Industry leaders in India are surrounded by pessimism lingering around the growth prospects of the economy and business. Only 33 per cent CEOs in India are confident of the growth in their domestic economy and only 42 per cent are optimistic about the growth prospects of their company, compared to 78 per cent and 84 per cent at the beginning of the year, respectively, said KPMG in India 2020 CEO Outlook report. The Indian CEOs have identified ‘lack of skills and capabilities in IT’ as one of the most significant challenges to growth, the report added. CEOs in India are also less confident about their companies’ earnings as around 19 per cent of them expect the earnings to either remain flat or decline.
Given the existing need for cost optimisation strategies, rethinking supply chain strategy, enhancing ESG programs, and aligning with the new work realities, the report further found out that the agenda of leaders has radically shifted since the beginning of the year. Supply chain risk and digital disruption are the biggest roadblocks behind the companies.
The significant shift in CEOs priorities over the last six months reflect the agility with which CEOs had to deal with the challenges of the pandemic, said Arun M Kumar, Chairman and CEO, KPMG in India. CEOs in India have recognised the importance of the accelerated transition to digital business models and they believe that digital technologies are imperative to maintain customer trust and keep remote workforces connected, Arun M Kumar added.
There has been a heavy investment witnessed in technology during the lockdown period and the CEOs are betting on major dimensions of digital transformation to make their companies more operationally resilient, agile, and customer-focused.
Whilst we are still some time away from normalcy, there are some permanent changes to the way businesses will function going forward, said Vikram Hosangady, Partner and Head, Clients and Markets, KPMG in India. COVID-19 has only acted as a catalyst to accelerate digital transformation with companies today spending more than what they originally planned for on digitisation, he added.