Is working with friends and family – a good idea or bad?

Published on 4 Mar 2016 . 3 min read

Do you guys recollect the Airtel ad that showcased a wife as a boss and how she asks her husband / teammate to complete things within the same day itself? The husband is slogging at work while the wife goes and cooks for him! Is this an example of a perfect couple who knows the art of balancing work and family? But are real life stories just as glossy as ads?

Incorporating emotions in business could make things worse!

When Garima started working for her close friend, she was offered a slightly lower pay than the actual industry remuneration, but she accepted it thinking more about the journey and potential future benefits. However, whenever she thought of asking for a raise for her hard work and dedication, she was let down with a single statement – You are the owner of the company and not an employee to ask for a raise!

Later, frustrated and annoyed, she started looking out for other options and although most of the firms were happy to hire her, they offered just a 30 % hike, which was again lower than the market rate. Their good friendship has now turned sour, and Garima is paying its lifelong debt!

So, even if you are joining a family business or starting off with a friend, do not let your emotions come in the way. Stay crystal clear on the benefits, work timings and your deliverables.

Do you remember Wake Up Sid? Ranbir Kapoor aka Sid was reluctant to join the family business of Bathroom furnishings? He ran away, and later he realized his passion for photography was one that he inherited from his father? Or do you remember Jab we met when Shahid Kapoor ran away from his family business when things were out of control?

Do you share the same passion? Are your vision or ideas in-line with where you want to take your business/work in the next 5-10 years? If you answered yes, joining the family business or friend at work could be a good idea!

But what about leading Families in India like Ambani, Jindal or Tata? Their business seems to be in a good shape isn’t it?

Not really! Here is what Forbes presented - Global research shows that most business families can’t keep their flock together for more than three generations. The Birla’s split after three generations, the Ambanis in the second generation, and the Bajaj’s in the third generation. The Jindal’s have divided the business empire operationally; though the control of the company is centralized in the hands of Savitri Jindal. 

Just to sum up, if you

  1. Could balance and segregate your personal and professional life

  2. Could ignore arguments you had in the early morning hours and still enjoy a cup of coffee with your friend with an open mind

  3. Share the same passion

  4. Have enough to offer regarding skills. [Remember, you should not be hired because you know someone, but because you possess the right skill set]

  5. Work for firm’s benefits rather than a personal one

Then it is a good idea to work with family or friends! 

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Samiksha Seth
Samiksha Seth is a day dreamer by choice,an avid blogger, Reiki practitioner,firm believer of "Keep Faith", loves exploring and crafting experiences into words. She is a mother of a toddler and has resigned from her full time IT job, just to be with her child and take up her passion for writing.

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