More business owners are listening to the next gen

Richemont - the owner of iconic Swiss watch brands like Jaeger-LeCoultre

Richemont - the owner of iconic Swiss watch brands like Jaeger-LeCoultre

Don’t underestimate the importance of listening to your kids when it comes to running a business. Family Capital’s recent Viewpoint showed just how crucial the next gen can be for a family business with an interesting insight into a German company called  Viessmann.

Well, it appears that one of the world’s biggest family businesses is also listening to the next gen. Johann Rupert, the founder of the Swiss-based luxury group Richemont, told journalists he has appointed his son, Anton, to the board. Maybe he’s preparing his successor, although Rupert didn’t say. But what he did say is Anton told him smart watches would not be so bad for proper watches. Richemont is one of the world’s biggest makers of luxury Swiss-made watches, but faces declining sales for them. 

On the subject of competition from Apple, Rupert said his son added: “Now, they (younger consumers) are wearing watches for the first time in their lives and then, after a while when they are used to it, they are buying mechanical watches.”

Maybe that insight helped Anton, 29, secure his position on the board.