The economic downturn transformed the environment in which companies worldwide do business. Gone are the days of quick wins, easy credit and high consumer spending levels. Today, companies have to work much harder if they are to seize opportunities and outperform the competition.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Entrepreneurial companies find innovative ways to outgrow traditional boundaries. Regardless of the economic conditions, these companies improve performance in relation to four growth drivers — customer reach, operational agility, cost competitiveness and stakeholder confidence — and striking the right balance in their approach to each.
Mastering growth strategies was at the top of the agenda at the 2011 EY Strategic Growth Forum in Palm Springs, where more than 2,300 American business leaders met. You can join us at the Forum’s next meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, to hear how some of Africa’s most successful business people are unlocking value in this inspiring continent.
One CEO helped his company to realize its growth potential - our cover star Michael Dell. He is the first ever winner of EY’s US Entrepreneur Of The Year® award program. An opportunist at heart, Dell believes that growth depends on a willingness to experiment with new products and market-transforming processes.
We also speak to Stephen Murphy, outgoing CEO of Virgin Group. During his six-year tenure, he lived through some of the highest and lowest points in the company’s history, without ever losing sight of his long-term goals.
Deep customer insight is crucial to growing a business. Dr. Amjad Aryan of Jordan’s Pharmacy1 and Anthony Thompson of the UK-based Metro Bank tell us why they have put customer service back at the heart of their businesses.
Finally, the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance recently commissioned EY to create a “barometer” that highlights how G20 governments are supporting entrepreneurship. Read our summary of the research, " Above and beyond: Growing beyond", which launched just before the G20 Business Summit.
I hope you enjoy reading this issue of Exceptional.
| ||Andrea Vogel |