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FE MSME Business Conclave: How small businesses can transform from promoter-driven to professionally-run

Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: To drive professionalism in small businesses, panellists believed professional courses offered in India don’t align with the structure of SMEs.

The panel discussion on 'Transforming Your Business From a Promoter-driven to a Professionally-run Organisation' was moderated by TD Chandrasekhar, Partner at consultancy firm BAF Consultants. (Image: FE)
Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: All enterprises start small with a promoter on top responsible for setting up what the brand stands for, creating a healthy work culture, and most importantly driving professionalism into business. In India, a number of businesses in the MSME sector are family-owned or family-driven where in terms of succession planning, operations are simply handed over to the next generation during or after their education. However, experts at MSME Business Conclave explained where small businesses go wrong in terms of turning them into professionally-driven organisations. 

The delegation of roles and responsibilities, according to panellists in a panel discussion on the subject ‘Transforming Your Business From a Promoter-driven to a Professionally-run Organisation’ on Day 2 of the conclave, is among the most critical components for promoters to take a step back from their role of being omnipresent in every business function. H S Cheema, Founder of Punjab-based Cheema Boilers, a prominent engineering solutions company manufacturing boilers for all industries and also supplying to large enterprises like Reliance said once the business grows beyond Rs 200 crore or Rs 250 crore turnover, it becomes very difficult for a promoter to manage all by himself.


“Businesses don’t delegate responsibilities and hence they don’t progress. So, delegation is a must,” said Cheema. Started in 1990 with Rs 10,000, Cheema Boilers currently is a Rs 500 crore turnover enterprise managed by a team of professionals who aren’t Cheema’s family members. 

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“You need to bring in players who could take up the responsibility. Businesses go wrong when they get relatives into business. But professionals that they bring in, need to be treated very carefully. For instance, in our business, we have our head of departments who have stayed with us since they joined in 1995,” Cheema added.

In contrast, the panel also had Surinder Singh Bhogal, Managing Partner at the family-run organisation Bhogal Sales Corp. The bicycle brand and an OEM supplier to several international bicycle brands in countries including Mexico, Holland, Germany, Spain, US etc., has been in operation for the past 84 years.