Deloitte Partners- SMU Business Families Institute in Case Study Initiative Focusing on Business Families In SouthEast Asia

18 Jan 2017
As part of a three-year Business Family Research Programme made possible by a generous research grant from Deloitte Southeast Asia (Deloitte) to Singapore Management University’s (SMU) Business Families Institute (BFI) in 2014, both partners today revealed the outcome of its Case Study Programme which serves to deepen the research and insights into this region’s business families.
With an aim to highlight the experiences definitive of the family businesses being studied, and extrapolate educational and inspirational learning points for other family businesses, Deloitte and SMU BFI kicked-off the Initiative with a first case study on Myanmar’s business family – KBZ Group of Companies.  The case, titled ‘Paving the Way for a New Generation – A case study of KBZ Family’, was launched in Myanmar today.  BFI and Deloitte will develop three more case studies of business families in Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines in the coming year.
Established by U Aung Ko Win in 1994, the KBZ Group of Companies is one of the family firms in the country which is integrating global economic concepts to address regional needs.  The Group has grown in tandem with Myanmar’s economic transition, with its business growing from trading, banking and mining, to a diverse range of businesses covering aviation, insurance, manufacturing, agriculture, real estate, healthcare, infrastructural development, transportation, tourism and hospitality. 
[Photo: The launch ceremony of the Deloitte-SMU BFI case study titled ‘Paving the Way for a New Generation – A case study of KBZ Family’, held in Myanmar on 23 Nov 2016.]
In highlighting the key factors contributing to the KBZ Group’s success, the case study highlighted that the family had started planning for succession early and the next generation has been gradually taking over leadership roles and implementing changes across management, innovation and human capital.  The KBZ Group is also one of the exemplary family firms in Myanmar which is giving back to its community, and setting a good example for other firms in the country to follow.  For instance, the Group encourages each bank branch to take the lead in community service and empower branch managers to initiate their own community engagement activities.  KBZ bankers are also encouraged to teach short-term financial literacy courses on a voluntary basis to the women whom KBZ Bank support as part of the Brighter Future Foundation’s microfinance programme.
Going forward, the KBZ Group intends to continue to play a key supporting role in the country’s future. A focus of the Group is to help nurture Myanmar’s entrepreneurs through investments, incubation and mentorship programs. This will put the Group in good stead to grow domestically and regionally in its next phase of expansion.
Mr Tam Chee Chong, Leader of Deloitte Private in Southeast Asia shared, “The private client segment in Southeast Asia is an important segment for Deloitte. Until recently, we have been serving these clients within our individual service lines. This year, we made the decision to consolidate our service delivery to this group, offering our whole suite of professional services under Deloitte Private. We see a lot of opportunity in the private client business in the region and family businesses contribute an integral role to the economy and community of their respective countries and beyond. Deloitte and SMU BFI are committed to understanding them in greater depth and together, we decided to kick-off the case study initiative with a business family in Myanmar because there is clearly a lot of investor interest in this last remaining untapped ‘greenfield’ market of Asia which holds tremendous economic opportunities for companies in Singapore and around the region.”
“BFI was set up with the vision of facilitating knowledge-sharing among families and supporting their learning and development, in order to build family and business sustainability.  These case studies, together with past research done by our Institute, will augment our knowledge resource and masterclass teaching materials.  The benefit to business families will be tremendous,” said Professor Annie Koh, SMU’s Vice President for Business Development, and Academic Director of BFI.
“In this respect, we are very grateful that the KBZ Group is sharing their story.  Although the Group is at a much earlier stage of growth compared to many family businesses in Southeast Asia, it nevertheless presented us with many insightful and exemplary learning points that business families in the region can learn from,” she added.
The case study launch took place before an audience of over 30 business family members comprising local business family members as well as participants from Singapore who were in Myanmar between 20 and 23 November 2016 as part of the BFI Learning Journey.  The BFI Learning Journey took 20 Singapore business families participants on a study trip which enabled meaningful exchanges with a diverse group of local business families to understand the culture and business opportunities available.