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The KPMG in India CEO Outlook 2020- COVID-19 Special Edition, provides an in-depth outlook from CEOs in India on enterprise and economic growth. The survey offers a unique perspective on the mindset shift of CEOs in India since the lockdown.

About 125 CEOs from India participated in a survey conducted by KPMG International in January-February 2020, before many key markets were beginning to feel the full impact of the pandemic. In August-September 2020, KPMG in India conducted a follow-up pulse survey of 100 CEOs across the country to understand how their  priorities have changed since the onset of the crisis.

The COVID-19 crisis has triggered a dramatic shift in how business leaders in the country are assessing potential risks now, compared with the pre-pandemic times. The uncertainty around geopolitical factors such as ongoing trade tensions and apprehensions regarding a global recession has altered growth sentiments of CEOs in India.

The pandemic has not only impacted their companies’ future earnings but continues to loom as a challenge to their leadership abilities. Consequently, CEOs in India are assessing their leadership approach and realigning corporate strategies. In order to weather through the pandemic, they are chalking out short and long-term strategies.

KPMG 2020 CEO Outlook COVID-19 Special Edition

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Key strategies for CEO

Overall, three key themes emerged from this year’s survey

  • Emergence of purpose-driven leadership along with adoption of cost optimisation strategies
  • Realignment of strategies that include rethinking of supply chains, enhancing ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) programmes and aligning with new work realties
  • Higher emphasis on digital acceleration in a bid to get future ready.