Bangladeshi CEOs less optimistic about long-term viability: PwC
- Inflation, macroeconomic volatility and geopolitical tension top threats
- 50% CEOs see no viability in 10 yrs without transformation
- 69% CEOs (69%) say no job cut plans
Company bosses are less optimistic about long-term viability of their businesses without critical transformation, though more than half of them hope their businesses will grow in the year ahead, says a PwC survey.
More than a half of chief executive officers (53%) surveyed in Bangladesh are confident that their business will grow in the year ahead, but they see inflation, macroeconomic volatility and geopolitical tensions as top threats, according to the PwC survey.
However, less than 50% of CEOs are optimistic about the long-term economic viability of their businesses and think their current business model will be viable for more than 10 years. This is lower than global findings where 59% of CEOs worldwide believe that their businesses will last more than ten years.
PwC Bangladesh on Thursday published the Bangladesh perspectives of the PwC's 26th Annual Global CEO Survey, which polled 4,410 CEOs in 105 countries in October-November 2022, including 32 CEOs from Bangladesh. The global report, launched earlier this year, offers an insight into how CEOs are navigating the most pressing issues of the day.
In contrast with their global peers, CEOs in Bangladesh are more concerned about the ongoing global supply chain disruption than regulatory changes due to the country's significant reliance on import of raw materials as well as strong dependence on exports and remittances. Technological disruption, regulatory changes, skill shortages, the threat of new entrants and transition to new energy sources are also believed to have significant impact on business profitability, the survey reveals.
Though CEOs are attempting to boost revenue growth by diversifying offerings, increasing prices of products and services, and reducing operating cost to minimise the economic challenges, cutting jobs or pay is still not high on their agenda, the survey finds.
Less than 20% have taken cost-cutting actions – such as slashing compensation, implementing a hiring freeze and decreasing the workforce, while more than half are not willing to take such measures in the near future.
Many CEOs take skill upgrades and capacity building of the workforce as a priority to prepare employees for more creative work and skills compatible with the Smart Bangladesh vision.
"If managed proactively, the telecom sector will play a pivotal role in boosting the economy," believes Yasir Azman, CEO of Grameenphone.
Most of the CEOs of Bangladesh feel that it's crucial for them to reinvent their businesses to become future-ready, the survey reveals, citing instances of ready-made garment exporters exploring export markets in emerging nations to balance against the slow economic growth in the western world.
"Bangladesh is one of the most resilient economies today and can perform well even in difficult times,"says Rajesh Surana, former CEO and country representative of LafargeHolcim Bangladesh.
The PwC survey highlights the need for improved corporate governance and company board's independence to sustain the business growth.
"We need to increase our focus on green tech project financing and appropriate financial assistance from all stakeholders," says Syed Mahbubur Rahman, Managing Director and CEO of Mutual Trust Bank, Bangladesh.
While global CEOs prioritise business benefits for ecosystem development, their peers in Bangladesh focus more on addressing societal issues, the PwC survey shows.
Cyber defence is becoming a part of the strategy of sectors like banking and telecom which are more vulnerable to the risk of cyberattacks, it finds.