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While pursuing a Ph.D. in family businesses and business systems from the British University in Dubai, Dr. Adil Alzarooni studied the evolution and application of various family business models and the specific challenges they face.
In his book, ‘Sustaining Family Businesses – The Essentials‘, Alzarooni offers an evidence-based, pragmatic approach to building on the legacy of the first generation. By providing practical tools, he aims to assist family firms with embracing sustainable business strategies, while also taking care of the planet and its people.
In the interview, Alzarooni says that businesses need to find their “oxygen points,” a term he coined to capture the concept of opportunity for growth in the business. It may not always come from within the family structure, though. Companies need to be open-minded about seeking contributions from external third-party sources to ensure their stability and growth, he says.
To forge a successful partnership, Alzarooni recommends focusing on finding people who have a similar value system.
“Family-owned enterprises don’t necessarily have the drive to maximize profits at any cost and may make certain decisions that help strengthen their social position or positively impact the wider community,” he says.
In this scenario, the selected external partner can not focus only on commercial gains or chasing dividends.
“During times of stress and market volatility, you might feel tempted to sell off some of your investments but sometimes you can reap greater rewards if you wait for the markets to bounce back,” Alzarooni says. “Always take a step back and assess the situation instead of making any hasty decisions.”