Upon completion of this case study analysis, the course audience is expected to achieve four learning outcomes. In particular, students should be able to conduct a comprehensive organizational diagnosis to uncover the peculiarities of managing a family business; analyze the specific challenges faced by family-owned enterprises in the context of emerging markets; evaluate the succession management practices in family organizations and design a profile of a successful successor; assess the effectiveness of managerial decision-making and provide recommendations for securing the sustainability of a family firm.
This case study unveils the tumultuous story of Vishwanath Shetty, an ambitious entrepreneur who transformed his small venture into a profitable family business with operations in Middle East, Asia and Africa. Since the early establishment of Qontrac International in 1989, he relied on the ownership and management participation of several members of his and his wife’s families. Over the years, Vishwanath was successful in pursuing a strategy of continuous growth and geographic diversification by taking advantage of the business opportunities in several regions and opening up branches in Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Ghana and India. Yet, almost three decades after its launch, the company was confronted with a number of family, growth and succession management challenges that endangered its survival in the long run. The Shetty family experienced a serious rift due to financial reasons, the performance of the two branches managed by siblings declined, and the old firm structure and management style did not fit well with the newly enlarged and geographically dispersed Qontrac International. To deal with these organizational issues, Vishwanath was faced with an additional dilemma of securing the support of a suitable intra-family candidate who could join the family business and become his successor. By describing the strategic events and family dynamics that shaped the evolution of Qontrac International over time, the case provides an opportunity to assess the effectiveness of managerial decision-making in the context of family firms and provide viable recommendations for ensuring firm survival and longevity.
Complexity academic level
Upper-level undergraduate audience Graduate audience (in Master of Global Entrepreneurial Management program).
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Disclaimer: This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision making. The author/s may have disguised names; financial and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.
D’Costa, D., Bodolica, V. and Spraggon, M. (2018), "In the uncertain world of Qontrac International: navigating through family, growth and succession management challenges", Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, Vol. 8 No. 4. https://doi.org/10.1108/EEMCS-06-2018-0153
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