‘Legacy of family business is determined by emotional quotient that the family holds’
Pitch CMO Summit 3.0: Arjun Ranga, MD, Cycle Pure Agarbathies & Managing Partner, N Ranga Rao & Sons, delivered the keynote address
At the Pitch CMO Summit 3.0, Arjun Ranga, MD, Cycle Pure Agarbathies & Managing Partner, N. Ranga Rao & Sons, delivered the keynote address. He shared his thoughts on the topic- ‘Enduring Legacy: Essential Family Business Values’.
Ranga commenced the session by highlighting the challenges of running a third generation business. He said, “When I had to choose a subject to discuss today, I kept wondering, what is the greatest challenge that I face as a third generation entrepreneur? My grandfather started this business in 1948 and it was a real struggle in the way he set up the business. Coming into the next generation, my father and uncles built the business to what it is today with a solid foundation. I’ve been in the business now for 20 years and the biggest challenge for me is whether I’ll be able to handover to the next generation something better and something more than I’ve received, in terms of business values as well as legacy.”
Introducing NR group’s diversified businesses and its offerings, Ranga shared,“We are known as the NR group and we have diversified businesses. N Ranga Rao & Sons is the parent business that has the Cycle Agarbattis, Iris lifestyle & home fragrant products, air fresheners and car fresheners. Also there are the Om Shanthi spiritual products of kumkum, turmeric comb, and oil. We have a herbal extraction essential oil business, Nesso... they do floral extracts. NR foundation is what we are also proud of. It is our non-profit division, where we make a real impact in the society that we are living in.”
“It's the core purpose of the family business that binds the family values and the business together with meaningful achievements across multiple generations. If you go about and look at what we stand for as a business and as a family, you’ll see milestones that business and the family has achieved and that actually constitutes the legacy of the family. And it has to be documented, articulated and transmitted in the right way through proper storytelling, that’s how our legacy is always taken forward. It also represents both tangible and intangible assets that the family has accumulated over the years, it could be the financial, social impact that you made. But most importantly, the emotional value that a family bond brings.”
Highlighting the factors that determine legacy, Ranga stated that emotional value that a family brings makes an important part of legacy. “The legacy is determined by the emotional quotient that the family holds. I know the legacy that the generation before me had built on the word ‘Ranga family’ and the responsibilities with me, the emotional quotient to be taken forward to the next generation. Also, the legacy of a business or of a family is not just about looking back to what has been created, but it also gives us a guideline of what we can expect to achieve going forward, about how we treat our customers, or how we innovate as an organization. It also determines entrepreneurship within the organization. The legacy talks a lot about how we have actually leapfrogged through various stages of evolution of the family and also of the business. One of the critical aspects that I'm constantly thinking about is, how do I pass on more than what I received from the earlier generation. And legacy is a fundamental part of that because each family's legacy is unique, and there is no clear cut mantra for anybody to follow to pass on the legacy to the next generation, which encompasses business wealth, as well as the social and emotional quotient that you've built over the years,” he said.
Elaborating on the core values which he received from his earlier generations, Ranga explained, “ I have actually taken the legacy into tangible business ideas that can actually be implemented in the marketplace. And the core values that are handed down to me have been there for the 70 years of the business. They are: commitment to relationship with all stakeholders-- customers or vendors; relationship is the key. Differentiated offerings of products and services through constant innovation. Family business values with professional management. This means treat everybody like family, but become professional as soon as you can, and get professionals into your business.
Ethical and collaborative growth, which means grow but grow ethically and grow together. Transparency in all our operations and conduct. Transparency has been one of the key differentiators for us in our businesses. When I came back to the business in 2000, I could expand the business because we're a transparent, organized and ethical organization. So I could focus on growth, and building the business and building on our core competencies. So for me, transparency is a key aspect of our core values, and being socially responsible and sustainable. These are the core values that are handed down to me from the early generation. And I've been able to build on that.”
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