John Barrow from the Barrow Group: Can You Grow Your Business too Quickly? The Family Business Voice
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Over the course of its 121-year history, the Barrow Property Group grew from a small carpentry shop into one of South Africa’s leading property management and construction companies. Now in its fifth generation, the firm is responsible for building many of Johannesburg’s iconic properties and letting much of the city’s most desirable office space.
A culture of equality has enabled the five Barrows currently managing the group to successfully navigate the complexities of South Africa’s property market while at the same time avoiding some of the pitfalls that hamper other family businesses. Pursuing realistic expectations with a hands-on approach has been essential to the company’s longevity.
We sat down with John Barrow, the Managing and Contract Director at Barrow Construction to discuss the group’s history, the politics of business in South Africa and the risks associated with growing too large too quickly.