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Ways to make long partnerships


In the early 90s, I was conducting an audit of a retail shop at JC road. It was a firm owned by two partners. The partners never had separate cabins; both of them were sitting side by side using two medium sized tables. Many times I thought to myself, how on earth these two became partners. There was nothing in common between them. One was a typical North Indian and the other was hailing from South. Mr. Naresh was in his early 60s and Mr. Subbu was in late 40s. One was very handsome, tall and health conscious, the other was obese and eating junk food all the time. One was very polite and humble and the other was a little arrogant and reserved. One couldn’t speak local language and other one had no clue of Hindi except ‘Namasthe ji’. When I met them again in 2006, they were in a celebratory mood. It was their 25th year of partnership!


Honestly, anyone would envy their relationship. It was a classic case of ‘Unity in diversity’. Does that mean they never had any difference of opinion? Or let me rephrase the question as ‘Can we believe that they never had any fights’? Of course, they sometimes had difference of opinion. But both of them had the ability of ‘overlooking’ minor issues in the best interests of the firm. When Mr. Naresh came up with an idea or a proposal, Mr. Subbu used to evaluate it very positively and vice versa. When Mr. Subbu came out with a new business model, though Mr. Naresh had a difference, he supported him. When the model failed both of them took it as ‘their collective failure’


Lessons –

  • There are no perfect partnerships. If 100 things are going good, one should have a cushion for 20-30 things to go wrong.
  • Value the words of each partner very positively.
  • Be open minded, listen to constructive criticism.
  • Don’t take extreme view of partner’s suggestion. It will harm the firm in the long term. So, be pragmatic and solve problems. Don’t be an extremist in your thoughts!
  • Always look at the larger picture. Each individual is a different animal. Each individual will have his own way of thinking. Have we not heard about father-son, mother-son, brothers and sisters fighting on the street? 
  • If one has to fight, finding reason is not difficult. But finding a solution to post-fight problems is really difficult.


Thought of the day

Unity is strength. Where there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.

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About CA Prasad Chartered Accountant

CA Prasad Chartered Accountant
CA Prasad is a practicing Chartered Accountant and partner in Bangalore -based CA Firm. For further information or query, please email it to [email protected]