Case | HBS Case Collection | March 2008

Patel Food and Chemicals Private Limited (A)

by Felda Hardymon and Ann Leamon


Alok Patel, the founder and chairman of a Gujarat-based, privately held edible oils processor, must decide whether to hire a CFO candidate. Previously, his company's book-keeping has been done by an uncle, who has mentioned that he may retire soon. Patel could hire his younger son, who is just finishing his MBA at UCLA; but accounting was not Aakash's strength, and Patel has read that a strong finance person can help position a company for success. The company has recently experienced significant growth due to a new program of branded oils, and Patel is worried that the financials are getting away from his uncle. The most qualified candidate, though, comes from a different region. Should Patel hire a non-family member for this sensitive position? If so, should he go so far as to hire someone who does not come from his home region?

Keywords: Selection and Staffing; Family Business; Managerial Roles; Emerging Markets; Diversity; Finance; Food and Beverage Industry; Gujarat;


Hardymon, Felda, and Ann Leamon. "Patel Food and Chemicals Private Limited (A)." Harvard Business School Case 808-142, March 2008.