Family businesses in Kenya have a competitive advantage in disruptive times, a survey has revealed. Even as most family businesses feel vulnerable to digital disruption, these businesses more than any other have concrete plans to grow over the next 5 years.
At a time where digital technology is disrupting businesses across the country some even being rendered redundant, business leaders say the need to continually innovate to keep ahead is key for the business’s future.
The specific technological advances cited as challenges by business owners include cybersecurity and digitization. More Kenyan businesses compared to the global statistics are aiming to take significant steps in terms of digital capabilities in the next two years – perhaps helping them to feel more confident about the changes ahead. This has been attached to millennials who present an enduring demographic change, a group that business owners need to win trust from more than ever.
The PwC 2018 Family Business Survey also shows that 87% of family business owners and contributors felt that they had a clear sense of values and purpose as a company. 73% of these respondents felt strongly that having a clear sense of agreed-upon values increased revenues and profitability. According to the survey, a majority felt that having a clear sense of values gave them a competitive advantage and said that strong values helped to attract potential joiners.
“It has long been recognised that a family firm – ranging from a global enterprise to a business in a small community – is more likely than other companies to treat each day’s activity as an investment in the long-term, prioritising broad stakeholder interests.” Said Michael Mugasa, PwC Kenya Private Company Services Leader
However, despite having the upper hand compared to global family businesses, few Kenya family business owners reported having a robust, documented and communicated succession plan in place. Succession planning is vital not only to safeguard business continuity but also to ensure the goals of the owners, the family and the objectives of the business are properly aligned over the medium to long term.