A family business is like a double-edged sword. Driven by emotion, these organizations have a deeper purpose beyond the nuts and bolts of business—they are full of soul. In Sri Lanka, family businesses have long underpinned corporate and social life; persevering past the war-torn years all the way through to the economic resurgence we now experience.
Equally though, the very bonds that cohere family firms in a common purpose can also prove corrosive if they are not managed properly. Globally, family businesses face similar challenges—complacency over time, family disputes, transitional issues across generations, ambiguity in structures and processes, amongst others.
As I see it, Sri Lankan family firms stand on the cusp of a phenomenal opportunity as the region expands. Most of these firms are now managed by 2nd and 3rd generation family members who have an unprecedented advantage in terms of global education and exposure. These generations are raring to go!
However, there is a short window to capitalize on the opportunities that dot the horizon; from overseas expansion to product diversification. Today’s businesses need to think big and act fast in order to fulfill their responsibility to the economy and make their mark on the nation.
This is why it gives me great pleasure to share the findings of our first ever survey of local family businesses, carried out by Stax in cooperation with the Sri Lanka Institute of Directors. This report gives us the low-down of the strengths, challenges and experiences of Sri Lankan family firms today. In sharing these findings, our goal is to help family businesses build clarity, comfort and capability—to understand the opportunities and threats that confront them in order to capitalize or mitigate accordingly.
Read the full report