Family Business GEMBA: Welcoming the first class

Written on 22 July 2015.


The 15-month modular programme, which will conclude in May 2016, is spread across six different locations, including sessions at EDHEC’s five fully integrated campuses (Paris, London, Lille, Singapore and Nice). Those on the course have at least 10 years’ experience in a family firm and are considered next-generation leaders, whether they are part of the family or not.
Four of the participants in the GEMBA programme were recipients of an inaugural CampdenFB-EDHEC Scholarship, valued at €15,000. CampdenFB spoke to two of the scholarship recipients, Tim Menting (Joval Group) and Antoine Le Garrec (Norfrigo), about their experience thus far. Here you will find an extract of both interviews (full interviews at CampdenFB website, see link below).

Can you tell me about your role at the family business?

Tim Menting, Joval Group: I am the chief commercial officer of Joval Group, an Australian group of businesses operating in the food, wine, and logistics industries, owned by the Valmorbida family. The Joval Group’s story is similar to many successful Australian family businesses. It was founded in the late 1940s by four Italian brothers, who emigrated to Australia to introduce Italian food to the population. Today, the business is operated by the second and third generations. I am a non-family member, but I have worked with the family for nearly 10 years. I am responsible for most commercial aspects of the group.
Antoine Le Garrec, Norfrigo: I’m in the fourth generation of my family business. The company was founded in 1930 by my great-grandfather, as a deep water fishing company. Over the years, the company has evolved into a holding group, which has diversified across the fishing industry, but also has interests in cold storage, oil services, and indoor climbing. My father is the current CEO and chairman of the board.

The course requires that students have significant work experience. Has this had an impact on your studies?

T.M.: The experience and backgrounds of my classmates are diverse. Two-thirds of my classmates are family members, whereas the other third are non-family members working at a family business. We have developed very strong relationships through the course so far, and everyone has been very comfortable sharing their experiences in an open and trusting environment. Spending time with family members working in business has helped enhance my understanding of the issues they are facing. This will help me to guide the next generation of the family business back home.

Is there anything else about the course that you think is worth mentioning?

A.G.: The most striking thing about the family business MBA is the atmosphere, the cohesion between participants, the professors, and EDHEC itself. I think the profitable and interesting discussions have been made possible thanks to the mutual trust brought about by our similar circumstances. Whether you are a family member or you are working for a family business, the benefits of such an MBA are undeniable.
Full interviews can be founded at CampdenFB website >>

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