Competitiveness and Innovation in Family Corporations: An ASEAN Perspective by Mr. Fortunato Agbayani

Global Trends in the Next 10 Years

The next decade will be full of disruptions. It will be characterized by uncertainty, new ways of thinking and new ways of building wealth. By 2020, some 5 billion people will be on the Internet. There will be 80 billion devices connected to the web. We will see about 19% of all business having an online presence and global B2C sales will total some USD 4.9 Trillion. Mobility will become more interconnected paving the way for cheaper travel and more “seamless” connections from point A to point B. Urbanization will even become greater as more people move into Mega Cities and its surrounding environs become super districts, the phenomenon is happening now in all the world’s major cities including Metro Manila. Deep economic impacts will take place as women are empowered and incomes rise. Shifts in health care will take place as access to health becomes more and more expensive, people will move towards healthier lifestyles and prevention rather than cure. Smart cities will mature towards 2020 where cities will now be intelligent in terms of predicting, controlling and monitoring traffic and movement of people, vehicles and businesses.

The 10 Social And Tech Trends That Could Shape The Next Decade, Sarwant Singh,


ASEAN Cashes in on the Philippines

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As the Philippines hosts the ASEAN Summit in November 2017, more and more foreign investments are coming in from our ASEAN neighbors. Already Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai and even Vietnamese businesses are setting-up shop in the Philippines bringing with them tons of cash to distribute products such as palm oil, coffee, and other consumer products. Even ASEAN-grown Gran has taken the Filipino working class by storm. With the ASEAN integration happening now, a serious challenge to local family business corporations has become even more real and competitiveness and innovation need to become the norm to simply survive in a fast globalizing economy.


Family Corporation Drive Towards Competitiveness

In a study conducted by Deloitte in the Philippines in 2014, they stated that five major sectors will rise: Manufacturing, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Construction, Transportation and Logistics and Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Right now we are seeing the growth of retail and food industries as the Philippines has a young population pegged at an average of 23 years old. Even in traditionally rural provinces like Bacolod, BPOs are rising at an unprecedented rate. Family businesses engaged in transport are now moving in bearish markets like Bohol, cashing in on tourism and movement of people from town to town. Construction and leasing has more than doubled in the last 3 years. Family-led corporations have given rise to the retail boom even in secondary cities and municipalities giving rise to more jobs, but also posing challenges to the local rural economy. Local Facebook-driven tourism is also on the rise, places like Batanes and which had only few visitors are now experiencing a rush of local and foreign tourists with hardly the infrastructure to accommodate everyone.

The drive to innovate and become competitive has now become an imperative for all family corporations.

Competitiveness Catching the Next Wave the Philippines. Deloitte 2014


Survival of the Fast Fish versus the Big Fish

Advantage of Family Businesses

In recent years, while Strategic Planning is still widely done by many family-run corporations, ICT companies have now shifted to doing Agility Planning which emphasizes more immediate opportunities and hurdling challenges with utmost urgency. With the arrival of even more disruptive technologies in what we refer to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), crypto currencies like the Bitcoin, a more closely connected world and Smart technologies will play a truly huge role in the next 10 years. Family corporations need to evolve from seeing their businesses not merely as extensions of their homes, but potentially great value creators. It has been said that the new 4IR sea, it will be the fast fish who will eat the big fish. It doesn’t matter whether your family business is small, but what will determine your survival in the future is your ability to learn and adapt new ways of thinking and new ways of doing things – this is innovation. Using what you know and leveraging on what you already have is competitiveness. At the end of the day a Founder or even a 2nd or 3rd generation business owner must use his both innovation and competitiveness to achieve great results. Lastly, it will be acquiring a Global Vision that will truly make a difference between success and failure. Look around you the world is no longer as big as you think.



(Nato Agbayani is a Partner Consultant of Premier Family Business Consulting (PFBC). He is currently involved as business consultant for various Manila-based businesses and founded Brand Guerrilla PH a social enterprise supporting various nation-building advocacies for the Creative Industry and supports several international humanitarian organizations helping vulnerable sectors in the Philippines.)