SPJIMR’s Centre for Family Business & Entrepreneurship (CFBE) co-hosted the STEP Project Global Consortium (SPGC) Conversation Series for 2023-2024. The inaugural session featured eminent experts Prof. Alfredo De Massis, Professor, Entrepreneurship and Family Business, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (Italy) and Mr. Harsh Mariwala, Chairman, Marico Limited, in discussion with Prof. Tulsi Jayakumar, Executive Director CFBE. The theme for the 2023-2024 edition of SPGC Conversation Series was “Responsible innovation among family businesses.”
Prof. Tulsi Jayakumar laid out the context for examining responsible innovations among family-managed businesses. She stated that responsible innovations involved not only anticipating unintended consequences, questions, ethical dilemmas, and social transformations but also reflecting on intended outcomes. She emphasised that responsibility is an ongoing process, responsive to new and unexpected insights and events.
Prof. Alfredo De Massis discussed the need for family-managed businesses to adopt socially-centred goals in addition to financial and SEW (socio-emotional wealth) goals. He highlighted the role of family-managed businesses in championing responsible innovations, with owners playing a key role in shaping family business values and innovations.
Mr. Harsh Mariwala, the keynote practitioner speaker, emphasised that innovation occurs through dialogue. Drawing from Marico’s experience in fostering a culture of innovation, he underscored the significance of nurturing talent within family-managed businesses to establish a continuous innovation cycle. He noted that family firm leaders must endorse experimentation and eliminate the fear of failure to drive innovation successfully.
The series witnessed active participation from attending researchers and students, including SPJIMR Dean Varun Nagaraj and the CFBE team. SPJIMR is an affiliate of the internationally recognised Stichting STEP Project Global Consortium (SPGC). It is a global applied research initiative that explores business practices within family-managed businesses to generate solutions that have immediate application for family business leaders.