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Qatar-based CEOs optimistic about country’s growth prospects: KPMG

Qatar-based CEOs optimistic about 
country’s growth prospects: KPMG

Satyendra Pathak
Majority of Qatar-based CEOs have expressed confidence in their country’s growth prospects, according to Qatar CEO Outlook report released by KPMG on Wednesday.
Qatar CEOs are generally more optimistic about the outlook for Qatar than their global counterparts are about their respective countries.
Qatari CEOs said they are more confident about the growth prospect of their country than they are about the prospects for their companies or industries.
The firm surveyed a range of top business leaders and found that 60 percent of the CEOs in Qatar have expressed confidence in the growth prospects of their country, compared to 45 percent of global CEOs who expressed confidence in their country’s growth prospects.
The survey finds that the COVID-19 crisis has shaken CEO’s confidence in global economic growth. Only 20 percent of Qatar CEOs said they were confident about the growth prospects for the global economy over the next three years.
The latest Qatar CEO Outlook report by KPMG is an effort to bring some clarity to the ‘new normal’. KPMG interviewed thousands of CEOs from many of the world’s largest companies, first in January and then again in July and August, to get their perspectives and to understand how their priorities have changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the survey, 80 percent of CEOs in Qatar says the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation, with the biggest advance in digital business models and revenue streams, and the creation of a seamless digital customer experience.
Digital acceleration will continue to drive business transformation as 50 percent of Qatar-based CEOs said that progress has sharply accelerated and they are years in advance of where they had expected earlier.
“While digital transformation has long been a focus area for CEOs, the pandemic led to a shift in the pace and urgency of change in organisations worldwide. With commerce increasingly taking place online because of factors such as physical distancing, companies are having to rethink what customers want and how to deliver,” KPMG said.
Earlier in the year, Qatar CEOs ranked cybersecurity risk as their biggest threat to growth, followed by emerging and disruptive technology risk and environmental and climate change risk.
While these risks remained high priorities, post-COVID-19 supply chain risk usurped them to become the number one risk for Qatar CEOs and number two globally, behind talent risk.
Commenting on the results of the survey, KPMG Country Senior Partner in Qatar Ahmed Abu Sharkh said, “The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted almost every aspect of our lives today and for CEOs it has redefined leadership. These individuals at the helm of large organisations have had to lead through adversity and manage a level of uncertainty that few will have ever experienced.”
“Not surprisingly, the CEOs we interviewed in this groundbreaking study are less confident about global economic growth than they were at the beginning of the year. However, Qatar-based CEOs expressed much more optimism in the growth prospect for Qatar than their global counterparts,” Sharkh said.
“These viewpoints attest to the decisive leadership of the government of Qatar in responding rapidly to the health crisis and putting in robust measures to help mitigate the human and economic impact,” Sharkh said.
Supply chain risk emerges as a threat to growth in shifting risk agenda as 80 percent of CEOs in Qatar said they have had to rethink their global supply chain approach, as a result of the disruption caused by the pandemic.
To move forward, CEOs are looking to double-down on the structural shifts that have emerged during the crisis as 70 percent of Qatar CEOs say they want to lock in climate change gains that have been realised during the pandemic.
With the pandemic transforming the world of work, 90 percent of Qatar CEOs say they will continue to build on their current use of digital collaboration and communication tools, and 70 percent believe that remote working has actually widened their available talent pool.
At the beginning of the year, we found that CEOs in Qatar were less likely than their global counterparts to see the primary objective of their organisation as purpose-led.
Only 12 percent agreed that their primary objective was to improve society, while 40 percent saw the organisation’s overall objective in narrow ‘managing for shareholder value’ terms.
Post-COVID-19, Qatar CEOs showed a marked shift in their perspective with 80 percent saying they have had to re-evaluate their purpose as a result of COVID-19 to better address the needs of stakeholders.
Purpose has become a central pillar for CEOs in Qatar as 70 oercent say they feel a stronger emotional connection to their corporate purpose since the crisis began.
It is encouraging that 80 percent of Qatar CEOs said their purpose helped them understand what they need to do to meet the needs of stakeholders, employees, communities, customers, partners and investors, while at the same time, recognizing that the massive disruptive impact of the pandemic has caused many of them to re-evaluate their current purpose to ensure it really does meet the needs of stakeholders.
The CEO Outlook is based on the input of CEOs in Qatar and provides an in-depth outlook from thousands of global executives on enterprise and economic growth.
The survey offers a unique perspective on the mindset shift of Global CEOs since the lockdown and assesses how companies can map new business strategies for success over the next three years.