Thai NextGen recognise the transformational power of GenAI: PwC Survey

Sinsiri Thangsombat, Entrepreneurial and Private Business Leader and Assurance Partner, PwC Thailand
Sinsiri Thangsombat, Entrepreneurial and Private Business Leader and Assurance Partner, PwC Thailand

PwC Thailand has released a new report that highlights the challenges faced by family businesses in Thailand when it comes to adopting artificial intelligence (AI). 


The survey reveals that despite 79% of the next generation of Thai leaders (NextGen) recognising AI as a powerful force for transformation, 58% of family businesses either prohibit or hesitate to explore the potential of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) technology.


To capitalise on the benefits of GenAI and ensure the continuity of their family legacies, Thai NextGen leaders must take the lead by fostering trust within the family, establishing a framework for responsible AI adoption and implementing robust cybersecurity measures.


Sinsiri Thangsombat, Entrepreneurial and Private Business Leader and Assurance Partner, PwC Thailand reveals findings from the ‘Global NextGen Survey – Thailand Report: ‘Success and Succession in the AI era’, that an overwhelming majority of NextGen leaders share a positive sentiment towards GenAI. Some 79% of Thai NextGen recognise the powerful potential of AI for business transformation, mirroring their global counterparts with a figure of 73%. 


“Thai NextGen leaders are well aware of the opportunities presented by AI technology and are ready to lead the digital transformation of their family businesses. 


“However, the most significant challenge lies in changing the organisational culture to adapt to new demands, particularly in businesses that are traditionally managed by family,” Sinsiri said. 

The survey also reveals that Thai NextGen leaders believe GenAI can drive innovation within their family business. Almost half (48%) view that leveraging AI can achieve business growth, while 45% say it could change the way their business creates, delivers and captures value within the next three years. These figures also align with the sentiments of 61% of Thai CEOs who believe GenAI will significantly transform their organisations. 


Despite this awareness among Thai NextGen leaders about the implications of GenAI for their family businesses and industries, both domestically and internationally, they face the hurdle of acceptance from the current generation of leaders who hold conservative beliefs. 


The report reveals that 48% of Thai NextGen leaders encounter resistance within the company to embrace change. Meanwhile, 58% of family-run firms either prohibit the use of GenAI or have yet to explore the technology’s possibilities, surpassing the global figure of 49%.

Building trust and be prepared for risks


The PwC survey found that, even though Thai NextGen believe that GenAI will enhance productivity in their work, improve decision-making and increase employee work efficiency, they also express concerns about using this technology. 


Some 30% of Thai NextGen feel that GenAI is likely to increase the spread of misinformation, followed by concerns about legal liabilities (27%) and cybersecurity risks (27%).


“The challenge for Thai NextGen is to create understanding and acceptance among family members regarding the potential of GenAI, as this will determine the success of their businesses in the future. 


“This is why NextGen leaders must set a strategy surrounding AI adoption that aligns with their business goals as well as measures to mitigate cyber risks, and establish a framework for risk prevention and responsible use of AI,” Sinsiri said.


Thai NextGen understands the importance of building trust in AI adoption among business members, employees, and customers, and 48% of them believe there’s a significant opportunity for family businesses to lead in the responsible use of AI. 


Still, while 88% strongly agree that executives and employees should receive training to enhance their understanding of the AI risks and opportunities, only 12% have acted in this regard.


“In this era where AI is an essential tool for driving business, Thai NextGen must take the lead in adopting AI technology to modernise their operations. This involves establishing policies and guidelines for the responsible use of AI and protecting against cybersecurity risks. 


“By investing in workforce transformation and embracing digitalisation, they can help their businesses to leverage the advantages of this once in a generation technology, while also protecting the family legacy,” she concluded.