In Ukraine, 76 percent of executives say that they are confident in the growth prospects of their companies over the next three years. Internationally, this figure is even higher: reaching 87 percent among global respondents. In general, despite the long-standing uncertainty coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic and the delta coronavirus variant slowing down the “return to normal”, global executives demonstrate more optimism about the growth prospects of the global economy and the countries where their companies operate. In Ukraine, only 47 percent of business leaders and executives are confident in the growth prospects of the global economy over the next three years, compared with 60 percent of international respondents. An even smaller percentage of Ukrainian CEOs (38 percent) are confident in Ukraine's economic growth over the next three years.
Most global executives prioritise investment in technology as a part of their efforts to encourage growth, though the number of respondents paying more attention to investment in staff has also increased significantly: standing at 40 percent in 2021, as compared to 33 percent in 2020. In Ukraine, slightly more than half of business leaders surveyed said that they still prefer to invest in the development of human capital, though this number has decreased since 2020 (53 percent in 2021 vs 59 percent in 2020).
In their striving for growth, business leaders also face serious challenges. According to Ukrainian respondents in 2021, the biggest threat to business is operational risk. Last year, the CEOs considered regulatory risk to be the top priority, which took second place this year. Talent risk, too, has remained on the radar of Ukrainian business leaders for many years in a row. Since the beginning of the pandemic in Ukraine, relevant risks of adverse changes to the supply chain have also gained weight and, according to local respondents, shared third position with talent risk. Based on our survey, 70 percent of Ukrainian respondents are companies that manage the supply chains, while 65% of this group say that their supply chain has been under increasing pressure over the last 18 months. Diversification of supply sources, adding new sources to increase the stability of the supply chain, is the core strategy for minimising the impact of supply chain risk, with 42 percent of respondents identifying this as an important change. The fourth place, according to Ukrainian respondents, is shared by cyber security and environmental/climate change risks.
In a time of great uncertainty around the world, whenassumptions and forecasts are constantly changing and when few things are certain, no specific risk has taken first place among global business leaders. A three-element bundle of threats to growth has been identified: supply chain, cybersecurity, and climate change. They are immediately followed by disruptive technologies, regulatory, and the operational risks.
Leading with purpose
Top management executives recognise the importance of company purpose. According to our survey, 73 percent of Ukrainian respondents stated that the principal objective of their organisation is to achieve the company’s strategic goals and mission to create long-term value for all stakeholders, including customers, employees, investors, and the community. Globally, 64 percent of the respondents support this statement with a further 22 percent of global respondents saying that their main goal is to promote public interest and improve society as a whole (in Ukraine, this number was a mere 3 percent). At the same time 24 percent in Ukraine and even fewer executives in the world (13 percent) are focused primarily on providing economic benefits to their shareholders.
Accelerating growth and the digital agenda
Optimism is high: 76 percent of respondents in Ukraine and 87 percent worldwide are confident in the growth prospects of their companies. 71 percent of respondents in Ukraine indicate that organic growth will be decisive. Across the globe, even more executives (87 percent) are confident in the growth prospects of their companies, though they anticipate this will take place through inorganic growth.
In Ukraine, only 11 percent (24 percent worldwide) of respondents interviewed said that M&A will be the most important strategy for their organisation to achieve growth goals over the next three years, with 14 percent of business leaders in Ukraine and 29 percent internationally claiming that they plan for growth via strategic alliances with third parties.
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