Succession strategy makes or breaks a family business

(Left to right) Sam Christopher Lim, Vice President, Francorp Philippines; Katrina Lim, General Manager, Gautier Philippines; Sam Frederick Lim, President, Blims Lifestyle Group; Samie Lim, Chairman, Blims Lifestyle Group; Carrie Lim, Executive Vice President, Blims Lifestyle Group; Sam Gregory Lim, Vice President, Blims Lifestyle Group and Sam Benedict Lim.

(Source: Manila Bulletin | 27 March 2016)

Preparing for succession in a family-owned business is crucial to the perpetuation of a family treasure by its future generation. Family patriarchs who failed to do so end up with a crumbling business or empire being subdivided to pieces no longer recognizable from its origin.

BLIMS Lifestyle Group (BLG) is undoubtedly the country’s largest independent chain of multi-furniture brands, covering from the low to medium to top-of-the-line global brands.

But early on, its patriarch Samie Lim has already assigned specific business tasks to his children for its growing business.

BLG has the following brands — BLIMS Fine Furniture, La-Z-Boy, Celinni, SOGO Home & Office furniture, the new Gautier is the first of a series of international brands. Next in line is the German Garant Moble prototype store will finally open by May, and another brand by the second semester, and more to follow after.

Samie has 6 children, 5 sons and one daughter, – Sam Benedict, Sam Christopher, Sam Dexter, Sam Frederick, Sam Gregory and Samantha Katrina. All of them are educated in the US, Canada, UK and China.

“Each of my children will have to find where they can be most productive and happy,” said Samie.

Sam Frederick Lim, eldest child of Samie is now BLG president. He oversees the overall strategy of the company and its financial performance.

The General Manager for La-Z-Boy Philippines is Sam Gregory Lim, who is tasked to work with the brand manager and the team to aggressively expand La-Z-Boy in the Vis-Min area.

For Gautier, Katrina Lim is the General Manager. Since it is a new brand, she will supervise the growth path of Gautier here in the Philippines to make sure of its success and acceptance by the local market. She has a design background, so she wants to work with local design firms and interior designers, architects to provide quality French made furniture to their clients.

“We will also rotate them to the different brands to make them flexible,” he said.

BLG’s La-Z-Boy has 6 galleries and available in 40 locations, Cellini Gallery Design and Gautier has one showroom each. But its products can be found in any of the 16 branches of BLIMS Fine Furniture, 7 beaches of SOGO Home & Office, Home Factory Outlets Mall and in 16 locations of Office World.

Benedict advises the group on marketing, since he has a master’s degree in marketing from Kellogg. Eric handles financial matters because of his studies in finance from Simon Frazier University in Canada. Katrina heads merchandising for the Group because she took up courses in interior design in Canada and has traveled extensively in Europe while studying in UK and has worked with IKEA.

“Our youngest, Greg graduated from Ateneo and went to Beijing for further studies, is in charge of our social media communication, handles the human resource and operation department,” he added.

Having assigned specific tasks to each of his kids, Samie is now ready for retirement.

“I plan to fully retire in 5 years, and have started the process,” said Lim, who successfully carried on the 67-year-old family legacy.

— By Bernie Magkilat


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