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Doing Business in India by Dean Nelson

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The Hindu Undivided Family Business

More than 70 percent of India’s market capitalization is in the hands of family businesses. While this is not entirely unusual, the Hindu Undivided Family business (HUF) is unique, and operates under very particular rules and restrictions. It is crucial to understand how these companies operate if you are to do business with them.

Keeping it in the family

Most Indians live in “Hindu joint families,” where several generations of the male line live under one roof. The eldest male is usually the head of the family and of the family business. Many of the biggest Indian businesses are family dynasties run along the HUF model, though there are signs of change, notably in the IT sector. HUFs can be secretive and ...

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