In the Middle East, you will find that family businesses dominate the region and there are family businesses of all sizes and in all industries throughout the area. In fact, many of the major brands in this part of the world are family businesses that have emerged to become conglomerates with thousands of employees across the globe.
Family Businesses in Kuwait
Kuwait, in-particular, has many enormous family businesses that date back generations, such as the Fouad Alganim & Sons Group of Companies which is owned by the Alghanim family and now has 20,000 employees and revenue of £4,622.0 million. In addition to huge companies like this, there are many medium and smaller businesses too.
Reasons for Family Businesses
So, why are family businesses so prominent in this part of the world? There is a strong focus on family and tradition in this part of the world, plus many of these businesses go on to find success because there is already a natural bond in place, there are usually shared ideologies and the ability to train the next generation as well as take advantage of their skill set and knowledge (important now with the digital revolution). Additionally, succession planning is made much easier which can make periods of transition much smoother.
There are many benefits to starting a family business. Family is a natural team so people often work well alongside one another and can come to fast decisions, plus relationships are already strong so communication is much easier and people can be blunt and honest without fear of consequence. You will often find greater authenticity with these types of business and families tend to have the same attitudes and opinions which is key for taking a business forward.
Of course, it is not all smooth sailing and starting a family business in Kuwait will bring certain challenges. Starting a business with your family can change the family dynamic and relationships, so this will always be a risk and it is important to try and separate home life from work. There may also be pressure to hire other family members (at the expense of someone more skilled) and a lack of training can also be an issue. You also do not get an external view which can be so helpful for improving and finding problematic areas and the informal structure can sometimes create problems in the workplace.
For those thinking about starting a family business, it is always a good idea to speak to experts that specialise in this area, such as RSM. Experts like this can help to overcome the issues and challenges listed above, plus they can also assist with new concepts of business and technologies which are so integral to success in modern day business. Running a family business is very different to starting a regular company, so utilising experts can help you to set up a successful company and grow while also making sure that you stay strong as a family unit throughout.
The Middle East is a region dominated by family businesses of all sizes and Kuwait is a major part of this. There are a number of benefits to starting a family business, but you must also be aware of the challenges and take action so that you can run a successful company without it negatively impacting your family.