How old is your Company? How long do companies really live in this world? Whilst the Human Beings are able to live for about 80 years why is it that the Companies started by the same human beings do not survive that long? I read recently that most of the companies live anywhere between 20 to 40 years.
I also read recently that a third of the Fortune 500 companies of 1970 were gone by 1983 as they were either merged with another company or acquired by some other company or simply went bankrupt.
In 2004 Citigroup was ranked No.1 in the Forbes list of Top 2000 Companies and it went down to No.16 in 2014. GE has moved from No.2 to No.7 in the same 10 year period and BP has moved from No.5 to No.17.
In 2004 the top 10 had 7 companies from USA 2 from UK and 1 from Japan. In 2014 there are 5 companies in the top 10 companies from China and balance 5 are from USA. In this period of 10 years Toyota has moved from No.8 to No.12 and Walmart has moved from No.10 to 20.
Interestingly companies with less than 300 employees and which have been managed by the Family have always survived much much longer. Kongo Gumi which was founded in 578 AD survived till 2006. There are a lot of companies which have been in existence for several centuries particularly in Japan, Italy, Germany and France. Sumitomo was founded in 1590. Some of the other older companies from 17th and 18th Century are listed below:
Managing a Company in this world of high and intense competition is not easy. In business it is always "survival of the fittest". You need not have the biggest company but you should have the company that is fittest in order to survive. The admire the management of the above companies which have survived not just years but several centuries.
27th September 2014