Interview with Nandini Varshney, Research Fellow, Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India.
Keywords: Entrepreneurship, family business, innovation, knowledge management, research.
Please introduce yourself
My Name is Nandini Varshney. I’m a Research scholar at the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Ahmedabad. I’m also a member of my Family Business.
What has been your experience of family business?
I have great experience working in my family business. My family business is of manufacturing Readymade Garments. As in my Family Business, I have a lot of practical Exposure, risk-taking ability, and social networks, which are an integral part of any business. The best thing is that I’ve indulged in my family business since childhood, and I’m a part of the phenomenon. Working with family and being involved in strategic decision-making is a great pleasure, which always helps me develop my skills and expertise, and handling different issues gives me a great experience.
How did you become interested in research and studying for a PhD?
I became interested in the research as there are interesting questions that I want to research in India, which always came to my mind while I was indulging in the family business like Family Business succession, family dynamics, Family Business professionalization, etc. And this makes me eager to pursue my Ph.D. in an Entrepreneurship college. Being involved in a phenomenon and doing research is most interesting as the researcher has both practical and theoretical knowledge, which will give more clarity in the outcome and that will make things more interesting.
What are the main topics of investigation in your PhD?
The main topic of my research is Family Business succession in India and knowledge management and innovation in Indian Family Businesses. And further, I usually explore areas like family dynamics, family business governance, and family business professionalization.
Picture Credit: Unsplash
Can you give an example of how your research will produce recommendations that could be used by a family business in India?
My research will give directions to various family businesses in India. As they will get multiple help in grooming their successors so that they can sustain themselves in the market. And they will get to know various factors hindering succession because the Family Business Institute (2014) states that only 30% of family businesses are sustained to the second generation, and only 12% of the business remains in the third generation. There are only 3% chances of survival in the fourth generation and beyond.
What is your career ambition? Is it to continue to combine academia and family business?
My career aspiration is to combine academia and my family business. Learning never ends, and sharing knowledge with entrepreneurship and family business students will be another great experience for me. This will be a great benefit from my research and practical experience to students.
What advice do you have for a student in Ahmedabad who is thinking of one day starting their own business?
Ahmedabad is a hub of business in India. Any student planning to open their business must explore the area of their business and research to identify multiple opportunities at a time and exploit them. Innovation is one of the essential elements in the business to become more entrepreneurial and increase its survivability in the market. The students must be risk-taking and must be aware of the latest trends and technology in their area so that they can take benefit from early adaptability.