How To Run A Family Business: MOF Company's Natalia Peña Shares Her Thoughts
The daunting, yet sometimes paradoxical honour of rising to the challenge to take over the ropes of a family business is something that many a son or daughter face. The paradox continues on as this journey is one of privilege, and is yet extremely high pressure, with a lot at stake.
Many of the Philippines’ largest, more successful, thriving and growing businesses are family-owned and family-run. For that matter, there are countless massive global enterprises that are family-run, and proud of it. In fact, the legacy of a brand and its power can stem from the culture that is imbibed by those who manage it. The perspective, know-how and innate knowledge that comes from being born around an industry, surrounded by people passionate about a certain topic, make you very much a part of that word. Some skills and a particular vision can take a lifetime to build, to mould or perfect. What one can learn from generations past is priceless as learning through experience is something truly eye-opening.
Through this interview, we have gained a deeper understanding of the challenges and balance that is needed to drive one’s professional life forward after interviewing second and third-generation family members who have decided to pursue and improve their family operations. Learn from Natalia Penia, business development manager of end-to-end logistics provider MOF Company (Subic) Inc., here:
This young lady is the business development manager at her father’s company, MOF Company (Subic) Inc, a business that provides end-to-end logistics for companies in the Philippines. MOF stands for Marino Olondriz Fernandez - her great grandfather; that was the original name of the company founded by him. The current corporation of her family operations is an offshoot, one that is completely separate that pays homage to the original enterprise. Natalia helps to manage the engineering and marketing teams as well as coordinates the bids for different projects and clients.
What are the challenges of stepping into the family business?
The biggest challenge I have had so far is learning how to incorporate the younger generations perspective, while still preserving the core aspects of the business. I guess it’s a manner of updating traditions little by little and finding out what works for the company and what doesn’t, but being careful not to overstep. It is easy to be brought in to the company and have all these big and bright ideas, but it is another thing entirely to implement them and see what actually fits and is feasible.
What have you learned from your parents or elders who have been in the business before you?
I have learned the importance of good clients. If given the choice of either having five good clients or ten irregular clients I would always go with the former. Growing your business relies on providing good service and having loyal customers; you need clients who believe in you and the work that you are doing. I also learned the great importance of giving personal attention to everything you do in the job. Your personal touch makes a huge difference.
How can you successfully work with family members?
Listening to each other is key, and respecting each other’s opinions, especially of those with more experience. Without respect, everything becomes a lot more difficult.
What legacy do you want to create?
I hope to continue building our company as well as help build our nation’s infrastructure and boost the power industry.