As a young nation it is great to see family firms that have lasted longer than the country itself. Some of the oldest firms in Singapore are family owned and run but they recognise the need to remain current and innovative too.
Prof Koh sums things up nicely by concluding that these firms display resilience, work to remain relevant and crucially "need to be rejuvenated at every generation as if it was the first, creating value with the entrepreneurial zest just like the founding generation."
A great insight into what remains a concern and a challenge for many family firms the world over.
SINGAPORE may have just turned 52, but many homegrown businesses have been around for far longer. Greatearth, Boustead, Drew & Napier, Braddell Brothers, Haw Par, Eu Yan Sang and Yeo Hiap Seng - to name a few - have existed for more than a century. A chief concern for old companies is succession planning. Whether it is a family business trying to balance lineage with meritocracy or a company working to retain its talent pool, succession considerations is something no company can ignore. This might mean welcoming outsiders into management of family firms or promoting talented personnel to senior management roles.