A recently released promo by Sony SAB for their new show ‘Vanshaj’ featuring a young girl who stakes a claim to a leadership position in her family business set the ball rolling on an interesting point to ponder. The tradition of passing down the reins of the family enterprise primarily to male heirs is a practice deeply ingrained in Indian family businesses which has long been observed.
However, in today’s era it is important to raise questions about gender equality even in the realm of family inheritance. In fact if we were to reflect on statistics, according to a survey conducted by PwC in 2019, in 58% of the family businesses in India which have the next generation working in the business, there are no women. But why is it that gender has been allowed to trump capability in the selection of successors for family businesses in India so far?
Legacy, Capability, or Gender – The Dilemma of Succession
The phenomenon of male heirs inheriting family businesses in India can be attributed to a combination of social factors. Historically, patriarchy has played a significant role in shaping societal norms and expectations, and sons have been favoured in matters of inheritance, power, and preserving the family name as the daughter moves to her marital family and responsibilities post marriage.
While the traditional emphasis on maintaining the family name and lineage holds significance, today people are also raising questions on why shouldn’t capability also be given a chance when selecting the successor for family businesses, a pertinent discussion that the story of Vanshaj rakes. The upcoming family drama poses a compelling and thought-provoking question to its viewers: Is it indeed legacy or capability that decides who takes over a business?
Shifting Mindsets – Encouraging Female Participation
It is often observed the exclusion of women from family business succession not only limits their professional growth but also overlooks their valuable contributions. In addition to business acumen, leadership qualities, women bring their own softer approach that can help Indian businesses flourish.
Fortunately, winds of change are starting to blow in the Indian family business landscape. The role of women in Indian business houses is changing and several progressive families have recognized the potential of their female heirs and have entrusted them with leadership roles.
These trailblazing examples serve as powerful inspiration, challenging societal norms and providing a platform for future generations of women to make their mark in the family business domain. In a highly competitive business landscape, the survival and growth of a family enterprise depend on the abilities and skills of the individual entrusted with its leadership, irrespective of their gender.
Considering the influential role of television in shaping opinions, it is interesting to see Sony SAB as a brand take a progressive stand and open up stories that can start conversations and dialogues on the role of where society needs to progress. While the thought-provoking promo gives a glimpse of what Vanshaj has to offer. It will be interesting to see this journey and the hope it can instil.
Stay tuned to this space for more on Sony SAB’s Vanshaj, which will hit your television screens on 12th June, airing Monday to Saturday at 10 pm!