Chief Executive Officers(CEOs) of most firms in East Africa are confident that the economy of their countries is on a rebound, the 2021 KPMG East Africa CEO Outlook Survey shows.
This optimism is despite continued uncertainty and risk volatility in the region. Captains of Industry interviewed in the Survey feel a strong connection to their purpose and are looking to drive expansion.
This Survey shows that 82% of East Africa CEOs are confident about the growth prospects of their country compared to only 32 per cent at the height of the pandemic.
Despite the positive outlook, those surveyed listed the biggest risk they face in growing their organisations as those posed by Emerging and or Disruptive Technology (32%), Supply Chain risk(15%) and Cyber Security Risk( 10%).
Dwindling trust in governments by the public has shifted focus to organizations to fill the void and East Africa CEOs see their organizations playing a role in addressing societal challenges such as gender inequality and climate change.
Those interviewed are aggressive about their digital investment with 88% noting the urgency to shift investments to digital opportunities and divest businesses that face digital obsolescence.
With increased stakeholder pressure to build business back better, 82% of East Africa CEOs see themselves increasingly held personally responsible for driving progress in addressing social issues. 36% say they will invest about 10 per cent of their revenues in programs that enable their organizations to become more sustainable and overwhelmingly agree that world leaders at forthcoming COP26 must inject the necessary urgency in the climate change agenda.
East Africa CEOs are strengthening their organization’s digital advantage by building a more flexible future of work and operating as part of digital ecosystems.
CEOs are equipping their staff with digital tools that allow them to work remotely
Most CEOs recognize that majority of their employees will work two or more days per week remotely and are enabling them to work flexibly. They are thus equipping them with skills and digital tools that allow for hybrid work and foster collaboration.
Rather than be disrupted by competitors, 76% of Chief Executives are actively disrupting the sectors in which they operate and have an aggressive digital investment strategy intended to put them at the forefront.
Those interviewed said they see forming new partnerships as critical in their digital transformation efforts but are also cognizant that a strong cyber security strategy is critical to creating trust with their key stakeholders.