Saturday, August 20, 2005

Thais still wary of joining Thai family companies

I recently spoke with William Barnes of the Financial Times in Bangkok.

Our conversation focused on the topic of professionals crossing the line, from the "multinational corporations" over to the "Thai family led" businesses.

My contrarian perspective, that there are great opportunities for professionals to lead Thai business families, appeared in his feature story on the Financial Times Asian Edition

{please refer to for the story on 9 June 2005}

In Thailand, many Thai business families today are led by second generation scions. They all share a similar mission: to become leading players in their respective markets, domestic, regional, and perhaps global. To achieve their mission, they are actively attracting and retaining the best and the brightest professionals from the leading multinational corporations.

Professional managers leading Asian family businesses onto the global leadership stage? Is it realistic?

To answer this question, perhaps it is worthwhile to look at another continent in another era a long long time ago. William Procter and James Gamble (who were brothers-in-law) decided to go into businesses together selling soaps and candles in Cincinnati in 1837. The company they founded, P&G, is widely recognised to have evolved into one of the biggest and most visible companies in the world through professional managers.

Back to Thailand, several Thai business families are already world leaders in their respective industries, especially in the foods and agri sectors.

And yes, these companies are led by strong management teams comprising of professionals from the global multinational corporations.

Posted by: Human Capital Alliance