KOLKATA: Gautam Singhania, the chairman of Raymond group, who is in a battle with his father Vijaypat Singhania, has said that he is ready to sit and discuss issues with him. Gautam has also offered his father to stay with his family.
The Singhania junior feels that succession in family-owned companies should not be an automatic choice of sons or daughters of promoters. Rather, he said that the heirs should be put at the helm only if they are competent, otherwise the company should be run professionally. For the children, one can create a trust with “adequate money” so that they never face any problem, Gautam added.
The Raymond group CMD was talking to TOI a couple of days after a civil court in Mumbai refused to give an injunction against his father’s autobiography — ‘The Incomplete Man’. Vijaypat stepped down as the chairman of the 90-year-old company in 2015 after handing over the reins and his shareholding to Gautam, following which the battle started. The Singhania senior had alleged that he was even being removed as the chairman emeritus of the company and from his flat.
Gautam said, “I kept quiet for more than three years out of respect. My father is writing a book and I am sure it will be against me and more than 95% of this will be his imagination,” he said. Hinting of the possibility of a rapprochement, Gautam said, “If he (father) has a problem, we can sit and discuss why should he write this book. I am ready to sit across and resolve the issue if he does not have a problem,” he added.
“God has given me enough and more. I don’t have any issue with anybody, but don’t ask me to do things which are not possible for me to do,” he added. Gautam has also made it clear that he would ensure that such a problem never happens between him and his two daughters, who are now 13 and 7 years. Elaborating on the succession plan, Singhania said that he wants to create a model company and there should be a strong line between ownership and the management. “We are a family-managed professional company. My children are very young and I have responsibility for all stakeholders,” he added.