Join our family business competency program | Inquirer Business

Join our family business competency program

Family members working in their enterprises face myriads of challenges. How can they strategize for the long term if they are overwhelmed with daily demands? How can they distinguish themselves from competition if traditional marketing techniques may not resonate as much with the Gen Z and Alpha? How can they deal effectively with employees?

For non-business majors who are expected to take the helm, which accounting, finance, statistics practices are essential? For management graduates, how can more advanced tools such as operations research and mathematical modeling streamline their processes?


Aside from operational functions, at the root of family businesses are issues on leadership and succession. How can family dynamics be handled amid periods of unexpected change? How can conflict be resolved in family council meetings? How can professionalization proceed in the context of governance? What does a family constitution entail?

To address the above issues, we in the Ateneo Family Business Development Center (AFBDC) did a months-long certificate program for family business members a couple of years ago. The response was positive, so we are doing another run, with the first sessions already ongoing this week. The program is endorsed by the Ateneo John Gokongwei School of Management (JGSOM) dean Roberto Galang.


Each topic is taught by JGSOM faculty who are experts in their fields, most of whom I have closely interacted with.

Ricky Mercado, AFBDC director, who I have worked with for decades, will discuss governance and constitution. With HR practitioner Marijo Caronongan (who will also speak on her expertise), he will also tackle succession and council meetings. Pilar Tolentino, my thesis advisee who heads JGSOM’s leadership and strategy department, will discuss family dynamics and business professionalization. Manolet Siojo, one of Pilar’s predecessors and a seasoned training and development consultant (and whose spouse Carla formerly headed Ateneo’s undergraduate career and placement services), speaks from experience on the need for leadership in navigating change. Michael Tan and Alyson Yap, who have worked with me in addressing students’ needs, will hone in on operations strategies and quantitative decision-making, respectively.

Alice Parlan will help participants gain or refresh their skills in accounting, which she terms “the language of business,” and finance, particularly how family members can be “intelligent consumers” and users of financial information.

Several speakers bring a wealth of real-life political or corporate experience to the academe. Vic Agbayani, a former Pangasinan governor and congressman, will guide participants in utilizing business statistics in decision-making. Aside from just descriptive statistics, Vic will focus on inferential statistics all the way to multivariate analyses.

Matec Villanueva, former chair and CEO of Publicis Manila who is now Ateneo’s director of marketing and communications, helps participants navigate digital marketing. Nathaniel Lim, whose consulting firm continues to help various businesses, will discuss strategic thinking and marketing fundamentals.

Running from January to May 2023, our family business competency program is held over Zoom, making it more convenient for participants. Slots are limited, so register ASAP if interested. For schedule and fees, email [email protected] or call 0905-528-1672.

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