Keeping Your Business in Mind

Kenya CEO’s Optimistic about Global Economy-PwC Survey

By Antynet Ford

 CEOs in Kenya are cautiously optimistic about the global economy, with 56% saying it will either improve or stay the same in the next 12 months.

This echoes the sentiment of global CEOs, where 54% said the global economy will either improve or stay the same within the same period. 60% of  Kenyan CEOs attribute 20% of their company’s sales in 2023 to new products and services they have introduced in the last three years.

58% of Kenyan CEOs view that inflation continues to be a significant threat, however, 56% are confident about their revenue growth in the next three years.

In dealing with current threats, 58% of Kenyan CEOs believe they are highly exposed to threats of inflation while 50% indicate that limited financial resources inhibit how they create, deliver, and capture value.

60% of the Kenyan CEOs are in progress with some of the climate actions such as improving energy efficiency, improving climate-friendly products, services, and technology (50%), and upskilling or re-skilling their workforce to prepare them for climate driven changes in their business model (42%).

Moreso, 14% of CEOs indicated that they are currently selling products, services or technologies that support their customers’ climate-resilience efforts.

Commenting on this year’s survey, Peter Ngahu, Country and Regional Senior Partner, PwC Kenya and Eastern Africa said there is uncertainty about the world economy now with long-term effects of Covid-19 and geopolitical tension being the main factors.

“There is a great deal of uncertainty in the world right now. The long-term effects of COVID-19, geopolitical tensions and conflicts, climate change, and a slowdown in the global economy have somehow made CEOs in Africa accustomed to uncertainty.” He said.

On his part, PwC’s East Africa Advisory Leader for Muniu Thoithi points out that In an era of continuous reinvention, CEOs must spearhead the transformation journey to reshape both their organizations and themselves to flourish amid disruption.

“CEOs committed to reinvention must foster environments that embrace and acknowledge innovation, prioritise curiosity and a willingness to learn, and empower managers to assist individuals in adapting to change.” Muniu said.

“CEOs and their leadership teams ultimately need to have a clear sense of how deals, projects or other investments create, maintain and grow value, and should be willing to make tough calls, which may include the reallocation of resources from legacy businesses or redefining a company’s industry boundaries and ecosystem partners. There is significant merit in looking beyond the confines of a company and embracing broader business ecosystems. Collaborating across industry boundaries through joint ventures or alliances enables companies to create greater value than they could achieve alone. PwC’s analysis suggests that, in the automotive industry alone, as the industry electrifies and encompasses more technology and data, its ecosystem revenues could more than double by 2030”  Isaac Otolo Deals Partner PwC Kenya added.

 Although CEOs see generative AI as a tool that will increase their work efficiency and how they deliver and create value, they also expressed their concerns about its unintended consequences.

A total of 78% of CEOs believe that in the next 12 months, the unintended consequences of AI will increase their exposure to cyber-attacks.

The increased exposure to the spread of misinformation is also a concern to 64% of the CEOs.

PwC surveyed 4,702 CEOs in 105 countries and territories from 2 October through 10 November 2023.

The industry- and country-level figures are based on unweighted data from the full sample of 4,702 CEOs, including 4,088 men, 521 women, and 93 who identified with another gender or preferred not to say. All quantitative interviews were conducted on a confidential basis.

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