The sudden overnight transference to a virtual working environment for most or the entire workforce made accelerating digital transformation a core business priority throughout the pandemic. After taking successful strides in this aspect, business leaders in India are now moving beyond and focusing on building digital resilience along with agility.

Based on their learnings and experience of digital adoption, CEOs in India are ready to achieve a much-needed digital edge when it comes to embedding technology in operations. CEOs in India are aligned with their global counterparts when it comes to planning digital resiliency.

Planning for digital resilience

The survey shows 48 per cent of CEOs in India (higher than their global counterparts at 42 per cent) stating they want to establish a strong digital and cyber risk culture in their organisation championed by senior leaders. Moreover, about two-thirds of (64 per cent) CEOs in India stated that they have a plan to address a ransomware attack if faced with one.

Digital resilience graph

Active disruption

CEOs in India recognise that digital lies at the heart of how they can create new sources of value. While this is an opportunity, it is also a risk: the acceleration of digital technologies means that business models that have existed for years can quickly become obsolete and irrelevant.

The data shows that CEOs in India are embracing the need to push the boundaries of their business and question long-held assumptions of what it will take to succeed in the mid- to long-term.

Similar to last year in August 2020, 74 per cent CEOs in India (higher than their global counterparts at 72 per cent this year) are actively looking to disrupt the sector they operate in, rather than waiting to be disrupted by competitors. At the same time, 68 per cent of CEOs in India compared to 78 per cent in August 2020, see technological disruption as more of an opportunity than a threat.

A hybrid comeback

In a world where hybrid work is becoming increasingly common, CEOs in India are also upskilling their employees for the ‘future of work’ with investment in digital tools. With majority of employees working remotely, CEOs in India are looking to downsize space and invest in shared office spaces.

Our research shows that 51 per cent CEOs in India are investing in digital training, development and upskilling to ensure employees’ skills remain future-focused. 28 per cent CEOs in India have or will downsize their organisation’s physical footprint, which is much lesser than 48 per cent, this time last year in August 2020. While downsizing has seen a considerable decline, of about 20 per cent since last August, 42 per cent CEOs in India agree to having the majority of employees working remotely for at least two or more days a week, compared to CEOs globally at 37 per cent.

In fact, CEOs in India compared to CEOs globally have indicated a higher focus towards investing in digital tools and preparedness for a hybrid work environment.

Comparison of changes in hybrid workplace by CEOs in India and globally

Explore the CEO Outlook