THE INDIAN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS (ISB) evolved from the need for a world-class business school in Asia. The founders, some of the best minds from the corporate and academic worlds, anticipated the leadership needs of the emerging Asian economies.
They recognized that the rapidly changing business landscape would require young leaders who not only have an understanding of the developing economies but who also present a global perspective. The ISB is committed to creating such leaders through its innovative programs, outstanding faculty and thought leadership. Funded entirely by private corporations, foundations and individuals from around the world who believe in its vision, the ISB is a not-for-profit organization.
Every year, about a thousand bright minds join the rapidly growing ISB alumni community. On an average, 8-10% of students from that are from family businesses. With the Management in Family Business (MFaB) program in its second year, this ratio will further increase with each graduating class. It is estimated that family businesses in India account for about 60% of our economic output and almost 90% of our industrial production. Family businesses are a critical piece in India’s growth story and come with their own set of unique issues and dynamics.
The ISB Alumni Family Business Network (FaB Network) was set up to provide a platform to this growing community of graduates to share and learn from each other, some of the unique issues and challenges faced by most family businesses during their life cycle. With more than half the Executive Board of ISB comprising family business leaders, the school provides enough examples for family businesses to aspire to. And aptly, the two founding mentors of the FaB Network are Mr. Adi Godrej, Chairman ISB and Chairman, Godrej Industries, and Mr. Sunil Munjal, Member ISB Executive Board and Joint Managing Director, The Hero Group.
The FaB Network was conceptualized and established by two alumni from the Class of 2004 – Isha Goyal and Amit Khanna – both second generation business owners based out of New Delhi, India. They set up the FaB Network in 2014 with a vision to create a network that not only helps alumni to learn from each other, but also becomes a vehicle to engage with the school and inspires each of its members to build bigger and better business without compromising the values on which they were built. Through a series of events and interactions, the FaB Network hopes to address some of the typical problems faced in a family business and provide actionable solutions that can be applied in real life.
Note from the Founders
For anyone who has lived an ISB year, you know that one of your takeaways is always the people. Through all the myriad interactions that extend well beyond those eleven months, we cross paths, we debate, we discover and we always take something away from each other – life lessons, life hacks and often, lifelong friendships. The genesis of the FaB Network lies in a variety of such experiences that extended over a decade of social networking and hours of co-counselling as some of us grew and learnt through each other’s sensibilities and work / family experiences.
Coming from family businesses, we often brought our own ‘unique’ issues and challenges to our friends. Sometimes personal and sometimes professional, only to discover, that what we thought were issues unique to our situations / families / businesses, were more common and universal than we could have imagined.
But the real discovery was the power of the network itself. Coming from different backgrounds, working in different industries, and playing different roles, a bunch of us family business folks in Delhi, realised that by sharing this one platform of trust – the ISB connection – we had each become better contributors to our family businesses as we shared our experiences and opinions with each other. And what’s even better is that it not just brought our families closer, but it also strengthened our connection to ISB.
So when the school decided to give special focus to family businesses by setting up MFaB, we thought it was a great opportunity to bring our tacit and silent contributor (ISB) to the forefront and build a community around the friendships that we all benefit from. The idea of FaB was born. A few months after we first thought of it, the FaB Network was set up in 2014 when, with Dean Ajit Rangnekars support, Mr. Adi Godrej and Mr. Sunil Munjal agreed to come on board as mentors.
As we try to humbly grow and build this community, we are discovering a need and potential that we couldn’t have imagined. The response from the community and its mentors and supporters has been beyond expectations… and we are only one year old.
We have set out ambitious goals – to provide a platform that helps, supports and inspires – and in the long run – gives us all that extra push, that eureka moment, that self-belief, to become better leaders and greater contributors to our families, businesses, our Alma Mater and our communities.
Enjoying the journey,
Isha Goyal and Amit Khanna
ISB Alumni Co2004
Co-founders, ISB Alumni FaB Network
A hands on people manager and self proclaimed troubleshooter, Isha co-leads and runs her family business with pride and an obsession for innovation. An alumnus from the Class of 2004, she is a second generation family business owner. Passionate about all things ‘family’, Isha’s drive for the FaB network comes from her innate belief in the potential and power of a well managed family owned enterprise and the positive impact it can have on the larger community.
A chartered accountant, art enthusiast, investor and entrepreneur, Amit is a second generation family business owner and an alumnus from the ISB Class of PGP 2004. With an insatiable desire to problem solve and drive change, Amit’s passion for the FaB Network comes from his own life lessons and growth challenges and how the friends and mentors from the ISB network have helped him work through his path to success.