Exploring Transgenerational Entrepreneurship in Family Firms
Edited by Kevin Au, Justin B. Craig and K. Ramachandran
Chapter 12: The Shakti Group: Keeping the Entrepreneurial Spirit Alive in the Second Generation
Kavil Ramachandran The Shakti Group traces its origins to India’s independence in 1947, when the founder of the company along with his family migrated from Lahore, Pakistan to Hyderabad in South India to start a new life. Naresh, the second of three sons, took the lead in exploring a number of different entrepreneurial opportunities before he hit on the idea of manufacturing cooking masalas (spice mixes) and pickles. This business, which he ran with his two brothers, grew at a steady pace for many years, and after the entry of the second generation into the business, its growth multiplied several fold. However, conflicts within the family eventually led to a split and resulted in the closure of the factory and a freeze on the trademark. This proved to be a temporary setback and Naresh quickly revived the company under a new avatar – Shakti Products (Pvt.) Ltd. His three sons took the lead and ventured into new areas, while continuing to grow the traditional business. The Shakti Group case demonstrates the hunger of an entrepreneurial family to grow in spite of a family division. Moreover, members of the second generation proved themselves to be entrepreneurial managers by identifying and pursuing emerging opportunities while building the traditional business. BACKGROUND Naresh moved to Hyderabad in 1947 with his two brothers, parents and several close relatives when he was 12 years old, a part of the great wave of migration that was sparked by India’s independence and partition. The extended family had 13 members....
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