Launch of PwC’s NextGen Club in Malaysia

Highlights from the event

Date
4 May 2017

Opening remarks
Fung Mei Lin, Entrepreneurial and Private Business Leader, PwC Malaysia

Discussion of PwC’s 2016 NextGen Survey
Albert Lee, NextGen Club Programme Lead, PwC Malaysia, led an informal discussion on several key findings of our report. 

3 key takeaways:

  1. Although the journey has been challenging, next gens are grateful to their current generation of family business members for providing them with the lessons and experiences that have shaped them into who they are today. 
  2. To win confidence, next gens have learnt to be objective in their business views, and the importance of backing up their ideas and suggestions with facts and figures. 
  3. Next gens feel they have to work harder than other employees to prove themselves. 

PwC Malaysia Entrepreneurial and Private Business Leader Fung Mei Lin delivering the opening remarks

Running a family business can be tough, but the next generation of family business leaders face their own set of challenges. How do you separate family issues from business issues? How do you convince the current generation of leaders to accept your ideas? Helping next gens navigate complex issues like these, is the core purpose behind PwC’s NextGen Club.

Already well-established across our global network with over 1000 members, the NextGen Club was launched in Malaysia on 4 May at Soleil, DC Mall, with the main theme of discussion anchored by the findings of PwC’s 2016 NextGen SurveyGreat Expectations: The next generation of family business leaders. A by-invitation only event, the intimate luncheon provided next gens from different industries the opportunity to meet and network. 

The lunch was jointly hosted by Fung Mei Lin, PwC Malaysia Entrepreneurial and Private Business Leader, and Albert Lee, PwC Malaysia NextGen Club Programme Lead. 

PwC’s NextGen Club is about connecting next gens through a programme where they can get support and advice from people they can relate to, said Mei Lin in her opening speech, before the first course was served. The Club will organise events throughout the year, with topics covering issues that are currently keeping next gens up at night, from the strategic and the tactical to day-to-day issues. “It can even be on something like ‘how do I get my family members to listen to me’,” added Mei Lin

As dessert was served, Albert kicked-off an informal discussion on some of the survey’s key findings.

He shared that 69% of next gens surveyed around the globe said that it can be difficult separating home and work life when working for a family business. This hit home for many of the next gens in attendance, as they shared their own experiences of working for their families, where a family dinner can turn into a business meeting.

The discussion led to an exchange of tips among the next gens on how they personally overcome this particular challenge.

Indeed, how next gens are treated in the family business proved to be a prominent theme. In the global survey, 88% of next gens agreed that they have to work even harder to prove themselves to the company, a statement that was brought up during the discussion.

This shows that though next gens have the skills and capabilities to work in the family business, they still face the challenge of having to bridge the ‘credibility gap’.

On the importance of digital in business, a majority of those in attendance mentioned that this is a topic that has been discussed.

The next gens agreed that embracing digital presents their business with opportunities. But though the threat of digital disruption was recognised, the importance of having a strategic plan when implementing digital innovations was also voiced out.

Next gens want to leave their stamp and do something special with the business, as highlighted by 88% of the next gens surveyed globally. While those at lunch agreed, they also pointed out that preserving the business should be a focus.

PwC Malaysia NextGen Club Programme Lead Albert Lee leading the discussion on the key survey findings

 

By the end of our first NextGen Club event, it was clear that regardless of industry, the next generation of family business leaders face similar challenges: they are confident and experienced, but carry the additional weight of having to grow a business while managing family dynamics. Through the NextGen Club, we hope that the opportunity to share ideas and to learn from those who have been through it will help contribute to the personal and professional development of our next generation of family business leaders.

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