

News International recently faced the challenge that affects almost all family-owned businesses, albeit on a global scale, namely one of the future of the empire and how to deal with incompetent sons.  Although Rupert Murdoch is still respected by independent shareholders in News International his sons and heirs-in-waiting are less so having narrowly escaped opposition to them retaining their positions.  Daddy made sure they were re-elected but how sad to not be able to have survived without parental intervention, it makes News International seem like a nursery.

I once read an article about United Colours of Benetton, another family owned business, where family members have to apply for a job in the company and have to prove themselves and this has been cited as one of their reasons of success.  Not handing over power without ability and experience has meant that they retain the best team possible.

My extended family is full of family owned businesses and I can say from my own experience that the next generation (particularly of sons) are not interested in taking over the helm of leadership and in many cases they couldn’t as they are simply not capable.  Sometimes there is so much sexism inherent in the power handover that it is infuriating.  I recently watched an episode of The Hotel Inspector following the misfortune of a Greek/Cypriot family-run hotel.  The incompetent bumbling eldest son had inherited the business and was In Charge No Matter What Or Else much to the detriment of the business.  I’m sure you all know of such cases in our culture too…


3 Comments to “Chatterjis & Sons”

  1. Most family businesses don’t last the next gen .. Benetton being a notable exception!

    I’m interested about the hotel you mention. did the heir have any sisters?

  2. VB, yes there were two sisters in the Greek/Cypriot family who were younger but only by a year or two but there was never any discussion that the brother may not be the best to take over the running of the hotel. He seemed to be more interested and talented in the restaurant but the pressure for him to be The Boss was way out of his league.

  3. That is just typical! My brother just messed around in uni, didn’t graduate and although he is 35 he stillgets money off my parents who pay his mortgage. He apparently “works” is the family business but this involves getting up at 11 and hanging around with his friends! Nice work if you can get it!

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