Caroline Link - 4th Generation Heir to B.Grimm, one of Thailand’s Oldest Business Institutions [The Business of Family]


16 November 2020

33 mins 52 secs

Season 1

Your Host
Special Guest

About this Episode

Caroline Link, a 4th generation family member who is being groomed to run B.Grimm, one of Thailand’s oldest family-owned industrial conglomerates. Caroline grew up in a family where the common driving value and belief was to conduct business with compassion and in harmony with nature.

Through multiple generations of management, and multiple business areas and geographies, B.Grimm (which was founded in Bangkok in 1878), has managed to cultivate a spirit of innovation and empowerment among its staff.

Standout Quotes:

  • “All the family members that are not in the business are just as important because they also form who you are, form your opinions, and influence you in some way” – [Caroline Link]
  • “I think the most important thing that we invest in, is our reputation and that is really the most important thing that we have” – [Caroline Link]
  • “Being a family business; that really helped in a way because these strong values, they weren’t only passed on when you became a leader within the company, but they were lived in the household” – [Caroline Link]
  • “Keep working on yourself, and if you want things to change you have to initiate it and change yourself” – [Caroline Link]

Key Takeaways:

  • Caroline explains that the resilience of the family business over time was born from the entrepreneurial spirit in the leaders, as well as a strong culture that is value and purpose-driven
  • A family business is different from normal business; families come from a place of love, harmony, and support, and it’s important to look at this dynamic
  • Caroline describes that the most important thing the business invests in is “Reputation”, and a lot of the reputation is based on the company's purpose and culture.
  • Following an exercise aimed at creating an in-depth definition of the company as a whole, it was realized that the key to the success of the company, even from the founders, was an inherent drive towards helping society and creating value.
  • Caroline also shares that a workshop on family values revealed the two main values in her family to be ”Contribution” and “Sense of Freedom”
  • It is important to develop a strong sense of self-awareness; keep working on yourself, and if you want things to change you have to initiate it and change yourself
  • Find what makes you happy professionally and gives you meaning, and make a contribution

Episode Timeline:

  • [00:48] Meeting the guest; Caroline Link, and the B.Grimm company
  • [01:33] A brief history on the founding of the B.Grimm Company up to the 3rd generation
  • [06:48] Caroline shares that she was lucky her interests were aligned with many fields that the family business was already involved in.
  • [08:40] How has the family business remained resilient for such a long time?
  • [09:53] How the family has governed itself successfully
  • [15:52] Diversifying the family wealth outside of the business
  • [16:54] Caroline describes that the family strives to build an archive of the business history even though so much of it has been lost to wars and a fire accident.
  • [20:23] What is the most worthwhile investment you have ever made?
  • [22:01] Who is B.Grimm?
  • [23:20] The two main family values shared by Caroline’s family
  • [25:17] The scale of the B.Grimm enterprise
  • [28:06] Caroline’s thoughts on the children being a part of the family business
  • [31:58] A letter from Caroline to her Kids

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