The next generation of family business owners believes in businesses digitization

The next generation family business owners in Central and Eastern Europewants to bring value to their companies by implementing a digitization strategy, according to PwC NextGen Survey 2019 undertaken in Romania, Russia, Poland, Bulgaria and Albania.

So, almost 90% of the respondents wants to capitalize their digital know-how to develop a strategy fit for the digital age. The most relevant emerging technologies cited for the future of their companies are the Internet of Things (82%) and Robotics (57%), closely followed by Artificial Intelligence (54%).

”The next generation is truly digital native and see the digital technology as crucial for the success of their companies. That’s why they want to use their digital know-how to help their companies adapt to the digital age and perform. For example, 30% of respondents, especially from industry sector, are concerned that their family business is currently behind its peers in this area”, said Ionuț Sas, PwC România Partner and Entrepreneurial & Private Business Leader.

The next generation of family business owners is concerned  about the changing customer needs (26%), the impact of changing technology (22%) and the market competition (19%). The main business priorities are professionalising and modernising the management practices of their companies (97%), focus on talent (90% say change is needed around talent attraction and retention; 86% say this about upskilling staff).

Currently, 53% of them are actively involved in the activities of their companies, below the global average (70%), but engagement is growing, rising to 76% in the future. By 2025, 47% expect to have Executive Director roles, and 33% expect to be majority shareholders.

Conclusions of the PwC NextGen Survey 2019

  • 37% of Next Gen in Central and Eastern Europe have been given the opportunity to lead a specific change project.
  • 23% are executive directors today; 47% expect to be by 2025 (which exceeds the global average of 41%)
  • 20% are majority shareholders today, 33% expect to be by 2025.
  • In terms of key skills that the next generation of business owners feel are essential for their ability to lead their companies in the future are problem solving and strategic thinking (73%), leadership (73%) and communication skills (60%)
  • 90% invest in their education.
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