Passing the Baton

Passing the Baton: The GFC Family


The GFC Group has grown over half a century into one of the largest fan manufacturing businesses in Pakistan. The group is in the process of transforming from a sibling partnership to a cousin consortium. The CEO, M. Ilyas, is confronted with many of the difficult decisions that family businesses undergoing such transformations in Pakistan face.


In early February 2013, Mr Muhammad Ilyas, the CEO of General Fan Company (GFC), Gujrat, Pakistan, had requested a meeting with a business school professor who also happened to be an old friend. Unlike previous times, the agenda of the meeting was not quality, productivity, or any of the issues normally discussed; rather it was the compensation policy for the next generation.

Currently, the GFC was going through a transformation since the management responsibility was being transferred from two siblings (Ilyas and Ijaz) to seven cousins. Ilyas felt that since his son Nabeel Ahmed Ilyas was better educated than his cousins—having graduated from the country’s most prestigious business school—he should be paid more. However, Ilyas was also concerned that a greater differential in pay (than the current one) would aggrieve his brother and nephews, and cause disharmony in the family. He wanted the professor’s opinion on this issue.

Rana, A. (2017). Passing the Baton: The GFC Family. HBS No. LCA014-PDF-ENG. Boston MA: Harvard Business School Publishing.


About the Author

Arif I. Rana is associate professor at the SDSB, LUMS. He teaches courses in operations management, decision analysis, family business, project management, retail management, and supply chain. He is the director of the Case Research Centre at the SDSB. He is also the program director for the executive programs on Growth and Continuity in Family-Run Businesses and Modern Retail Management. His research interests include quality management, scheduling and transportation, mathematical modelling in production, and supply chain management. His research has been published in Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, Journal of the Operational Research Society, European Journal of Operational Research, and Computers and Operations Research.