When The MBA Is In The Family Business


Family businesses used to thrive for generations with smooth succession from father or mother to son or daughter, with the children learning the ropes by working for the company under the close scrutiny and guidance of the elders.

This scenario is undergoing changes to meet present-day business demands in a globalised world. The young managers are increasingly flocking to Business schools to acquire more knowledge in the form of an MBA degree. The Schools, on their part, have started offering family business as a specialisation for the MBA.

Family Business MBA Programs in India

The Indian School of Business (ISB) offers a 15-month Post Graduate Program in Management for Family Business (PGP MFAB) with the fee pegged at Rs 37,35,000. IIM Bangalore’s Management Program for Entrepreneurs and Family Businesses (MPEFB) is shorter at 10 Months. The fee is Rs 5,53,000.

PGDM–Family Managed Business (PGDM–FMB) at Prin L.N Welingkar Institute Of Management Development & Research, Mumbai is an 11-month program with a fee of Rs 7,00,000. SP Jain School of Global Management’s Global Family Managed Business (Global FMB) is a 12-month program with the fee at Rs 9,61,000.

The aim is to bridge the gap within generations to make it more adaptive, covering topics like family governance, succession and ownership

Among the schools offering 24-month-long programs are SPJIMR, Mumbai’s Post Graduate Program in Family Managed Business (PGP-FMB) with a fee of Rs 11,05,000, The School of Business Management, NMIMS Mumbai’s MBA- Entrepreneurship & Family Business with a fee of Rs 9,06,000 (Under revision), SIBM Pune’s MBA (Innovation & Entrepreneurship) with a fee of Rs 13,20,000.

The Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Ahmedabad offers the Post Graduate Diploma in Management-Business Entrepreneurship (PGDM-BE) with a fee of Rs 5,33,400. The Institute of Management, NIRMA University, Ahmedabad has an MBA (Family Business & Entrepreneurship) with a fee of Rs 3,81,000 and Amity Business School Mumbai’s MBA-Family Business with a fee of Rs 7,44,000.

How’s Family Business MBA Different?

How is a Family Business MBA different from other MBA programs? Since the participants are already involved in the family business concern, they do not have to look for a job. Thus, everything is taught from only a business point of view, Urvashi Bihani, who completed an MBA in Family Business from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) is quoted as saying in an article in Forbes India. She is the fourth generation of a family that runs the Bihani Education Trust in Rajasthan.

For others like Harshvardhan Pasari, a student of SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), after joining the program, his involvement in the family’s mattress family has gone up to full-time eight hours a day.

SP Jain’s program allows him the flexibility as the students need to attend college for only seven days in a month for 13 months. They have to create a project report and submit it online in the 15th month for which they receive marks. The final report at the end of 18 months is put in front of a panel of judges.

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Similarly, at ISB, students need to attend classes once a week every six weeks. For the other five weeks, they are to help the family in the business.

The students can choose electives to specialise in retail, real estate, manufacturing and services, based on their business. The college also facilitates internal hiring, where post-graduates from the FMB course can hire participants from other courses. Thus, the program facilitates networking.

Pasari has already roped in five students who would become suppliers of his mattresses. The program also offers participants gain insights into other businesses through group projects.

Most of the institutes have faculty with industry and multinational work experience. They are able to help the students in overcoming challenges.

Meanwhile, the new ideas and practices that the freshly minted MBAs bring into the family firms are often challenged by the elders. The ideas are closely scrutinised and sometimes rejected.

In order to overcome such resistance, some of the institutes like the ISB offer a specialised training programme that is complimentary for one more member of the family. The aim is to bridge the gap within generations to make it more adaptive, covering topics like family governance, succession and ownership. (Image Source:flicker.com

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