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Agents of change: Earning your licence to operate

PwC’s NextGen Survey 2019 - Malaysia Report

In PwC Malaysia’s first local cut of our NextGen Survey, we gathered the voices of the next generation (NextGen) members of Malaysia’s family businesses, gleaning insights into their aspirations, priorities, and challenges. From the responses, we found that most Malaysian NextGens are actively engaged in the business, seeing themselves as ‘Transformers’ who strive to lead the business into the future.

But there are barriers preventing NextGens from achieving their goals - differing priorities with the current generation, and lack of opportunities, among them.

In this report, we take a closer look at how NextGens are working to earn their licence to operate, and share our recommendations on what NextGens can do to make their presence felt, adding greater value to their family business.


are engaged in their family business


believe having a digital strategy is an effective way to stay competitive


believe their family business is undifferentiated when it comes to the effective use of technology


feel the need to prove themselves before they can share their ideas for change

Explore the key themes

The majority of our survey respondents are actively engaged in the business

For NextGens, having a business strategy fit for the digital age should be the number one priority

70% say they are being actively engaged in their family business through leadership roles

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“The leaders of the organisation should have an open mind towards the younger, new-generation way of thinking. The traditional mentality need not disappear, but it could be improved upon so that the company becomes more adaptive and flexible in this rapidly changing world.”

Second generation, Malaysia

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The four NextGen personas

In PwC’s Global NextGen Study 2017, we described four distinct NextGen personas, that is, the key characteristics exhibited by NextGens based on their skills, contributions, and career goals. Each persona is distinct, highlighting the different ways in which NextGens build their own paths to success. 

In our 2019 report, we explored these four personas once again, which allowed us to separate the different opportunities and challenges faced by NextGens in our analysis. 

40% of respondents are ‘Transformers’

Transformers are self-confident future leaders looking to inspire change within their family businesses. 

27% of respondents are ‘Stewards’

Stewards aspire to add value to their family business in ways that promote long-term sustainability and tend to stick to tradition, with the aim of protecting the profitability of the family’s company.

27% of respondents are ‘Intrapreneurs’

Intrapreneurs feel the need to prove themselves, and often do so by setting up ventures under the family’s wing and designing strategies fit for the digital age.

7% of respondents are ‘Entrepreneurs’ 

Entrepreneurs follow their own path. These individuals tend to be more sceptical about their family business’ long-term success and prefer leading their own businesses, with none of the profits going back to the family business.

Quiz: Which NextGen path do you follow?

Are you a transformer, steward, intrapreneur or entrepreneur?

Learn more about us

Entrepreneurial and Private Business

We work with entrepreneurs and family businesses to help them solve important problems and achieve their growth potential.

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Digital Services

Helping to create true business transformation with the power of perspective

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PwC NextGen Club

A programme of events tailored for the next generation of family business leaders. 

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Contact us

Fung Mei Lin

Fung Mei Lin

Tax Partner and Entrepreneurial & Private Business Leader, PwC Malaysia

Tel: +60(19) 224 7668

Shu Kew Loke

Shu Kew Loke

Deals Partner, Transaction Services, and NextGen Club Lead, PwC Malaysia

Tel: +60(12) 233 5804