Long before they excelled in business, they were a family who brought out the best in one other. Pages Holdings Inc. (PHI) Chairman Bunny Pages said the family business, which they established some 15 years ago, wouldn’t be where it is today if the family members didn’t share the same vision.

“Ours is a business that involved all family members since day one, every day,” said Pages, whose former wife Ma. Elena Zaldarriaga and their children John, Charlie, Cheryl, Randy, and Michael have been all actively involved in growing the Pages businesses.

PHI started with Thirsty Fresh Fruit Juices and Shakes and Mooon Café. Now, the company has grown into 17 brands, with the latest addition of Summer Frozen Delights that opened in Ayala Center Cebu yesterday.

The Pages family is one of the recipients of the Philippine Family Business Awards 2018, awarded by the Ateneo Family Business Development Center (Ateneo FBDC) in cooperation with UnionBank.

Pages said the award is meaningful for him, especially that it commends the efforts of each family member working as a solid team in growing the business.

“My job as chairman and CEO is really to balance everybody’s ability and talent, and make sure that we are all looking in the same direction as a team rather than looking at each other and finding faults,” said Pages.

He admitted it is also quite a challenge because of innate differences but his job as a mentor and leader of the group is to make sure everybody works together and not leaves anyone behind.

The family crafted a family business constitution four years ago to help them run the business professionally and to ensure the company’s longevity. Delegating the responsibilities to family members has also made business operations more efficient. Each family member was entrusted with a brand to take care of and grow.

But when sibling conflicts arise, Pages said communication is the key. He said he drops everything just to fix the siblings’ relationship right away. “There will always be differences. But at the end of the day, it’s the love and respect for each other that keep us together and stronger,” Pages revealed.

This, he added, is evident in the progress of the family’s business over the years.

The Philippines is the second country in Asia that has the highest percentage of highly-stressed family businesses next to Indonesia, said family business consultant professor Eric Soriano, in a separate interview.

Some 48 percent of the family businesses have found it difficult to remove family members from positions of power while 43 percent experienced disagreements between family members over the direction of the company.

Source: Cacho, Kat. O., April 30, 2018; http://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1733492/Cebu/Business/Communication-delegation-crucial-to-make-family-biz-work