Don’t force children to take over a family business: SK Munjal


As they gathered in the auditorium for the first time in almost two years, young entrepreneurs and students from the Indian School of Business (ISB) were able to hear from Sunil Kant Munjal, the president of Hero Enterprise, what that they don’t teach in the school.

Coming from one of the oldest family business conglomerates in the country, Munjal said people are an organization’s most valuable asset.

“It is very important to ensure that everyone’s personal concerns are taken into account. If something bad happens to an associate, someone from upper management will actually be sent,” he says.

Munjal was at ISB on Friday for a discussion on his book “The Making of Hero,” a story that chronicles the birth and rise of Hero Enterprise, founded by four brothers who moved to India during partition.

“The only asset that continues to appreciate over time, through experience, learning and mistakes. Everything else we put in place depreciates,” he points out.

Drawing on examples from the group, he says generational change in leadership should not happen through preaching. “People learn values ​​from actions rather than orders. They learn from your humility, your integrity, your actions with righteous aggression,” he says.

‘Don’t force’

Responding to a question from an entrepreneur, he tells family businesses not to force their children to join the business if they are not interested.

“They should be allowed to pursue their interests. We should not control the future of our children and grandchildren,” he advises.

“You have to demonstrate value or show them the future potential of the company, to encourage them to work in the company,” he says.

“You have to constantly encourage people and let them try to do better. Well, when you experiment so much, not everything will often work out. We used to recognize people who failed in their attempts on an equal footing with those who succeeded,” he says.

“Because the recognition was not for the result but for the attempts to do better”, he underlines.


Advising students to opt for collaborations, he says: None of us have a monopoly on brilliant ideas. It can come from anywhere. We have therefore established many partnerships with many companies.

Citing the example of the association with Honda, he says that his company has even partnered with the Swiss company for a single machine. “We created a joint venture with this company for a single machine,” he explains.

“Be bold, take risks”

Citing the example of his father, he said that when the government gave them a license to make bicycles, he refused to take it. “He said he would only take it if the restriction on the number of vehicles he can produce is removed,” Munjal said.

“We were very deliberate in what we did all the time. You have to be willing to take risks,” he said.

Regarding disruptive technologies, he said that while disruptions are welcome, they should not be disruptive disruptions.

Published on

March 05, 2022


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