01/23/2015

Do CEOs care about the climate?

We published our 18th Annual Global CEO Survey earlier this week to coincide with the opening of the World Economic Forum in Davos. The theme of this year's survey is how to create value in a rapidly changing world -  whether it’s about new customers, or markets, or the transformation of technology. Climate change barely registered on the list of risks that CEOs said they worried about, prompting questions around whether CEOs are really serious about the issue.

Find out more from PwC's climate team who explore the issue further in the article, Do CEOs care about the climate?, available in full on our Sustainability and climate change blog.

01/21/2015

PwC Annual Global CEO Survey launches in Davos

Dennis Nally Jan15Author: Dennis Nally, Chairman, PwC International Ltd.

For the past 10 years, I’ve had the opportunity to come to the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos. Every year it’s different which is what makes it so special. For over four decades, the WEF has been – and still is – an excellent platform to engage business leaders, politicians, and academics from all over the world. And personally, it’s an opportunity to meet with old friends and build new relationships.

Fascinating as always, this intense week was the perfect opportunity to launch our 18th Annual Global CEO Survey

Eighty-five journalists from around the world came to our press briefing yesterday evening, where I revealed the key findings of our survey. Over the past 18 years, this survey has become one of the media highlights during the annual Forum meeting in Davos. Journalists were once again very engaged, which made for a lively and interesting Q&A session. 

CEO Survey press launch, Davos, 2015

So let’s move on to the key findings. The world is facing significant challenges: economic, political and social. CEOs overall remain cautious in their near-term outlook for the worldwide economy which continues to be fragile. In fact, CEOs are less optimistic about global growth prospects than a year ago. Only 37% think that global economic growth will improve in 2015 and this is down from 44% last year.

Interestingly, despite this more gloomy view of the global economy, many CEOs believe that there are significant opportunities for their own business to grow. In fact, 39% of CEOs still think their business will improve this year. Not surprisingly, CEOs confidence is down notably in oil-producing nations around the world as a result of plummeting crude oil prices.  

PwC CEO Survey - Confidence in company growth and economy
The world is changing and the economic equilibrium is rebalancing. The majority of CEOs identified the US as the most important overseas growth market for their company – overtaking China for the first time in five years.

CEOs are more optimistic now about mature markets than a year ago: the UK ranked higher than Brazil; Japan is seen as a better prospect than Russia; and Australia has moved into the top-ten.

When we asked CEOs what worries them most, 78% said over-regulation, which is the highest level ever seen in the survey. Other top concerns cited by CEOs are the availability of key skills, fiscal deficits and debt burdens, geopolitical uncertainty, increasing taxes and cyber threats and the lack of data security.

As digital change is impacting business at an increasing pace every year, CEOs are increasingly concerned about the threats that this presents. But they also see the opportunities this brings and are preparing to seize them. 

One thing is certain: to make the most of these opportunities, CEOs need to put technology at the core of their business. In fact, the majority of CEOs we surveyed cited cyber security, mobile engagement and data analytics as the most important technological strategies they’ll be focusing on in the months and years ahead.

No-one is immune from the impact of digital transformation. That’s why CEOs need to transform, rethink and adapt their business strategy to succeed in this dynamic world. So, are you ready to be part of this change?   


Find out more in our 18th Annual Global CEO Survey.


 

Dennis Nally leads the global network of PwC firms. He has extensive experience serving large multinational clients in a variety of industries, principally focusing on technology and life sciences. Dennis is also a frequent speaker and guest lecturer on issues affecting the professional services profession and the global capital markets. Read Dennis Nally's full biography.

01/13/2015

Music: an industry moving through and beyond digital disruption

Huw ThomasAuthor: Huw Thomas, Partner, PwC UK

When I sit down to actively listen to music, I much prefer the warmth, depth and resonance of new vinyl to the thinner, tinnier sound I get from MP3s on the go. A lot of music fans feel the same way.

So, does this make us analogue dinosaurs in an increasingly digital world? Not at all. In fact – as this video blog explains – the music industry is now heading in our direction, as it moves through and beyond digital disruption to restore, not just its profitability, but also the pre-MP3 sound quality that we all remember so fondly.

Blazing a trail for other industries

In achieving this transformation to its post-digital form, the music sector is blazing a trail to reconfigured revenues and audience engagement that other sectors may look to follow - and not just within entertainment and media. Put simply, just as music was the first segment to encounter the full force of digital disruption, so it looks set to be the first to re-emerge with a value chain fully reinvented for digital.

Not many people were forecasting this outcome a decade ago, when music suddenly found itself in the front line of digital disruption and disintermediation. From Napster to iTunes to Pandora to Spotify, music was the sector tasked with pioneering the pathway to digital revenues, as other sectors looked on with a blend of trepidation and shock.

Darkest hour before the dawn…

The factors that put music at the forefront of digital migration included its relatively small filesizes and readily-available content formats. Whatever the drivers, for several years the effect on revenues turned music labels into masters in managing marginal decline – as shown by the revenue data in our Global entertainment and media outlook

But now, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Over time, the music majors responded by adapting to digital sales while retaining the physical distribution that still accounts for the majority of sales. Now their focus has moved to a deeper digital media transformation that allows cost effective, responsive and deeply creative audience engagement, along with ‘anytime, anywhere’ distribution direct to consumers through mobile apps.

…with apps lighting the way forward

Why are mobile apps the answer? First, they’re universal. Second, they tap easily into high-bandwidth broadband access. These two factors are already shifting consumers’ preferred means of accessing music from buying downloads to paying for streaming services instead. And third, with music driven increasingly by video, apps can create a great immersive experience for video and audio together. As common app interfaces become available on more devices, people will find that a familiar app interface is always within reach, or at least earshot.

So, what better way to distribute music? And the impact of this new digitally-engineered model will be felt right across the industry. Content creation, distribution and consumption will be democratised. Artist apps will roll out, bringing the label, artist, manager, or other content owner closer to the value of the consumer relationship. We may see a growth in independent specialist labels, like those in the 1950s and 1960s, run by people with a passion for particular genres and the ability to discover talent. And crowdsourcing may become an increasingly viable way to fund global campaigns by independent artists.

Back to a future of creativity and profit

Coming back to where I started, this digital transformation is also great news for me and vinyl-loving music fans. The roll-out of super-fast broadband will enable streaming and other digital music services to regain the warmth and depth of vinyl, while combining it with the crystal clarity of CD. So, tinny MP3 will be upgraded to an experience that’s both much higher-quality and also more readily available.

The result: audiences will find their imaginations recaptured and love of music reinvigorated through deeper, more meaningful experiences. And the rights owners that remaster and distribute music direct to consumers through apps will make significant gains. Put simply: a win-win for music consumers and also for creative companies and artists.

For other sectors facing digital disruption, the music industry used to look like a warning-sign of impending doom. Suddenly it’s a beacon, illuminating the path to profitable, high-quality experiences beyond the initial traumatic digital disruption.

 

 

Huw leads PwC’s Digital Media Transformation group and major client initiatives across the global entertainment industry, specialising in technology and operations transformation initiatives with music, broadcast TV and digital distribution companies. Huw has over 25 years experience of leading global transformation programmes, and also in M&A integration.

01/09/2015

Seven skills needed for tomorrow's CEO

Suzanne Snowden- photo Author: Suzanne Snowden, Director, Global Thought Leadership


As the New Year unfolds, I can’t help thinking about the challenging environment business leaders around the world are facing in 2015. Crude oil has fallen by more than 50% over the last few months.  Market prospects in key geographies have ebbed and flowed from positive to negative - with Japan, Greece, Brazil and Russia amongst the most unpredictable investment markets.  And risks on the horizon seem to be increasing.  These are just a few examples of the volatility we’ve seen over the past few months.

If you’re like me - and took a short break to spend time with family over the winter holiday - you may also have been surprised at just how much can change in the world within a few days (especially when you consider the surreal cyber attacks that took place on media companies).  The business outlook, when I got back to the office, felt like an entirely new ball-game!

This acceleration in the speed of change makes me to wonder just how business leaders keep up with the changing geopolitical outlook, fickle consumer preferences, new risks and new competitors? Leaders of successful businesses in 2015 are going to need a ‘Super CEO’ at the helm!

In our forthcoming Annual Global CEO Survey, we asked CEOs what capabilities tomorrow’s leaders will need to succeed in this evolving business environment. According to their responses, the CEO of tomorrow will need to possess the following skills:

1. An ability to see around corners - a number of CEOs mentioned the need to identify trends early (avoiding temporary hype) and stay ahead of the fast-moving competitive landscape.

2. Tolerance for ambiguity - many said tomorrow’s  leaders need a constant readiness for changing business dynamics and an ability to work towards unclear goals and outcomes.

3. Agility in decision-making - being flexible-minded and a curious life-long learner who’s open to testing and measuring new ways of doing things was the message from many others.

4. Adaptability in execution - the most often-mentioned response was adaptability – the power to  drive near-constant renewal inside their organisation.

5. At ease with technology - CEOs told us that technology plays an important role -  both as an accelerator of change, and as the key tool at their disposal to remain agile, to adapt to changing circumstances, and to stay close to consumers and influencers.

6. Surrounded by a great team - CEOs must have talented staff in place to compete in the marketplace. The ability to attract great people was one aspect, but being able to cultivate a positive culture with a happy workforce, centred around trust with staff, was also key. One respondent felt that, “A CEO must always surround himself with people better than him.”

The seventh capability was a bit of a surprise and mentioned by a good number of CEOs from across geographies and sectors - and that was ‘humility’. The CEOs naming this capability said it was important to maintain a modest opinion of your own importance and be open to listening and learning from all that’s happening in the global environment. And, of course, humility highlights the importance of CEOs knowing the limits of their own 'superpowers'.

I think Denise Ramos, Chief Executive Officer and President of ITT Corporation, sums up the challenge for today’s leaders rather nicely in this video clip:

 

  

Not an easy task for any one individual…

So, we’ve heard from our CEOs, but we’d also love to hear from you. What skills do you think tomorrow’s leaders need to be successful? Share your thoughts in the 'comments' section below – or join the discussion on Twitter using #CEOSurvey. You can also follow the conversation on PwC's pages on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Welcome to the challenges of 2015!

 


Suzanne is Programme Director for PwC's Annual Global CEO Survey and Global Director of Thought Leadership at PwC. She has a passion for scanning the horizon for the latest trends and issues which impact global business and pilots PwC's network of thought leaders engaging in the creation, development and presentation of PwC's research and insights.

 

CEO Insights - seven skills imageOur 18th Annual Global CEO Survey, which launches on the 20th January 2015, will reveal more about the capabilities that CEOs are using to compete in a volatile competitive environment. Sign up here to join the webcast of the live launch of the survey from the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

 

12/29/2014

Are you seizing the billion-dollar opportunity that’s right in front of you?

John Sviokla imageAuthor: John Sviokla, head of Global thought leadership

Is your company struggling to create massive value? Are you in a highly competitive industry where finding the next great product is a daunting prospect?  Then you may be interested in hearing how the pros do it.

To find out how the world’s most successful entrepreneurs created massive value, Mitch Cohen and I did a detailed analysis of 120 self-made billionaires and interviewed 16 of them, including Steve Case, T. Boone Pickens, and Mark Cuban. Our complete findings, and what you can learn from them, are in our new book, The Self-Made Billionaire Effect: How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value. But here’s a snapshot of what we discovered that surprised us.

What self-made billionaires do that the rest of us aren’t

There are distinct differences between what conventional executives around the world do to create value, and what self-made billionaires do.

In particular, we found that self-made billionaires practice five habits of mind that allow them to envision something new, bring together the people and the resources to create it, and sell it to customers who didn’t know they needed it.  We call this kind of individual a ‘Producer,’ since their skills are similar to the way a Hollywood producer puts together the people and resources to make a movie.

Most executives, by contrast, tend to focus on optimising what already exists, whether it’s a product, a business model, or a market. These optimisers are what we call ‘Performers:’ they excel at improving the here and now, but they don’t cast their sights on customers’ future needs.

Most corporations encourage their Performers and discourage their Producers, which leaves Producers with breakthrough ideas little choice but to leave and pursue new opportunities on their own. The oil-and-gas billionaire T. Boone Pickens, for example, left Philips Petroleum out of frustration at the slow pace and traditional ways of his employer; and Dietrich Mateschitz left a long career in consumer packaged goods to launch Red Bull. By offering them few options to execute their ideas in-house, firms essentially push their Producer talent out the door—and their chance at the gold ring along with it.

In contrast, the companies that are seizing the billion-dollar opportunities have a Producer leading them.  Our data on self-made billionaires even shows that more than half of them work together with a performer who has specialised skills that complement the Producer’s.

How CEOs are using talent strategies to create value

At the same time that Mitch and I were putting the finishing touches to the book, I began interviewing CEOs as part of PwC’s Annual Global CEO Survey, which will be launched on 20 January on the eve of the Annual Meeting for the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The survey results back up our billionaire research. Approximately 23% of CEOs globally ‘strongly agree’ that they look for a much broader range of skills when hiring than they did in the past. And 29% said the top reason for their business collaborations or alliances is to get access to talent and skills that are limited inside their organisation.

Collectively, these findings show that about one in four CEOs is interested in diversifying the talent mix in their organisation. As Jeff Gardner, former CEO of Windstream, noted, "We bought a cloud company and brought in a younger set of employees who made a huge difference. They think differently. Instead of making them fit in, we let them do their own thing. We certainly managed them, and put controls around that business, but, importantly, we didn’t do anything to destroy the secret sauce that they had." (18th Annual Global CEO Survey, PwC).

As CEOs look to diversify their ranks, they should make Producer-Performer pairs a key focus.  In the years ahead, having people on board who complement each other will be critical to recognising the billion-dollar opportunities that are out there. 

Are you using talent to drive value creation?  If not, you need to take steps to identify, attract, and retain the people who can envision and execute the next billion-dollar idea. Your company’s potential depends on it.

 

 

Dr. John J. Sviokla is the head of Global Thought Leadership at PwC, where he also works with clients on strategy and innovation. In addition, John leads the Exchange - a think-tank that provides executives an opportunity to discuss important issues in a collaborative atmosphere.

12/10/2014

A sense of belonging: Learning from the family firm

PwC Henrik S-0990Author: Henrik Steinbrecher, Network Middle Market Leader

One of the strongest themes to emerge from our Family Business Survey this year was the priority family firms are giving to professionalisating their operations. Part of this relates to governance and processes, but it’s also about the type of people family businesses need to recruit to deal with the challenges of digital technology, a more disruptive economic environment, and a far more globalised world.

Family firms are not alone in this, of course. Every business, whatever its size or ownership structure, is facing stiff competition in the recruitment market, and needs to retain key staff with critical skills. But this is an area where family businesses often have a distinct competitive advantage. They may have much to learn from multinationals when it comes to issues like financial planning or risk management - but, when it comes to people, the family business can teach its competitors a lesson or two of its own.

The key, in fact, is in the name. The most successful family businesses have a strong culture and sense of identity, which reflects the values of the family that founded it. As a result, employees often feel they’re part of an extended ‘family’, and not just a faceless workforce. And as our Family Business surveys reaffirm, year after year, these firms also tend to have a greater commitment to retaining their staff, even in bad times, as well as a more personal way of working based on trust and respect. Though some may see this as a rather old-fashioned approach, there’s no denying that it makes for a more supportive workplace, where employees feel they’re treated as individuals, and where the board often know them by name. The length of time many employees stay at family firms suggests that this ‘sense of belonging’ is something people really do value, and which is getting harder to find in other types of company.

It’s a mixed picture, though. As the 2014 Family Business Survey revealed, family firms continue to face challenges in recruitment and retention, especially at more senior levels, where the share options on offer from multinationals are hard to compete with. But my team is coming across more and more examples of ambitious family firms who are finding smart new ways to reward and incentivise senior staff, and attract the bright new talent they need. If that sort of thinking becomes more widespread across the sector, family firms could start to offer the best of both worlds: the old-fashioned virtues of a family culture, and the professional prospects of a corporate career.

 

 

Henrik leads the Middle Market business for PwC globally, focusing on owner-led, private, family controlled and entrepreneurial companies. He’s particularly focused on family and owner led businesses, advising them on how to address strategic issues relating to the owner's agenda.

12/09/2014

What does it take to be truly innovative?

DavidLancefieldAuthor: David Lancefield, Partner, PwC UK

In my view, one of the most interesting findings in PwC’s 17th Annual Global CEO Survey was the strong commitment to innovation among entertainment and media CEOs. Some 56% of respondents from the industry – more than in any other sector – said innovation, particularly in products and services, was the main opportunity to grow their business during the coming year.

What’s more, they saw this form of innovation as playing a vital role in addressing their greatest concern: keeping pace with ongoing shifts in consumer spending and behaviour, and the breakneck speed of technological change.

And I agree – but there are many other ways to innovate that we shouldn’t ignore.

Products and services: just the start
As I see it, innovation – put simply, doing new things in new ways – stretches far beyond products and services. So, while entertainment and media companies are innovating actively in areas like video-on-demand, media measurement and personalisation - and showing plenty of creativity on-screen, on-air and on-line -  there’s plenty more to do to inspire innovation through their organisations.

Strengthening the backbone though innovation
Let’s consider the still largely untapped potential for innovation in the backbone of many companies, including technology infrastructure, procurement, metrics tracking and back office. Innovation here can create the financial headroom and insights for smarter front-office investments – while also opening up the potential for new, more profitable business models.

And this wider and deeper form of innovation does pay dividends. A PwC study of over 350 technology, media and telecoms businesses worldwide found that the most innovative 20% had collectively garnered an extra US$45 billion in revenues over the past three years compared with the least innovative. That’s over US$1 billion per company. 

Incumbents face a ‘disruption dilemma’…
While there’s plenty of value-creating innovation going on - I see it every day among the organisations I work with - it’s often confined to a specific product or area of the business. It’s rare to see breakthrough innovation in terms of new business models, and new organisational cultures and structures. Incumbent or traditional companies, in particular, face a ‘disruption dilemma’. They know that disruption is coming or possible – particularly from new entrants with greater ambition, speed or capability – but they’re not sure how much to disrupt themselves, and potentially risk losing profitable business in search of new revenue streams.

The most effective leaders encourage an open and transparent debate on where to best strike the balance.  They look to build a broad portfolio with the right mix of incremental, breakthrough and radical innovation. This ideal innovation portfolio is self-sustaining: radical innovations achieve very high growth rates from a low base, while incremental innovations generate cash to invest in more radical innovations in the future.

Leaders should encourage a culture of curiosity
To break out of a narrow focus on product innovation and build a self-sustaining innovation portfolio, an organisation needs to fundamentally change its culture. And this is where true innovation leadership comes in. Business leaders need to empower and energise people to innovate, by nurturing a diverse and inclusive workplace culture that fosters collaboration and curiosity. This will,  in turn, encourage the development of a learning capability across the workforce.

At the same time, leaders can shift the organisation’s mindset towards disruptive, value-creating innovation, supported by the right ‘process’ elements – portfolio management, governance, metrics, incentives – to help select the best ideas and take them to market. Development and execution of each idea can be fuelled and accelerated by deeper insights, faster decision-making, and collaboration with selected partner organisations.

Whatever industry you’re in, your company has always innovated in products and services – otherwise it wouldn’t still exist. It may well be a world leader in this type of innovation. But now it’s time to create the conditions to inspire what I call ‘whole innovation’.

Find out more in this video blog and accompanying article.

 


David shapes the strategic and commercial decisions taken by companies in the context of growth, restructuring and regulation. He focuses on the media and entertainment sector, working with organisations to transform their organisation and services for the digital age. Read more.

 

12/04/2014

Can Africa fulfil its growth potential?

John Hawksworth photo

Author:  John Hawksworth, Chief Economist, PwC UK

After decades of relative economic under performance, sub-Saharan Africa1  has been one of the fast growing global regions over the past decade, as indicated in Figure 1 below. Only the emerging and developing economies in Asia, led by China and India, grew faster over the period between 2003 and 2013.

Fig 1 - Past and projected GDP growth for major country groups

Furthermore, the latest IMF projections from October suggested that sub-Saharan Africa should continue its relatively strong performance, growing by just under 6% per annum over the rest of this decade. This would be only just below its historical average rate and not far behind expected growth in emerging and developing Asia.

Strong projected growth in Africa reflects many of the factors highlighted in our megatrends research, including a relatively young, fast-growing workforce, rapid urbanisation, adoption of mobile communications technology and a rich endowment of natural resources in many African countries.

At the same time, however, we should recognise that:

  • Africa is a large and diverse continent, so performance could vary considerably across (and indeed within) countries; and
  • these growth projections are not guaranteed to be achieved, being subject to many risk factors including commodity price volatility, rising Islamic militancy in some countries, Ebola and other health risks, and a longer term need to improve both physical infrastructure and political, legal and economic institutions to support sustainable growth.


The first point can be illustrated by looking at past and projected growth (according to the IMF) for the ten largest economies in sub-Saharan Africa, which together account for around 80% of the region’s total GDP (see Figure 2).

 

Fig 2 - Past and projected GDP growth for 10 largest Sub-Saharan African economies

The divergence in past and projected growth between the region’s two largest economies, Nigeria and South Africa (which together account for around half of the region’s total GDP), is particularly stark. Nigeria is, based on recently revised GDP data, now ranked as the 20th largest economy in the world. And, with the IMF projecting relatively healthy growth of around 7% per annum over the rest of this decade, Nigeria could move even further up the global league table. By contrast, projected average growth of 2.4% for South Africa in 2014-19 is no better than the expected average for the world’s advanced economies as shown in Figure 1, implying no further catch-up by Africa’s second largest economy.

For the other major economies in the region, projected growth varies from just over 5% in Cameroon, Ghana and Angola to around 8% in Ethiopia. But, as Figure 2 shows, actual growth over the past decade has varied by much more than this and, in practice, this variability is likely to re-emerge in future due to the differential risks facing sub-Saharan economies.

Most obviously, while the recent sharp fall in oil prices could pose a significant risk for Nigeria and Angola in particular, most other sub-Saharan African economies are actually net oil importers and so might gain from this oil price fall if it’s sustained. By contrast, economies like Kenya, Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire would be more heavily exposed to falls in coffee or cocoa prices.

The Ebola crisis understandably looms large as a risk factor at present, and is clearly a great human tragedy in the three West African countries where it’s mostly been focused  (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone). However, outbreaks in Nigeria seem to have been brought under control, so the hope must be that the wider economic damage can be limited. It does, however, highlight the need to improve health systems across Africa, not least in its fast-growing megacities.

More generally, if Africa is to fulfil its potential, it needs long-term improvement in political, legal and economic institutions in order to provide the right environment for both domestic and international investment to proceed. Long-term investment in energy, transport and communications infrastructure is also critical, but won’t happen without the right institutional environment. There’s been encouraging progress in many African countries on these fronts in recent years, but there’s clearly still a long way to go to get infrastructure and institutions up to the levels seen in Europe, North America or the leading Asian economies.

 

 

John Hawksworth is an economist who specialises in macroeconomics and public policy issues. He is Chief Economist in PwC’s UK firm and editor of our Economic Outlook reports. He is also the author of many other reports and articles on macroeconomic and public policy topics and a regular media commentator on these issues. Read John's full biography.

  

1Throughout this article we focus on sub-Saharan Africa since the North African economies are, for a variety of historical and geographical reasons, more naturally considered alongside the Middle Eastern economies for analytical purposes.

11/24/2014

India - a once in a lifetime opportunity

Shashank TripathiAuthor: Shashank Mani Tripathi, Executive Director, PwC India

The state of India is fascinating. We have a nation, defined by its vibrant democracy and capability to grow quickly, but also derided for its lost potential on the economic front. Nevertheless, India is bursting with opportunities. The skills and capabilities, that are so readily available across its young democracy, impressively large youth population and digitally-enabled middle class, have the ability to create opportunities that could carry India, both economically and socially, for future generations. India is home to a once in a lifetime opportunity. But, in pursuit of a new, rapid and sustainable path, who will lead the way?

Our new report, Future of India: The Winning Leap, shows that, to grow at a rate that’s around 2-3% points higher than the current projection, the private sector – both corporate and entrepreneurial - has to take the lead. The government also needs to step forward on two counts – creating national platforms that enable this growth, and improving the ease of doing business in India. Our report highlights the national ambition to build a $10 trillion economy, create new capabilities and solve problems across sectors - and examines the ‘sub-leaps’ that are needed to achieve all this. By transforming the way the economy creates value, India can build shared prosperity for its 1.25 billion people.

However, a number of complex issues stand in the way of this journey, meaning that growth is not guaranteed. Each sector - from education to manufacturing - faces challenges which demand new and innovative solutions that are also sustainable, both environmentally and economically. Companies must invest in building capabilities that can cope with the demands of a significantly larger economy than the $2 trillion mark India is currently approaching. There’s responsibility at every level – from entrepreneurs, the corporate sector, the private sector and government officials. And everyone needs to work together: a setback in one area breeds setbacks and problems in others.

There’s urgency for change and the purpose of our report is to drive action. We must act quickly to achieve a radically higher growth rate - otherwise the Indian economy won’t be able to create the 10-12 million jobs needed to provide quality of life for its growing population. Issues such as environmental degradation have the potential to cause social rift, especially among a young democracy, and must be addressed. That’s why growth must be rapid and why it needs the ingenuity and innovation of the more than capable Indian population behind it.

India stands on the cusp of major change. It’s time to make the most of this once in a lifetime opportunity, by acting now. If we can use our resources to create widespread prosperity, it would be a momentous achievement – and one that’s cherished by all future generations left to enjoy the benefits of living in the largest democracy on the planet. This ‘winning leap’ should be a group effort; ‘a play-to-win approach by young and growing nations seeking a radically different developmental path’. You can be a part of this change; make a start by reading our report.

 

Shashank is an Executive Director at PwC India where he leads the Strategy practice. He's also the lead Partner for the Growth Markets Centre. Shashank has over 15 years of experience in consulting working with CEOs and CFOs. His focus is on growth strategy, market entry, international expansion and business transformation projects.

 

11/13/2014

The next decade of infrastructure development in Asia Pacific: why public-private partnerships will be key

Mark-rathboneAuthor: Mark Rathbone, Asia Pacific Capital Projects & Infrastructure Leader, PwC Singapore

Take a walk along the streets of Shanghai, Seoul or Singapore, and you’ll see the fruits of a decade of rapid infrastructure development, reflecting the advancing needs and dynamism of economies across Asia Pacific. Over the next ten years, as the region continues to evolve into its role as the global economic powerhouse, infrastructure demands will continue to change too. So what’s required to create the infrastructure that Asia Pacific will need in 2025?

One part of the answer is more capital. Lots more. According to PwC research conducted jointly with Oxford Economics, Asia’s infrastructure market is forecast to grow by 7 - 8% annually over the coming decade, nearing US$5.3 trillion by 2025, or 60% of the world total. Satisfying this hunger for capital will be a challenge in itself.

But I believe something else is also needed: close cooperation, collaboration and alignment of goals between the public and private sectors. In my view, successful and sustainable public-private partnerships will be vital to the robust and savvy deployment of resources – in turn helping to ensure that the 21 member economies of the APEC forum not only survive, but positively thrive, throughout the coming decade.

Why do I say this? Allow me to start my explanation by pinpointing five key trends that are driving priorities and investments in infrastructure development across the Asia Pacific region. While distinct from each other, these five trends are all closely interrelated.

The first – and most evident – of the trends is demand for new transport and utilities infrastructure. As economies grow, so does the need for transport infrastructure to mobilise workforces, transport products and connect economic centres. And as demand expands, improved capacity in power, gas, water and other utility-related resources becomes increasingly critical. Following a decade of expansion, it’s widely recognised that economies across Asia Pacific have a substantial infrastructure gap that they need to close.

Second, the need for schools, healthcare facilities and care for the aged. A combination of rising wealth and greying populations will fuel demand for spending on social infrastructure. Major investments in education and healthcare will be needed if the region’s populations are to contribute sustainably to their growing economies.

Third, Asia Pacific is increasingly wired. The e-commerce boom is driving up expectations for faster and cheaper access to broadband networks for consumers and businesses – while also putting pressure on policy makers to agree how to share data across borders and safeguard transactions, privacy and intellectual property. These types of ‘soft’ infrastructure are vital for expanding business and trade across and beyond the region.

The fourth trend is rapid urbanisation. Attracted by job opportunities, more and more people are moving to cities, stretching existing urban infrastructure to breaking point. To make urban expansion sustainable – and ultimately provide a higher quality of life – it’s imperative to find better ways to manage housing, transport networks, water supply and waste management.

Fifth, private sector platforms for growth are emerging and growing. According to the PwC 2014 APEC CEO Survey, businesses’ capital spending plans over the next three to five years include expanding distribution capabilities in the region, bolstering digital participation, and widening the geographic spread of manufacturing facilities.

If the region is to address the infrastructure implications of all five of these trends, I believe it needs to take an approach that’s increasingly integrated - not just across types of infrastructure, but also across borders. Turning again to our 2014 APEC CEO Survey, some businesses are expanding distribution and service centres to reach new geographies in APEC. Others are stepping up investments in IT infrastructure to expand their digital reach. Each of these examples underlines the importance of planning for infrastructure with regional economic connectivity in mind.

This brings me back to my original point: the vital role of public-private partnerships in spurring and sustaining infrastructure growth. Practical solutions need to be developed to allow for more effective infrastructure investment across the region – and experience shows that mutually beneficial partnerships between the public and private sectors are a great way to enable funds to flow into critical infrastructure. For example, private firms can build and deliver public infrastructure more easily if they have the support of government. And governments can draw on technology and best practices from the private sector to help realise projects and enhance their quality.

For Asia Pacific, the next decade looks bright. And by planning and working together, the region’s governments and businesses can create the world-leading infrastructure that befits the countries’ position in the vanguard of global growth.

Read more in our new report, Infrastructure development in Asia Pacific (APEC): The next 10 years.

 

 

Mark is the PwC Capital Projects and Infrastructure leader for Asia Pacific and has extensive experience in structuring projects that straddle the complex interface between public and private partnerships. He’s been integral to the development of numerous project structures, risk allocation and mitigation strategies and the related funding solutions in various sectors in the UK and across Asia Pacific.