Successful Immigrant Family Businesses – Issue 44, November 2019

tharawat magazine issue 44

Some of the most successful businesses in the world have been built by immigrant founders and their families. Their methods, which are as diverse and unique as the places they come from, share common ground with an all or nothing style that is equal parts discipline, determination and ingenuity. Cartographers by necessity in a world without a map, their survival depends on their ability to find allies, adapt and solve problems.

The stakes are always high – redefining home is the investment of a lifetime, and failure is not an option. Often, immigrant entrepreneurs spend their savings on the ticket, papers or safe passage. Many come with nothing, have nothing to return to, but nevertheless make something exceptional. Frequently, immigrants find strength in their struggles and apply that strength to entrepreneurial projects. The businesses they create reflect the same resiliency that defines their journey to success across borders, industries and generations. We are closing 2019 with a Special Feature that celebrates the achievements of these intrepid pioneers.

In this issue we have family business stories and contributions from Chile, Norway, Canada, the USA, Greece, the UAE, Cyprus, India, the Netherlands and Peru as well as an examination of ‘Boundaries’ by four experts.

Special Features: Successful Immigrant Family Businesses

A Shared Past Sharing knowledge, innovation and skills is how we grow, not only as people but also as a society. It's a straight line drawn through a complex and hotly contested issue – whether or not international borders...
In 1996, a 15-year-old Andy Yuen and his parents stepped off a plane from Hong Kong to meet their relatives. The family was en route to Wynyard, Saskatchewan – population: less than 2,000 – to help run Andy's uncle's...
According to Dr Huju Liu, a Canadian expert on immigrant entrepreneurship, the correlation between immigration and international trade becomes more relevant with each passing year. As we globalise and, in most developed countries, age out of employment, immigrants bring...
Greek entrepreneur of Syrian origin, Joseph Samaan, knew that re-establishing his business in another country offered a paradox of seemingly insurmountable challenges and unmissable opportunities. After building Tanweer, a publishing company in Kuwait with diversified interests in entrepreneurial guidebooks,...
With 100 years of history and over 100 stores in the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, the name Jashanmal has become synonymous with retail and wholesale in the region. The Jashanmal Group's journey began as so many entrepreneurial success...
Sheel Tyle sees entrepreneurship as a sustainable and transformational means of social change on a day-to-day basis. Although he was born in California, Sheel's parents emigrated from North India to the United States in search of opportunity. The Tyles moved...

Boundaries

While the conversation on boundaries in the family business most commonly revolves around the maintenance of a healthy work/life balance, the concept applies universally. A boundary marks the threshold where one role, room or responsibility stops and another begins....
By encouraging family business members to establish boundaries, Katerina Andreou helps them balance their many roles to build in strength. Before Andreou founded HR Innovate, she worked in the UK as a mental health practitioner specialising in children and families...
According to Rob Lachenauer and Omar Romman, establishing boundaries is a delicate, multigenerational balancing act, but one that strengthens a business by preparing it for the future. Subsequent generations need boundaries to ensure the family business's sustainability. Boundaries prevent confusion,...
Business-owning families face the dilemma of living out their professional concerns in non-professional contexts – a situation that Pete Walsh is all too familiar with. After convocation, Walsh worked for his multigenerational Arizona-based family business for 16 years. Over his...
For years, Krishna Nallamilli enjoyed a career outside of the family business, Aditya Educational Institutions. A self-described tech geek, Krishna was making waves in India's Southern tech-hub Bangalore working as a software engineer. In 2008, he agreed to come back...

Features

For Norrøna, a Norwegian family business at the forefront of the outdoor clothing industry, respect for the natural world is woven in. Jørgen Jørgensen, an avid outdoorsman, founded the company nearly a century ago to share his passion with...
Manuel Casanueva left a profitable career as a civil engineer to become an entrepreneur – a great risk which paid off. His venture, Grupo GTD, became the first major private entity in the Chilean telecommunications industry, coming up in...

Entrepreneurship

Jose Juan Ciccia and Victor Jose Alfaro are both second-generation members of successful Peruvian family businesses. Jose runs CIVA, the tourism, transport and logistics company created by his father in the 1970s. Victor is in charge of one of...
Based out of Katwoude, The Netherlands, Martin Willig is part of the second generation of a family that has been processing quality cheeses for over 40 years. In the highly competitive international cheese market, Henri Willig Cheese has found...

Also in this Issue

In 1931, nine years before he would lead the Conservative Party and his country against the tyranny of fascism, Winston Churchill was thinking about, among other things, meat. He predicted that, in fifty years, the absurdity of growing a...
Editorial by Joseph J Horak, PhD, President, Family Business Solutions, Grand Rapids, USA; Entrepreneur in Residence and Honorary Teaching Fellow, Lancaster University Management School, Lancaster, UK A Portrait of Dysfunction in a Family Business Disconsolate and deflated, Rogen set his glasses...