WOMEN ON TOP

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Women seem to do better for their businesses as corporate heads, being more inclusive and customer friendly, which is why Radhika Piramal, Isha Ambani, Roshni Nadar and others are leading from the front

ALAM SRINIVAS

ALAM SRINIVAS

Alam Srinivas is a business journalist with nearly three decades behind him working for The Times of India, India Today, Outlook Financial Express and Business Today. He is the author of Cricket Czars: Two Men Who Changed the Gentleman’s Game

Four decisions, two of which were directly connected, and two indirectly, with one of the largest Indian business family, can unravel what has happened in the boardrooms of family-owned groups. They prove the changing gender equation in the traditional, conservative and trading-manufacturing families across the country. They also indicate the rising women power in business. Years before his death in 2008, KK Birla, who owned a conglomerate comprising sugar, textiles, and media, anointed his three daughters as his successors. It was a controversial, and a rare decision for a Marwari family.

KK’s brothers were peeved; they felt that these businesses, which were essentially built with the collective corpus of the family, would go away from their grip as the sons-in-law would finally and inevitably grab their ownership. This was an anathema as per the Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) rules, under which family businesses remained within it and went to the male heirs.

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