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A family company is not (exactly) what you think

From Gideon Yadin, Gevasol’s CEO:

We emphasize that Gevasol is a “family-owned” company and immediately add that we do not mean “family culture.”

So what do we mean?

What we mean is that family ownership affects how we conduct business.

The way I see it, family ownership means operating with an eye on the distant future.

Operating this way entails long-term projects, business connections, and identity.

When Itzhak Arazi (in the photo, on the right) and Dr. Rammy Shellef reached retirement age, they looked for someone to take over their life’s work, Ettem Engineering S.A. Ltd..

Their children were engaged in other fields, so Isaac and Rammy had to look outside their families for a buyer. They chose Gevasol—one of the main reasons being that Gevasol is also family-owned.

Isaac, Rammy, and we had an understanding that Gevasol would be Ettem’s “ben mamshich” (“the son who carries on” in Hebrew.)

Ben mamshich is an Israeli term for farmers choosing the son/daughter who will take over the farm—assuming they have the devotion, determination, and perseverance to get through the ups and downs of farming.

Family-owned companies have a disposition like farms’, and this gives them a competitive edge:

• We base our relationships with various stakeholders on the assumption that the relationship might last a long time—even generations. We’re not looking only at our immediate gain but at years of mutual benefit.

• We try to be open and down-to-earth. Knowing that the joint road ahead is long and we are building reputations—we conduct our business fairly and decently; we foster trust and camaraderie

• We’re good at weathering downturns. We don’t need to worry about quarterly earnings results, which allows us to steer Gevasol through tough times with a focus on long-term sustainability.

• We want our employees to thrive with us. We aim to foster long-term relationships with our employees. Longer employee tenure, in turn, reinforces our company culture and increases efficiencies.

• We roll with the punches. Since we are here to stay, we strive to thrive in any situation. So we fight to be flexible, versatile, and creative.