Doing M&A in India requires knowledge of the family way

By Santosh Pai and Vikas Kumar, D.H. Law Associates

According to some estimates, almost 90% of businesses in India are family owned. These are also often family managed. Such an overlap between ownership and management roles fuels the popular misconception that family businesses are tainted by a lack of professionalism, nepotism and mismanagement. However, in reality, family businesses worldwide often outperform non-family-owned businesses.

Most Indian family businesses are known to be flexible, agile and frugal. They are dependable and relationship-oriented, since their family reputations are at stake. They are highly efficient, as they make do with limited resources and are averse to risks. More importantly they have a vigilant management style, which allows them to identify and solve problems at an early stage.

Despite this, from a legal perspective, acquiring control over a family-owned business in India is fraught with challenges.

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Santosh Pai and Vikas Kumar are partners at D H Law Associates. D H Law Associates is the only full-service Indian law firm with an active China practice since 2010

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