Press Release
29 May 2023 

The world’s 500 largest family enterprises grew their revenue by 10% amid ongoing global economic slowdown

The world’s 500 largest family enterprises grew their revenue by 10% amid ongoing global economic slowdown (TH)

  • The 500 largest family businesses generate US$8.02t and employ 24.5m people across 47 jurisdictions
  • 4 family enterprises in Thailand on the list
  • More needs to be done to close the gender gap with women holding only 23% of board seats

Bangkok, 29 May 2023: The 500 largest family businesses in the world are vital to the health of and are growing faster than the global economy. Collectively, they generate US$8.02t in revenues and employ 24.5m people worldwide across 47 jurisdictions, high enough to be the third largest national economy by revenue, behind only the US and China. These and other findings were published in the 2023 EY and University of St.Gallen Family Business Index, which is a ranking of the 500 largest family businesses in the world by revenue, and issued every two years.

Longevity and stability globally continue to be a staple among the companies listed on the 2023 index, as more than three-quarters (76%) have been around for more than 50 years, and nearly one-third (31%) are more than a century old. This is further reinforced by their board structures, with almost one-quarter of all board seats (23%) being held by family members and nearly half (45%) having family members as CEOs.


4 family enterprises in Thailand on the list

According to the study, 17 family enterprises in Southeast Asia (SE) made it to the top 500 list, including 4 enterprises from Thailand, with consumer-based family enterprises lead the index. Together, they hire close to 850,000 people in SE (212,836 in Thailand), and the average age of board members across these family enterprises is 62 years in SE (63 in Thailand).  

Vorapoj Amnauypanit, Partner, EY Thailand said:

“Having board members of an average age of over 60 years highlights the need for both Southeast Asia and Thailand’s family enterprises to examine board renewal and transition to the younger generation – and this needs to happen within the next few years. As family enterprises grow in size and complexity, a good succession plan becomes an imperative. There have been cases where family enterprises faced issues in transiting to the next generation due to governance challenges or internal conflicts. Hence, conducting succession planning earlier and communicating regularly to manage differences will go a long way to ensuring the long-term survival of the company.”


More needs to be done to close the gender gap on boards

Even though successful family enterprises are recognized for being agile, innovative, and purposeful, there is still some way to go with gender parity. Globally, around 6% have a female CEO, and women hold only 23% of all board seats. While 1 of 4 enterprises in Thailand have a female CEO, and nearly 13% of all board members are women in Thailand.

“The growing prominence of Asia-Pacific companies is also striking and a sign of the economic power these family-owned enterprises wield in the region. It will be interesting to observe how these long-established firms continue to adapt and prosper in light of social, environmental, economic and technological change. The role of the next generation in tackling these challenges will be absolutely critical.”, Vorapoj said.


For more information about Family Business Index 2023, please refer to


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