Agents of change: Earning your licence to operate

PwC’s Global NextGen Survey 2019: Singapore highlights

Family business NextGens view themselves as agents of change for digital transformation but are looking for greater support and trust from current generation leaders. NextGens show great commitment and ambition but feel constrained to a greater or lesser degree about their role in driving the family business forwards.

The majority of NextGens in Singapore are deeply engaged in the family enterprise

Our survey revealed that a majority of NextGens in Singapore are already deeply engaged in the family enterprise. Singapore NextGens are more actively involved than their global counterparts, with more than half of them (59%) reporting that they have a management role in the business (compared to 50% in Asia Pacific and 39% globally). About two in five (37%) are in an executive director positions (28% in Asia Pacific and 26% globally).

Over the next five years, Next Gens are looking to move away from management and Executive leadership roles into governance roles in their family business, or setting up their own entrepreneurial venture.

NextGens are agents for change in driving purpose and attracting talent

Aligned with Asia Pacific, NextGens in Singapore see the biggest drivers of change within their business as market competition (68%), with 38% ranking it as a top driver. There is a strong correlation between what NextGens think their business needs are and where they feel they could add significant value to. For example, talent is a key business priority for NextGen locally, in the region and globally and NextGens feel that attracting talent as an area where they can personally add most value to realising the family business goals.

NextGens want to lead and feel that they can add value but they also feel like they are being held back and do not have a license to operate

A fair majority (42%) of NextGens in Singapore say that their current level of expertise is a major constraint on having the impact they would like to have, compared to 24% in Asia Pacific and 22% globally. While NextGens in Singapore thought they could help to add value in upskilling staff, more than half of them felt that they needed to develop their own skills (56% in Singapore, 62% in Asia Pacific, 61% globally).

The top two skills they cited were problem solving and strategic thinking and leadership, both with 78% of respondents reflecting that these skills were essential to the future role they wanted to play in the business. In order to develop these skills, NextGens looked to their family networks, conferences and their peers.

Quiz: Which NextGen path do you follow?

Are you a transformer, steward, intrapreneur or entrepreneur?

In our NextGen survey 2017, we identified four paths to success: transformers, stewards, intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs. In 2019, we have identified that there is a greater proportion of transformers in Singapore (53%) compared to Asia Pacific (47%) and Global (46%).

Take this short quiz to find out which NextGen path you may be on and explore recommendations and case studies tailored to you.

Which NextGen path are you on? Take our quiz.

Contact us

Ng Siew Quan

Asia Pacific Leader, Entrepreneurial and Private Businesses, PwC Singapore

Tel: +65 9726 9880

Lim Hwee Seng

Partner, Tax, PwC Singapore

Tel: +65 9758 7049

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