x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

How to keep Gulf businesses in the family

The Life: Less than a quarter of family-owned businesses in the Gulf last to the third generation. Here's how family members can boost their company's longevity - with video.

If you're a family business owner, what are the chances that your company will survive to the third generation? The odds are better in the Gulf than other parts of the world, but it's still only 20 per cent.

For the 90 per cent of businesses in the GCC that are currently owned and operated by families, succession planning is a serious concern, according to Hussein El Kazzaz, the managing director of Skopos Consulting, a consultancy with offices in Dubai, Cairo and Manama.

Dr El Kazzaz points to three areas where business owners often fail to pass their company onto a subsequent generation. The first misstep, when typically a father wants to pass on his firm to a son or daughter, usually centres around leadership concerns, "because as soon as you grow in size you have to make sure you're not running it as a one-man show," says Dr El Kazzaz.

To find out more about this stage, as well as the challenges of passing a business onto a second and third generation of family members, check out The Life page within the business section of The National.