Family IN Business
Family IN Business
4. Is This A Story Of A Family Enterprise Failure or The Rebirth Of An Entrepreneur: Ariel Bacal of BLANX
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Season 3, Episode 4 of the Family IN Business Podcast

As the third-generation family business leader, Ariel Bacal faced overwhelming obstacles in his footwear manufacturing and retail business in Colombia and Venezuela: an onslaught of cheaper products, a plunge in currency exchange, and ever mounting pressures from the fashion footwear industry. After countless pivots and desperate measures, it became clear that the only option left was to close the family business.

Hear Ariel Bacal candidly share his business story: how he decided it was the right time to close the family enterprise and the lessons he learned through failure. And why, only four years later, he resumed his entrepreneurial journey with BLANX, an innovative online shoe company. In this episode, we explore the element of timing in the Family IN Entrepreneurship Model as well as how the stories we tell about ourselves shape our understanding of events and our identity.

Show Notes: 

Theme:  Failure, entrepreneurship and timing in family business and the stories we tell about ourselves

 

Your host: 

Esther Choy, CEO and Chief Story Facilitator of Leadership Story Lab, author of Let the Story Do the Work (AMACOM)

 

Special thanks to:

Ariel Bacal, Co-Founder, BLANX, KSM ‘20

Jennifer Pendergast, Executive Director of John L. Ward Center for Family Enterprises, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University

Matt Allen, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship, Babson College and Visiting Associate Professor, John L. Ward Center for Family Enterprises

 

Contact us: familyenterprises@kellogg.northwestern.edu

WardCenter.net

 

Key Moments

0:28: The challenge of sharing stories of failure

2:48: Who is Ariel Bacal?

4:44: The candid story of the fall of the family business in footwear manufacturing and retail

8:00: How did Bacal attempt to overcome the challenges in Colombia and Venezuela

10:28: Why the entrepreneurial endeavors did not save the family business

12:26: The classic financial time bomb

13:23: Negotiating bankruptcy after the devaluation of the peso

15:13: Announcing the decision to close the factory

19:09: The relief and spark of making the decision to close

20:43: With the benefit of hindsight, what would Bacal have done differently?

21:55: Getting back to business with BLANX, a different kind of footwear business

23:55: Why did Bacal start BLANX, just four years after closing the family business

25:17: The stories we tell about ourselves, with Jennifer Pendergast

26:28: The story of failure and the mindset of family business, with Matt Allen

30:21: Considering timing, the third element in the Family IN Business entrepreneurial model

31:54: How Bacal frames his own story

32:46: How Bacal leverages the his family business assets in the founding of his new venture

34:45: Reframing Bacal’s entrepreneurial story

 

Next Episode: 5. Creating Strategic Entrepreneurial Goals Within A Family Business: Kalpana Waikar of Inspired Indian Cooking

Download “Is This A Story Of A Family Enterprise Failure or The Rebirth Of An Entrepreneur: Ariel Bacal of BLANX”

Transcript-Ariel-Bacal-Final.pdf – Downloaded 369 times – 147.57 KB

Better Every Story

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People forget facts, but they never forget a good story. In her book, Esther Choy shares business storytelling methods, examples and practical tools and templates. It’s your essential leadership storytelling toolkit.

Let the story do the work

People forget facts, but they never forget a good story. In her book, Esther Choy shares business storytelling methods, examples and practical tools and templates. It’s your essential leadership storytelling toolkit.

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