Spotlight: Family Business Management

What’s the value of an MBA for family business management? In this post, Harry Santoso shares why he decided it was time to get an MBA, how he got his family board to see the value in this decision, how he’s been managing his time, and what he’s learned so far.

Family Business MBA Story

Harry, could you share about your family business & background?

My family is in the scrap metal trading (Examples of commodities that we deal with include aluminium scrap, copper scrap, stainless steel scrap, etc) and aluminium ingot manufacturing business. Our main export markets are Asian countries (e.g. China, India, Japan, Middle East, South Korea).

After I completed my undergraduate studies in accounting and finance, I immediately joined the family business. Since it was a family business, some job functions were customized and there is sometimes no clear-cut separation of duties. I was more involved in the general management, logistic planning, and marketing, because those three responsibilities are the core of the business. As the job functions imply, it involves frequent travel, overtime, and dealing with various kind of people, from warehouse staff right up to government officials or top management. While technical accounting and finance skills were useful to evaluate reports, certain soft-skills, such as influence, negotiation, communication, effective wielding of authority are very important too.

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