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CEO Outlook

CEO Outlook

Saudi Arabia CEO Outlook

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Hassan Al Redha

Head of Marketing

KPMG in Saudi Arabia

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Agile or irrelevant

Based on a survey amongst CEOs in Saudi Arabia and around the world, the report presents useful insights about the challenges, growths forecasts and expectations of business leaders in the Kingdom today.

In the third edition of the annual CEO Outlook report, we surveyed a range of business leaders in the Kingdom on their market perspectives and challenges for the coming year and amongst our key findings we discovered that agility is widely seen as the new currency for business and 68% believes it is ‘agile or out.’ Most CEOs recognize the need for continuous innovation to build resilient organizations.

The survey further brought the rapidly evolving customer expectations to the CEOs and enquired about their strategies to respond. 54% of the respondents believe that they must improve their understanding of the customer.

While the level of cyber threats is increasing, CEOs in Saudi Arabia do feel better prepared than in the year before, and the majority of them view information security as a potential source of competitive advantage and critical to engender trust with key stakeholders.

64 percent of CEOs in the Kingdom, up from 38 percent in the year before, believe that protecting customer data is important to enable the organization to grow its customer base in the future. That said, 68 percent of CEOs feel their investments in improving customer experience has paid off as expected, up from 36 percent.

The report also surveyed the challenges on the labour market, and found that 46 percent of CEOs in Saudi Arabia, compared with 59 percent of the global CEOs believe that they face difficulties in finding the right talent. At the same time, two-thirds of the CEOs in the Kingdom are now more focused on embedding their hiring strategies into their growth targets and upskilling the existing workforce, rather than recruiting new staff regardless.

When preparing workforce 4.0, 68 percent of the CEOs in Saudi Arabia are channeling the majority of their investments into new technologies, compared to 32 percent who believe it is more important to invest in developing their workforce with the right digital capabilities, although the two do not need to be mutually exclusive.

The CEO Outlook is based on the input of 50 CEOs in Saudi Arabia, compared with KPMG’s annual global survey amongst 1300 of the world’s leading CEOs and assesses some of the important international trends impacting Saudi Arabia and how companies can chart new business strategies for success over the next three years.

© 2020 KPMG Al Fozan & Partners Certified Public Accountants, a registered company in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and a non-partner member firm of the KPMG network of independent firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative, a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

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