Eu Yan Sang: Reviving a Traditional Family Business with Modern Business Principles

By Hayagreeva Rao, Jennie Tung
2007 | Case No. OB65

Eu Yan Sang International was an Asia-based traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) provider. The company was established in the late 1890s and had been in operations for over 100 years. By 2007, it was managed by a combination of fourth-generation descendants and professional managers. The first section of this case examines the dramatic rise and fall of the Eu family business empire over several generations, and illustrates the complex interplay of preserving family values, managing personal egos, and reviving a 100-year-old business using modern management techniques. The second section discusses Eu Yan Sang’s growth in the 1990s as it transitioned from a purely family-run business to one which had to balance preserving traditional values and meeting the expectations of a modern day corporation. The last section discusses Richard Eu’s, fourth generation CEO of the company, considerations in succession planning as the business prepared for a new generation of leadership.

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