(MENAFN- The Peninsula) lalin fernandopulle |
Doha: Over half of the Middle East CEOs (58 percent) are transforming their businesses by diversifying their products and services revealed a survey by PwC on regional CEOs who are also continuing to invest and do deals reflecting a continued momentum in capital market activity, especially within KSA and UAE.
The findings of the 26th edition of PwC's global CEO survey which polled 4,400 CEOs in 64 countries revealed that CEOs in the Middle East are confident in regional growth and are transforming their businesses embracing new technologies, investing, driving cost efficiencies, moving on deal activity and taking active steps to mitigate the risk of climate change.
Two-thirds of the regional CEOs see technological disruption as a leading issue, with 84 percent expecting to invest in automation, artificial intelligence, cloud technology in 2023 and 74 percent to invest in up-skilling their workforce.The survey also reveals that over the last 12 months, the region has significantly deepened its commitment to tackling climate change with government and private-sector pledges committing to meeting national net-zero targets, with momentum no doubt accelerated by the recent COP27 summit in Egypt and the upcoming COP28 summit in the UAE. This new sustainability mindset has resulted in almost 50 percent of Middle East CEOs taking steps to mitigate climate risk or innovating new products and processes to lower their carbon footprint and cut emissions.
CEOs in the Middle East are actively preparing for a dynamic period ahead with 58 percent of CEO's already transforming and strengthening their businesses.
Unlike their global peers, regional business leaders are proactively accelerating M&A activity with 76 percent not delaying deals vs 60 percent globally. Nor are they slowing down on investments with 58 percent of regional CEOs continuing to invest vs just 40 percent globally.
Middle East executives are also focused on building efficiencies and resilience around their supply chains, with more than 70 percent looking to push through price increases and 84 percent seeking to reduce operating costs.
The region's CEOs are also upbeat about the region's economic growth prospects, with around two thirds of business leaders expecting an improvement this year.
As the Middle East continues with its ambitious digital transformation agenda, this year's survey found that two-thirds of regional CEOs view technological disruption as a leading issue that will affect their industry's profitability over the next decade, compared with just under half of global CEOs.
This year's survey indicates that Middle East senior executives foresee technology as a prominent feature in their plans with more than four in five regional CEO's expecting to invest in automation processes and systems in 2023, and 66 percent expecting to deploy cloud technology, artificial intelligence, and other advanced technologies in operations.
Attracting and retaining talent also remains a key focus with 74 percent of Middle East CEOs expecting to invest in re-skilling their workforce, in addition to 84 percent of regional leaders planning on not reducing staff compensation.
However, CEOs hold a pessimistic view on the outlook for the global economy with 73 percent of global CEOs and 82 percent of regional CEOs expecting a decline in global growth over the next 12 months.
Just 21 percent of North American CEOs and 18 percent of European CEOs are confident in revenue growth in their own markets.
This contrasts sharply with the picture in the Middle East where 63 percent of regional CEOs are confident about their own companies' revenue growth over the next 12 months, with 71 percent of senior executives confident about their outlook for the next three years.
Bassam Hajhamad, Country Senior Partner, PwC Qatar said:“This year's Middle East CEO survey clearly resonates with the emerging themes across Qatar. Companies in Qatar are confident in their future sustainable growth.
They are resilient and constantly transforming their businesses by embracing new technologies and partnerships. The digital transformation agenda is key to CEOs future proofing their companies.