Agility is the new currency of business, says 67 percent of Indian CEO.
KPMG India’s fifth annual CEO Outlook suggest two-thirds of the CEOs in India have realized that if they fail to adapt to a constantly changing world, their business will become irrelevant. The above sentiment about agility is in-line with KPMG’s global outlook.
Arun Kumar, Chairman & CEO, KPMG India shares, “ Succeeding in a world of volatility and uncertainty requires different leadership skills, particularly in large organizations. It’s no longer a question of simply defending your position and using scale to maintain competitive advantage. Today, CEOs need to be comfortable disrupting their business models by forging new strategic partnerships, considering alternate M&A strategies and increasing the skills of their workforces.”
Some of the key findings from the report are:
Confidence of CEOs:
In 2019, the confidence of CEOs in India in the global economy has fallen significantly - only 53 percent CEOs are confident about the growth prospects of the global economy, as against 89 percent in 2018.
Testing unchartered waters:
CEOs in India have to understand and cope with an increasingly unpredictable and fast-changing array of risks. They have identified climate change (23 percent), return to territorialism (17 percent) and emerging/disruptive technology risk (17 percent) as the top three threats to their organisation’s growth for a second year in a row.
Leading in uncertain times:
73 percent CEOs in India as opposed to 71 percent CEOs globally agree that the growth of the organisation relies on the company’s ability to challenge and disrupt existing business models
Imbibing a culture of innovation:
Companies are also focusing on internalising a culture of innovation, with 80 percent CEOs in India, wanting their employees to feel empowered to innovate without worrying about the negative consequences. However, these CEOs are yet to instil such a culture in the companies; a mere 46 percent believe that their organisation does have a culture in which ‘fast-failing’ unsuccessful innovation initiatives are not perceived in a negative manner.
Building resilience and agility:
For organisations, building resilience and acting with agility require CEOs in India to drive change from within. Their foremost priorities focus upon enhancing digital capabilities (in terms of both technology and workforce) and building cyber resilience. 92 percent of CEOs in India expect significant return on investment from their firm’s overall digital transformation programme within the next three years, in line with views expressed by CEOs globally.
The evolution of the CEOs:
There is a greater need for CEOs to act with agility and even more today given their average tenure has reduced to 5 years, even as challenges and responsibilities have grown multi-fold. 66 percent of CEOs in India believe there is still tremendous scope for them to improve their understanding of customers. CEOs in India also heavily rely on their own expertise and insights to provide customized solutions to their customers. In fact, 74 percent of them disregard data-driven insights because they found those to be contrary to their own experience or intuition.