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CollectionsPost-war IndustriesMemories of Industrial VeteransSecond Generation Industrialists
Second Generation Industrialists

The second-generation industrialists we have interviewed were all either the children or nephews of factory founders. Growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, interviewees here had higher education opportunities that were not available to their parents, often going to Europe or the United States to study specialist industrial disciplines or business management topics. Unlike the generation who preceded them, they not only mastered technologies and theories, but were also well versed in English and the global market. Not many of second-generation industrialists took charge of their family’s business immediately upon graduation. Instead, they either tended to first work in Europe or the United States or gained real life experiences by starting out as lower-level employees in their family’s companies. In doing so, they honoured and built upon the accomplishments of their predecessors, carefully blending the strengths of each generation to take their businesses to the next level. Some inherited a humble attitude from their elders, learning a diligent and fighting spirit as they grew. Others adopted more aggressive management practices and attempted to reform and modernise traditional enterprises by developing new markets, products and technologies for their companies. The second-generation industrialists shared a passionate belief in science, also putting great emphasis on market research and data analysis. They also recruited specialist professionals to help share the responsibilities of financial, marketing, research and development functions. Some of them even listed their companies, so diluting the image of what was once a family business.

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