As so many studies show, if family businesses are to remain competitive they need to innovate. And a good way of doing this is for the next generation of owners to engage in some way with startups and/or venture capital. Here are five next-generation individuals that are embracing venture.
Modi-Tongy is the daughter of one of Singapore’s best-known entrepreneurs, Bhupendra Kumar Modi. He is the chairman and founder of the Indian conglomerate based in Singapore called Spice Global. Recently, Modi-Tongy set up an Indian group called Interweave Ventures. The New Dehli based group says it has a “vision to invest in businesses in upcoming sectors”. It is linked to the Smart Group, another part of the business empire of the Modi family, which is involved in healthcare, finance, electric cars and entertainment. India is likely to be the next big country for venture investing, which should make Interweave Ventures - and Modi-Tongy - well placed to take advantage of a fast-growing market.
Fürstenberg co-founded a venture capital group called La Famiglia. The Munich-based group has attracted the money of some leading German and other European family business owners to back startups. Fürstenberg is actually a princess and comes from a long line of German aristocrats and industrialists, based in the south of the country. La Famiglia has been very active since it was set up three years ago, backing 14 ventures, with the latest being a Berlin-based fitness app called Asana Rebel.
The nephew of Ferdinand Piëch, the architect of much of VW’s success, has backed a venture called Riversimple. Based in Wales, the company is in the process of making a car that it says will become one of the most environmentally friendly in the world. Powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, Riversimple cars will emit nothing but a tiny amount of water and will do more than the equivalent of 200 miles per gallon, says the company’s marketing material. Sebastian is one of Riversimple main financial backers through an investment group for some members of the Piëch family called bScope Venture.
At the age of just 23, Christina set up an Indonesian online group called Travelio.com, which has established itself as a successful online short-term home rental provider. Christina is the daughter of Johannes Suriadjaja, who runs PT Surya Semesta Internusa, a big Indonesian property, construction and hospitality group. Christina has said she wants to expand Travelio into the online travel world.
Juana leads an initiative called Mercadona Tech, which is designed to bring the supermarket giant her father Juan Roig runs and owns called Mercadona very much into the 21st century. The idea to set up a digital platform for the supermarket group, which is Spain’s biggest in terms of revenue, came from Juana. She reckons Mercadona needed to do much more to improve the digital experience for the supermarket customers.