FICCI FLO Celebrates 40 Years with a Session on Governance Challenges Faced by Women in Family Businesses

Coimbatore Chapter of FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) celebrated its 40th anniversary with a special session on governance by women in family-run businesses. The event, organized by Rama Rajasekaran, Chairperson of FLO (FICCI Ladies Organization) Coimbatore, aimed to address the challenges faced by women in such businesses. The session began with a Welcome Address by Rama Rajasekaran, followed by introductions of the esteemed guests, V. Ramakrishnan, Founder & Managing Director of Organisation Development Pte Ltd., Singapore, and Prashanth Subramanian, Co-Founder & Director of India Private Limited.

During his address, Prashanth Subramanian highlighted the extra effort women have to put in to achieve the same level of success as men, stating that women often have to work twice as hard. He discussed two orientations for achieving goals: promotional orientation, which focuses on positivity and accomplishments, and preventive orientation, which focuses on minimizing losses and risks. He highlighted a study conducted on start-up funding in North America, which revealed inherent bias against women entrepreneurs. The questions posed to male entrepreneurs were more promotion-oriented, while those posed to female entrepreneurs were more prevention-oriented, reflecting a gender bias in perceptions. Subramanian emphasized the need for women to be treated equally and not given special treatment.

In his address, Ramakrishnan emphasized the important role women can and should play in family businesses, leveraging their innate nurturing abilities and their instinct to seek balance and harmony. He discussed various models such as strategic vs. operational and highlighted the importance of proactive engagement with customers. Ramakrishnan emphasized that general management should not be considered hereditary and that board structure and governance depend on individual competency. He stressed that good governance facilitates growth and renewal, but being a successful director requires dedicated effort, with around 7-10 meetings and approximately 21 days a year dedicated to board responsibilities. He emphasized the significance of measurement and understanding the business environment for creating value. Ramakrishnan also mentioned that family businesses contribute two-thirds of the global GDP and thrive in protected economies due to network diversification. He warned against irresponsible governance, stressing the importance of accountability for business owners.