Nepotism – Good or bad?


Not a month has gone by since a national award winning actress accused a prolific director of nepotism. Soon began some strong and pertinent debates on the feudal side of Bollywood. Nepotism is not new in showbiz. It’s not that nepotism is not prevalent in other businesses, but it’s rampant in Bollywood. The most evident example is the growing number of talent-less star kids who are ruling the roost in the industry. That said, some stars with zero familial connections also have climbed up the ranks and made it big in Bollywood with grit and hard work.

It’s not a buzzword, it’s as old as the hills. But is nepotism really bad? The implications depend on how it’s practiced. When kept within clear and reasonable limitations, this customary concept can even be transmuted to profitable networking that helps procure plum jobs. It’s not the prerogative of well-known families alone. Here is how you can take advantage of this much prevalent practice –

1. Make yourself known to the powerful and renowned. Build strong connections such influential people. Make sure they like you for who you are.
2. Give them a clear idea about who you are and what you are good at. If an opportunity comes up they will immediately have your name on their minds
3. Have all the required skillets and experience to outshine and win hands down.

It totally makes sense to work with the known and trustable, and the best fit are family members and close friends. But undermining the growth and development of non-familial people is what leads to severe malices and major pitfalls that hinder the opportunity to explore the benefits of nepotism.

When looked at from a business perspective, here are the benefits of having “framily” as workforce – Hiring a friend, relative or family member can boost trust, confidence, performance, and retention. With no mandatory background checks, they can be assigned to perform critical and confidential tasks. Employing a competent family member or acquaintance will also reduce hiring and training costs. Being pre-seasoned, friends and family members can contribute several valuable ideas. Levels of loyalty, morale, commitment, and cooperation will be much higher, thus creating a tightknit workforce. Very often, young men and women work in family-owned businesses for low pay rates, thus boosting the bottom line.

But here is the downside:

Some are reluctant to hire outsiders. The rich and well-connected get hired most of the times and many deserving people return empty-handed. Problems arise when relatives outnumber non-relatives, or when non-relative members experience unfairness and favoritism. Lack of professionalism and merit makes many take undue advantage of preferential treatments. In other words, those who don’t work up through the ranks won’t be fully committed to their duties, and never deliver expected results. This is where ethical problems can crop up. It also results in a sharp dip in the morale of non-familial members.

Nepotism takes the wrong deviation when rewards, promotions, and salary hikes are awarded without adhering to the set benchmarks. This is an unethical step and affects loyal long-term employees who are more eligible and deserving.

At times, preferential treatments can also create a wrong sense of entitlement. Tardy heirs who are way below par in terms of qualification and experience ascend thrones that once belonged to experts and veterans. The end result can be as grave as public and costly legal disputes and mudslinging that end up ruining both professional and personal relationships.

So, what’s the final word?

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