09 July 2018

HSBC Entrepreneur Series

The Importance of Non-relatives in Leading the Family Business

Patrick Chong, Luxasia Group Founder and Chairman, established his luxury brand distribution business in 1986. From the beginning, Patrick Chong realised the criticality of embracing new market trends and changing customer preferences. With the emergence of digital channels and e-commerce, he began transforming Luxasia from an in-store distributor to an omni-channel digital company.

For most family business owners in Asia, it remains unthinkable that an outsider can join the leadership team of family-run companies.

However, recognising the importance of talent in growing his business, Patrick created a culture of entrepreneurialism and transformation, which continue to motivate staff today.

To capitalise on this opportunity, he asked former SingPost CEO, Wolfgang Baier, an executive with a proven track record in digital, to lead the company in 2016.

"We believe that the best person should run our business," explains daughter Sabrina Chong, Group Head of Corporate Development — having initially studied law and practised as a lawyer for several years, Sabrina Chong then studied business and finance, and later joined the family firm, epitomising Luxasia's mantras of entrepreneurialism and transformation.

Luxasia Group

The Value of a Shared Vision

Family businesses recognise the importance of establishing a shared vision and set of values to drive their companies forward. Yet drafting these, and adhering to them, is often easier said than done. A further difficulty faced by family businesses is connecting a sense of purpose, and the principles that drive this, to products and services.

In its third generation, Fu Siang Jeen and Fu Shou Jeen, Managing Director and Executive Director Wen Ken Group have to manage 30 shareholders — the descendants of four families that co-founded the business. Despite this number, only three members are actively involved in the company. Clear communication and conflict management among the four families are therefore priorities for the Fu brothers.

The purpose of Wen Ken Group is to create products that benefit consumers, and to provide a better life for the firm's employees. Fu Siang Jeen explains that achieving these requires adherence to four values: care, trust, harmony and self-sacrifice.

Wen Ken Group

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