Marc Puig: “Family businesses are vital to implement the relaunch, recovery and transformation process”

Marc Puig, president de l'IEF
  • Under the motto ‘The Power of Recovery‘, almost 1,000 employers from all over Spain are participating in the major annual meeting of family businesses that, for the first time due to the pandemic, is being held online
  • Given the current situation, the Family Business Institute president says that many century-old family businesses have had to overcome numerous difficulties over their history: “We will do so too

Family businesses are essential to implement the process of relaunch, recovery and transformation that our country needs to address. This is because of our values and especially our leadership capacity“, said Marc Puig, Executive President of Puig and President of the Family Business Institute (IEF), at today’s opening of the 23rd National Congress of Family Business, which due to the pandemic is being held online for the first time. This has not prevented record numbers from attending, with almost 1,000 family employers, IEF members and the Territorial Associations of Family Businesses using the digital platform created for this purpose.

The Congress was opened by His Majesty King Felipe VI, who said in his speech that the crisis generated by Covid-19 “is a real challenge for Spain. And it is in these difficult times when we families, companies, institutions have to demonstrate our resilience and our willingness to join forces and find solutions that serve the short, medium and long term.”

For his part, Mr Puig thanked the Monarch for his attendance and recalled Felipe VI’s recent speech when he said that “to emerge from the crisis caused by the pandemic we are obliged to set a new economic course and promote a new development model that has inclusion as its basis.

This is already a global movement. We saw this at the time with the statement of the United States Business Roundtable, which proposed to distance itself from the doctrine of Milton Freidman, summarised in the headline of the famous article he published in 1970 that declared the maximisation of capital returns as the sole aim of business activity,. Well, not everything may be reduced solely to profit,” Mr Puig said.

On the contrary, the IEF President added, “our stance is that companies must simultaneously create economic prosperity and social value.” This is precisely “the characteristic of family businesses. Their time frame is counted in generations, not in quarters or days. And this gives us a different way of managing people; with the desire that they should remain in the company for a long time, fomenting training and internal promotion; even in times of crisis, family businesses are more resilient in the face of job destruction; with a value system that befits a family, with a different manner of establishing long-term relationships with suppliers and customers; and also a manner of relating to the community in which we operate, with a family’s desire to protect reputation and legacy, which roots us more in the territory and in the communities in which we operate. And as we think of forthcoming generations and the world that we will leave to them, we embrace the initiatives of environmental protection and sustainability.”

Values and leadership capacity
Mr Puig explained that the motto of this year’s Congress, THE FORCE OF RECOVERY, was chosen because “this is the idea that we wish to convey to society and institutions: that family businesses are essential to implementing the process of relaunch, recovery and transformation that our country needs to address. This is because of our values and, especially, our leadership capacity, which is accredited in some of the companies represented here, with some boasting over a century of history.

In addition to institutional and political representation, the Congress programme also includes the presence of business and science representatives as well as IEF associates so as to provide a refined vision of the panorama we are facing and a clear message about the major contribution that family businesses are already making towards the resolution of the crisis we are experiencing.