So say many of Asia’s next generation of business leaders faced with potential technological disruptions and their family’s current succession plans.

Technology advancement is a double-edged sword. We love when it enables our functioning, and hate how it disrupts our modus operandi. However, technology is inescapable, transformative and inevitably going to change traditional business models.

In Asia, where family businesses form the building blocks of many of the regions’ economies, technological innovations have minted billionaires in the last decade. At the same time, technology has the potential to make some multigenerational family businesses obsolete.

Many of our ultra-high-net-worth clients with wealth accumulated over multiple generations hope their next generation of leaders will continue to grow their businesses and wealth. But are these business leaders-in-waiting prepared for technological disruption? Can technology ensure business longevity?

We recently surveyed 133 and interviewed 13 of our clients across North and Southeast Asia to find out.

Highlights of what they told us include:

  • Decisions concerning the main family business continued to be made within the family: by the head of the family (36%) and the company board or a selected few (34%). Businesses with annual turnover of $1 billion and more were disinclined to entrust non-family executives with decision-making powers.
  • Just over half (55%) of the next generation feel ready to confront technological disruption in the family business; and more than half (56%) of these respondents say they lack experience.
  • A large majority (87%) of current business owners say the family business already has experienced changes in the last decade; 85% felt the changes have been positive.
  • A majority (80%) of all those surveyed agree that the family business will experience tech disruptions in the next 10 years; even more (92%) in the 41-60 years age category see tech disruption on the horizon. 
  • Who has experienced technological disruption experienced in the last decade and who expects it in future? The answer depends on their family business’ sector.  Those voting for “most disruptive” were in the financial services, industrial, and primary industries (mining, agriculture) industries. The least? Real estate and construction.

With more technological disruptions generally expected in the next 10 years, we urge our clients to do more to prepare. Integrate technology into the business operations and models. Engage the tech-savvy Next Generation more meaningfully as part of your family business succession planning.

We can help you achieve these goals. So speak with your J.P. Morgan representative. And click here to read the full J.P. Morgan Asia’s Family Business Technology Survey:  Embracing Data, Digital and Disruptions: Planning Ahead for Succession.