The subject areas are family-owned business, entrepreneurship and strategic management.
The target audiences for the case study are BBA and MBA students and management trainees who are interested in learning about family-owned business and the problems faced by them when generations change. This case can be used to teach concepts in family-owned business and strategic management courses in the context of emerging markets. The case also introduces the problems faced by a traditionally operating organization which has to change to survive in the market. The case can be used to teach senior management teams participating in executive education programs on how problems arise in family-owned business. To successfully work with this case study, students need to have the basic theoretical understanding of family-owned business.
Sree Subramania Ayurvedic Nursing home (SSANH), one of the most reputed Ayurvedic treatment centers in Kozhikode, Kerala in India, was converted into its present form in 1974 from Thekkayil Vaidyasala by Thekkayil Rajaratnam Vydiar. The latest addition to this family run nursing home is Dr Sananad Ratnam, who in continuity of his family tradition studied Ayurveda. Dr Sanand wanted to rethink the positioning of the 400-year-old family business system with an objective to increase the number of people served by SSANH. He is armed with ambitious plans to expand SSANH and increase the volume of patients served. Dr Sanand’s father, the second partner of SSANH, was not quite supportive of this idea. His father felt that the increase in scale without compromise in quality was impossible in Ayurveda. Dr Sanand felt handicapped with problems such as lack of marketing strategies, lack of standard managerial procedures, lack of innovation in processes and, more importantly, conflicting ideologies between father and son in the family-owned business. To address these problems, Dr Sanand has recently hired the services of a consulting firm. This case highlights how SSANH, in spite of being in an advantageous position, is unable to exploit its full potential. Further explaining the different ways in which different generations perceive business, this case invites the attention to the dilemma: Should the business proceed with its expansion plan? If it decides to expand, how it should convince the previous generation of the family that the expansion plan accommodates their concerns.
Expected learning outcomes
After completion of this case, students would be able to: gain a perspective on the problems faced by a family-owned business which has successfully survived for decades; understand how a family-owned business functions differently from other business models; evaluate different ways in which the organization can look to solve the dilemma by considering the different stakeholders in question; and apply the result of the literature on family-owned businesses to understand the dynamics of business of this specific setting, i.e. one that has a rich heritage, is in an emerging economy and is a family-owned business.
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CSS 3: Entrepreneurship.
Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision-making. The authors may have disguised names and financial and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.
Sai Shiva Jayanth, R., Narayanamurthy, G., Srivastava, A. and Krishna Velmajala, V. (2018), "Contrasting ideologies between generations in Sree Subramania Ayurvedic Nursing Home – a 400 year old family owned organization", Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, Vol. 8 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/EEMCS-06-2017-0144Download as .RIS
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