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Are you working for a family run business?

In India, most companies and a range of smaller businesses continue to be the owner or promoter driven. Some have direct influencers in the form of founding members, such as Infosys. A large number of companies are family run. We list down the pros and cons of working in a family run business.

PROS 

Opportunity

In a family run business, you will enjoy a greater variety of roles which are unrestricted by past experience. As the business grows, there is a preference for stable employees and if you have it in you, you can become the talent manager as well as a CFO.

Nurture 

Your relationship with long term employees will expand and such environment could be comforting as well as energizing. You are likely to enjoy warmer relationships with the colleagues.

Commitment

Your employers are deeply committed to make the business work. They will do anything to keep the business running. You can remain rest assured that the company will not shut down overnight nor will you be fired if there is a rough period.

Crisis

If there is anything wrong in your personal life, you will be supported at the family firm. You can take a day off or skip a meeting; you will not be put under a watch.

Security

You have been hired in the family business for long term. Your loyalty will be reciprocated and you have a job for life if you want one. A role at the family run business reduces your career risk.

CONS 

Internal Politics

In a family run business, internal battles may not make sense to a professional. Inter personal relationship between the family members could turn into a battleground. This could have an impact on the business as well as your personal relationships.

Promotions 

In family run businesses, the aim is to groom the family members for future leadership roles. This means your boss could be an inexperienced family member. This could be disconcerting but it is also an opportunity to mentor a future leader.

Generation gap

This is the toughest phase in the business. When one generation is transitioning power to the next, the older generation is rarely willing to cut ties and continue to weigh in. This leads to taking sides and hampers the growth of professionals.  

Discipline 

With many family members working in the same company, professional discipline could be a casualty. You may find it difficult to fire a family member or reduce the bonus of a non performing member.


When working in a family run business, you should know when to stay in and when to move out. Relationships and business are equally important for a family, when you have to choose between the two, make sure that you choose the right option.

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