28. Describe a family business
- What is the business What
type of customers How you know it
- What product it sells Why do you like it
I belong to Bathinda and it is the hub of small scale industry. There are many spare part industries run by families.
My friend Aman’s father runs an industry by the name of Akal Industries. I can say that it is a successful business because I have seen it grow to great heights in the past few years. His father, Jatinder Singh and his uncle, Parminder Singh are partners in this business. One brother looks after the sales and the other looks after the manufacturing section. Four years ago Aman’s cousin, Inderpal joined them and now Aman is planning to join them after completing his course in Business Management. This business was started by Aman’s grandfather with a handful of workers about 50 years ago but now they have 300 people working for them round the clock. They manufacture and supply auto spare parts to various countries like Germany, France, US and Canada.
They have a very good rapport with their workers and whenever they fulfil big orders, they give bonus to them.
Aman tells me that his mother and aunt look after the needs of the workers’ families from time to time. They make them feel part of their family and that is why they have never faced shortage of labour. Aman tells me that if any worker is absent or not well, his father takes his place and does not let the work suffer. They also give a lot of emphasis on quality and that is why their products are in great demand in Germany and France. Although Aman’s family is very rich, they are very humble and magnanimous. His father keeps donating for charity on special occasions. So, this is the successful family business that I know of.
Part 3 – Follow Up Questions
- Do you think governments should regulate exports?
Yes, of course. Regulation is very essential. The quality of goods to be exported should be checked, otherwise it may ruin the reputation of the exporting country.
- Do you think globalization is a positive development?
Yes, globalization is a positive development. It has not only brought people closer, but also helped them prosper by providing more opportunities to travel, study, and work anywhere. This has also led to greater exposure to other cultures, making people more broadminded and accepting. Also, trade with other countries has become easier.
- How to be a successful businessman in your country?
The government in India is encouraging selfemployment. However, to be a successful businessman/woman, one needs to have good business management skills and also, leadership skills. Hard work, determination, dedication, perseverance, patience are some of the traits that a person should have. Besides these skills and qualities, market demand and consistency in providing good quality products and service can make any business successful.
- Do people in your country like to work for big companies or small companies?
I think that it is a matter of personal preference, as both the big and the small companies have their benefits and drawbacks. So people choose an organization according to their interests, career aspirations, circumstances, accessibility, and many more such factors.
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of having relatives in a family business?
Advantages It keeps the family together. Family members understand each other better. Maximum efficiency is ensured. They are more committed than outsiders. Most family members have good informal internal training. This is because such businesses are usually passed down the family..
Disadvantages Misunderstandings at home could also be brought to the office and the family expenses could be deducted from the business. Some of the family members might become too comfortable knowing that their own family is working, and as a result there may not be proper planning and budgeting which may result in misunderstandings later on. Family businesses also tend to appoint family members even if they lack training or experience. Outsiders might have ideas and skills that can be useful to the family business but their ideas won’t be incorporated because they are outsiders. There can be conflicts among the family members, which may result in total collapse of the business at times.
- Are men and women equally good at running a business?
There are no gender differences nowadays. It is a matter of personal aptitude. As more and more girls are opting for management courses, they are successfully entering the world of business. We have many examples, such as Kiran Majumdar, who is the CEO of Biocon company.
- Is market research important for export business?
Yes, definitely. Market research is important for any business and not just for export business. If China exports those products which are not in demand, then it will be out of business very soon. Even if we talk about small scale business, without adequate market research nothing will sell properly. For example in a poor country, branded showrooms will not survive.
- Is it important to be competitive and why?
Yes, it is very important to be competitive nowadays. We belong to an era of competition. Today, we are not competing with the person nextdoor or in the same town or country. We are competing with the people of a global village.
- In business, do companies need to be competitive?
Yes, definitely. Business is all about competition. If you don’t compete how can you run a business? You have to sell your products and for that you have to compete with your rivals. Otherwise they will succeed and you will lose.
- Should companies promote competition and why?
Yes, surely. Companies should promote competition because if they don’t compete how can they run a business? They have to sell their products and for that they have to compete with their rivals. Otherwise they will fail and others will succeed. However, they should promote healthy competition and should not use unethical means to compete.
- What challenges and difficulties people face when they try to have a successful small business?
They have to do proper market research and see if there is demand of their product or service. They also have to see if they will be getting competition from the international sector. For example, a bicycle manufacturer from India may not be able to compete with the cheaper and better looking bicycles from China. Then there are other formalities like government approvals etc.
- What should be the government’s’ role in how small businesses are run? Government should promote? Small businesses by providing subsidies to budding entrepreneurs. This way unemployment will be reduced. It should do careful and fair evaluation of the business plan of the person and help in all the ways it can. Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Make in India’ Campaign is a step in this direction.
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of small businesses compared to large companies? (Difference between big companies and small companies?)
There are many differences between big and small companies. To begin with, big companies offer bigger pay packages than small companies. Secondly, these companies give many perks and bonuses from time to time. These companies give benefits like health insurance and travel allowance. Another big advantage of big companies is that it is a status symbol to work in these companies. Furthermore, they provide opportunities to travel overseas. Moreover, in a big company hands on training is provided to all new workers.
On the other hand, in a small company, everybody knows everybody. You are not part of a big crowd as in a big company. If you do some good work, you are applauded for it.
If you open your own small business, you are your own boss. You decide your paycheck. The more you work, the more you earn. The disadvantage is that there is a lot of risk and in case you don’t do well, you can suffer a heavy financial loss.
- How can businesses benefit the community in which they are located?
Businesses can benefit in many ways. They can provide scope for many supporting businesses to flourish. For example, restaurants, hotels, and many more.
- What are the advantages of exports?
Exporting is one way of increasing your sales potential; it expands the “pie” that you earn money from, otherwise you are stuck trying to make money only out of the local market.
- What kinds of small businesses are most popular?
All types of small businesses are popular. My home town is the hub of small scale industry, such as motor parts. Jalandhar is famous for sports goods. Ludhiana is known as the Manchester of India because of small scale industry, especially the hosiery industry.
- Why do some people open their own business?
Some people open their own business because they want to be their own boss. They know they can grow big that way.
- What qualities does a small business owner need to have?
He should have the competitive spirit. Should have the ability to take risks. He should be hard working and know how to get work from his employees.
- Are there many big companies in your country?
Yes, there are. India is a fast developing country. There are many Indian companies, which are very big such as Tata, Mahindra, Godrej, Reliance, Videocon, Onida and so on. There are also many multinational giants which have opened branches in India, such as Samsung, LG, Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and so on.
- How can a small company grow big?
Small companies can do so in many ways. They can work hard, employ skilled workers, focus on quality and employ good marketing strategies.
- Should big companies donate more to charities?
Yes, they should. I believe that anyone who has enough should help the needy on humanitarian grounds. Many big companies help the NGOs and NPOs. This is a winwin situation for both. When they get publicity for their charity work, they are getting advertisement for free.
- Should big companies be punished more seriously if they break the law?
No, they should not. Law should be the same for all – big as well as small companies. Usually, big companies have big connections. So, they try to get away with their wrong doings. Punishment should be equally serious for all law offenders.