According to www.fin24.com, Gareth Ackerman, Chairperson: Pick n Pay and Johann Rupert, CEO: Richemont have made a list of the top 50 family led organisations internationally. Ackerman and Rupert were selected from over 200 business worldwide based on how they operated their companies over the past five years.
DESTINY MAN speaks to Dr Bertie du Plessis, CEO: MindPilot, about running a family business.
How can the owner of a family operated business make sure that it stays at the top?
Get the best managerial talent, even if they are not family members. The purpose of the family business first and foremost is to exist and prosper as a business which renders dividends to its shareholders. Family members should be shareholders in the business who coincidentally also work in the business, either as managers or as employees, if they are fit for the purpose.
Family businesses are established because a family member has the entrepreneurial and managerial skills to launch and nurture an enterprise.
I always ask founders the following questions: "Do you think your wife/husband could have achieved the same on their own?” Family members can only assume positions in the business if they would have been able to compete in the job market.
How do you make sure your business stays relevant when the next generation takes over?
You can only be relevant if the next generation of management is equipped, capable and suitable for the specific business. If you don’t find that in the family, you must find it outside.
How important is it to have someone to pass the business onto as a way of maintaining business longevity?
You must have an outside agency evaluate the family members of eligibility. You only appoint family members to succeed in leadership if they could compete with other managers in the open market. Remember the purpose of the family business first and foremost is to exist and prosper as a business which renders dividends to its shareholders. You don’t express your love for your children by appointing them to positions which exceeds their competency.