Over one-third of family businesses worldwide (34 per cent) targeted double-digit growth in 2018/2019, compared to one-quarter (25 per cent) of non-family businesses.
In rapidly emerging markets like India and China, this number is closer to 70 per cent, with family businesses also more likely to prioritise entry into new overseas markets.
Ernst & Young’s Global Family Business Leader Marnix van Rij puts this down to a number of factors: “Across the world, middle-market companies are grasping the upside of disruption, expanding their borders and creating new business opportunities. But we also see family businesses using the advantage of greater agility and streamlined decision-making to move faster than their non-family business peers.”
In China, two examples of this have been online retailer JD.com, owned by the Liu family, and the Evergrande Group of real estate companies, operated by the Hui family. Both are a little more than twenty years old, formed in 1998 and 1996 respectively, and both have rocketed up the Fortune 500 list by 80 and 108 places in the last twelve months alone.
Putting aside the biggest family-owned businesses, there is an increasing number of small and medium-sized family-owned businesses that have demonstrated explosive growth over the last few years.
Here are five of the fastest-growing family businesses to watch in 2019/2020.
Developing and selling skincare products and supplements via a direct selling model worldwide, founders Randy Ray and Wendy Lewis want their customers to “feel good, live longer and enjoy life”. Criticised by some for being an aggressive network marketing company, its cumulative sales were reported to have reached $5 billion worldwide in 2018 — not bad for a company that only started ten years ago in a highly competitive market. Jeunesse Global Holdings’ flagship brand of skincare is Luminesce, which it claims can restore “youthful vitality and radiance to skin”.
The parent company of Royal Enfield, Eicher is an Indian manufacturer of motorcycles and commercial vehicles. Although listed on the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the Lal family still own 55 per cent of the company. In 2016, revenue was $1.3 billion. Current CEO Siddhartha Lal, who took over from his father and founder Vikram, is credited with turning around the fortunes of the “Royal Enfield Bullett” in India’s rapidly expanding automotive market.
With revenue of close to $6 billion in 2017, Grupo Antolin-Irausa is one of the largest players globally in the car interior market and the number one supplier worldwide of headliner substrates, among other components. Originally run by Avelino Antolin Lopez and his two sons, the company now employs over 28,000 people in 25 different countries.
Robertson Group is a construction, homebuilding and facilities management services company founded in 2009. They are one of the UK’s largest family-owned businesses of its type, with offices in Scotland, the north of England and the Midlands. William Robertson and his wife Hilda are the founding directors. In March 2018, they reported turnover of $752 million, 56 per cent of which it attributed to large projects.
An automotive and leasing company based in the UK, Marshall Motor is engaged in the sale and repair of new and used vehicles. The company also has a leasing business that focuses on fleet customers. With approximately 92 franchise dealerships, it represents more than 20 brands of vehicle. Revenue from the group in 2018 reached $2.1 billion, up from $1 billion in 2014. The recent growth means it is the 7th-largest motor dealer group in the UK.