Isabelle Gotianun Yap, a third-generation steward of the Filinvest conglomerate and Executive Director at East West Banking Corp. (EastWest), recently provided valuable insights into managing family-owned businesses during a workshop organized by the Ateneo Family Business Development Center, supported by EastWest Priority.
During the workshop, Isabelle emphasized the significance of maintaining a delicate balance in managing family businesses. She highlighted the importance of beginning the learning process at home, where business discussions are a constant part of family life.
Isabelle also shared the Gotianun family’s approach to their businesses, including Filinvest Corp. and its banking unit, EastWest. One of their key practices is hands-on involvement from a young age. Isabelle recounted how she and her cousins engaged in various aspects of the business, from serving as food court busboys to managing cinema booths during summer vacations. These experiences instilled a profound appreciation for the hard work required to sustain and grow a family business.
A crucial aspect of the Gotianun family’s success lies in their commitment to ensuring that every family member comprehends not only the specifics of their family business but also broader business principles. Education and business exposure serve as a critical foundation for their approach.
Isabelle emphasized the importance of ongoing professional development and leadership, especially within family businesses. She noted that all Gotianun heirs undergo coaching and mentoring to further their growth and enhance their effectiveness in serving the family enterprises.
To maintain unity and trust within the family, Isabelle highlighted the significance of periodic family conferences. These conferences provide opportunities to discuss essential business matters, share family history, and revisit the family constitution. They also serve as venues for team building and family bonding, bridging generations.
Isabelle’s insights into the sustainability of the Gotianun family business offer valuable lessons for young entrepreneurs growing up within family-owned enterprises. Their story demonstrates the power of unity, trust, and unwavering commitment in navigating the complex landscape of family-owned businesses while successfully blending tradition and innovation.