Today and beyond: Vietnam's NextGen in focus

PwC's Global NextGen Survey 2022


We believe family businesses – built around strong values and with an aspirational purpose - have a competitive advantage in disruptive times. PwC’s NextGen Survey 2022 shows how the next generations in Vietnam are rising to the challenge.

This edition of PwC’s NextGen survey 2022 takes a closer, more insightful look at the motivations, priorities and worries of the NextGens, the coming leaders of Vietnamese family businesses, after what was a formative period for many of them during the COVID-19 pandemic. After over two years, Vietnamese NextGens are now facing a new reality, with new challenges such as a stronger need for growth, transformation and learning while the prospect of succession becomes ever more present. More than ever, they have the capacity to shape their family businesses and make an impact as they take up responsibilities as stewards of their business.

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NextGen stories

Insightful sharings from Vietnamese NextGens on growth and family business values.

CEO of IPP Travel Retail, Imex Pan Pacific (IPP) Group

Leader of Nextgen Business Leaders Club, Vice President of Alphanam Group's BOM, CEO of Alphanam Real Estate

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Part 1: The new reality

The pandemic has forever changed how businesses operate. The ability to adapt to such changes in a meaningful way remains the key to enabling success for all businesses, including family-led ones. 

COVID-19 has brought forward challenges and opportunities for family businesses to redefine success, communications and strategy. In this regard, the new reality in which NextGens in Vietnam need to embrace are:

  • Closer family ties towards better communication with the current generation; and 
  • Redefining priorities for success as true leaders of the future.

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Key findings

The pandemic has brought family businesses closer

  • 71% agree that family communications about the business increased during the pandemic.
  • 42% believe that communication between NextGens and the current generation is also stronger.


Focus on growth and technology

  • 53% prioritise business growth.
  • 37% see adopting new technologies as a key enabler to achieve growth.


Part 2: Gearing up for the future

To deliver growth when faced with existential challenges of today such as climate change, pandemic disruption and technological advances, what capabilities do NextGens need, as the leaders of tomorrow? How do they sustain the prosperity of their family business? And how can they prove themselves as capable custodians of the business and family’s future?

As leaders-in-waiting, NextGens have to develop their own blueprint for success. Many feel the need to earn their ‘licence to operate’ and are focusing on two key areas:

  • Upskilling leadership and finance capabilities; and
  • Delivering on ESG matters

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Key findings

Succession: A transition challenge

  • 61% find it difficult to prove themselves as a new leader.

Key reasons are:

  • Readiness of the Current Gen to let go (42%); 
  • Difficulty to discover their own strengths and passions in the process (42%). 


Upskilling: Key to instilling confidence

  • 47% believe that they require upskilling or additional education.
  • 37% feel they have some ways to go in terms of understanding the business.


The ESG action gap

  • 68% believe their businesses have a responsibility to fight climate change. 
  • 45% see an opportunity for their businesses to lead the way in sustainable business practices.


Become the leader your family business needs

Winning the confidence of the current generation and demonstrating that the business will continue to thrive takes work. The world is changing, and the business techniques of the past will no longer be enough. NextGens must earn the right to challenge the status quo and to discover the growth opportunities to ensure their family legacy. It takes what we call a community of solvers: people coming together with different skills to deliver success.

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Time to lead

Reimagine business success and build the foundations for sustainable growth

ESG is becoming pivotal to business growth—and, as a leaders-in waiting, NextGens need to take a lead in building an ESG strategy. For example, NextGens can learn what developing a net-zero strategy entails, how to decarbonise your business footprint and what impact the business has on others.

Don’t be afraid to take a different path

NextGens are well-placed to speak up and take action. Don’t shy away from fundamental questions. A new book by PwC’s Paul Leinwand and Mahadeva Matt Mani, Beyond Digital: How Great Leaders Transform Their Organizations and Shape the Future, sets out seven leadership imperatives that are essential to shaping a company’s future. Reimagine the company’s place in the world: what unique value does the company create? And what capabilities allow NextGens to create that value better than anyone else? 

Articulate and negotiate a generational contract.

Though family businesses are more willing to talk about succession as a result of the pandemic, the stages and conditions of succession are often unclear. It’s vital to have an ongoing conversation about what will drive growth in the future and NextGens’ role in achieving it. It’s also vital for there to be a clear understanding of what NextGens need to do to win the trust and confidence of the current generation.


Hone your leadership skills

NextGens realise that they have a lot to learn and still feel the need to prove themselves. But leadership today requires a different set of capabilities. It’s time to question whether NextGens want to create themselves in the image of the older generation in order to be recognised as a potential leader. New times require new types of leaders.


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Johnathan Ooi Siew Loke

Partner, Entrepreneurial and Private business Leader, PwC Vietnam

Tel: +84 28 3823 0796

Hoang Viet Cuong

Partner, Entrepreneurial and Private Business, PwC Vietnam

Tel: +84 24 3946 2246

Dr. Le Anh Tu

Director, Private Business Services, PwC Vietnam

Tel: +84 923 345 999

Tran Van Thang

Director, Private Business Services, PwC Vietnam

Tel: +84 28 3823 0796