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February 1, 2002

Philanthropy plays a large role in the lives of many family businesses. Through their foundation’s schools and hospitals, the Murugappa family has demonstrated their commitment to Indian society

Why do business-owning families engage in philanthropic activities, and why do such activities take on such importance? When the Murugappa family accepted the IMD Distinguished Family Business Award at the gala dinner celebration in Rome in October 2001, fourth generation Mr Murugu explained:

February 1, 2002

2001 IMD award winners, the Murugappa Group, have drawn upon their business acumen, heritage and faith in the family system to help them successfully adapt to change

The Murugappa Group, headquartered in Chennai (Madras), India has grown from humble beginnings to become a very important conglomerate. The company started as the dream of a driven entrepreneur in Burma in the early 1900s. Today it boasts revenues of US$850 million and employs 22, 500 people in its 27 business units. The company is presently undergoing a major change, as it restructures its family governance system. It realises that change is necessary if they want to continue to compete in the world marketplace.

February 1, 2002

Serial entrepreneur Richard Owens is Chairman of ROI Pty Ltd (the Owens family's property development business) and Managing Director of Oakvale Wines Pty Ltd, which includes vineyards and a winery situated in the Hunter Valley district of Australia. He settled into the wine business having sold his successful supermarket chain. Richard is married to Mary and has four children, who all work full- or part-time in the family business

Monday morning starts with measuring the size of a loading dock in one of the warehouses where we store wine. I wanted to prove to my staffthat there was a way to transport wine in and out of the warehouse without incurring the cost of a fork lift truck. The result? It is not possible and I will have to incur the cost. Not a good start. My staff are right and I'm wrong.

February 1, 2002

Despite changing realities of the new economy, a group of companies – ‘hidden champions’ – has stayed true to its core principles, with business characteristics similar to those of family-run businesses

The media hype associated with the trends of the new economy has shown how modern management principles may come and go. The rise and fall of 'dot-coms'have left many people wondering what future business trends and principles will be. Throughout the good and bad times of the changing realities in the 'new'economy, a group of companies has stayed true to its core principles: the hidden champions. Many of the characteristics of the hidden champions run parallel to those of family-run businesses. In fact, many of the hidden champions are exactly that – family-run.

January 1, 2002

The business of haute horlogerie is specialised and dominated by a small number of firms. Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Vice-President of Chopard, reveals how their family business has remained one of the leaders

When German jewellery- and watchmaker, Karl Scheufele, bought the small Chopard Swiss watchmaking firm in 1963, his intention was to develop a distinctive brand, while maintaining a tight control over the production process.

January 1, 2002

The Zegna Group, winners of the IMD Distinguished Family Business Award 2000, have successfully redefined and adapted their textile and menswear business to the changing world—never losing sight of the legacy of its founder

The beginnings of the Ermenegildo Zegna Group as a family business can be traced back to the birth of Angelo Zegna in 1859 in the northwestern part of Italy known as Piedmont. Born the fourth child of a farmer, Angelo first worked as a watchmaker. He later became a weaver, which is not surprising, since wool-making and weaving was the most common industry in this isolated and impoverished mountainous area.

January 1, 2002

Dr Alberto Falck talks to Families in Business about his involvement with the Italian family business organisation, AIdAF

Family businesses are at the heart of the Italian economy, and one of the sector's leading lights, Dr Alberto Falck, will have a prominent role at this year's Family Business Network conference in Rome.

January 1, 2002

The Merloni family business, with its roots in traditional family values, is at the leading edge of technology – providing the next generation of high-tech appliances to European consumers

Millions of European consumers know the top brands of Ariston and Indesit, but fewer realise that behind those household names is a family business whose history epitomises the sector and its most traditional values.

Vittorio Merloni, head of Merloni Elettrodomestici, harks back to the simple philosophy of his father Aristide, who founded the original company back in the 1930s. "My father loved to say that in every business venture, success has no value if it lacks involvement in social progress, "he recalls.

January 1, 2002

Barbara Murray, Editor of Families in Business interviews Alexander Scott and Grant Gordon, respectively Founding Chairman and Director General of the Institute for Family Business (UK). The new organisation will also operate as the UK chapter of the Family Business Network

Barbara Murray (BM): Why have you established the Institute for Family Business (UK)?

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