Press release

24 May 2022 New Delhi, IN

In a volatile environment, value creation and digital transformation drive capital strategy of Indian CEOs: EY CEO Survey 2022

New Delhi | Mumbai, 24 May 2022. In a volatile environment, value creation and digital transformation drive capital strategy of Indian CEOs according to the EY CEO Survey 2022.

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  • Over 40% CEOs are paying the greatest attention and resources to invest in existing businesses to accelerate organic growth and value creation as well as digital transformation 
  • 49% of respondents intend to invest in digital and technological innovations in the near future
  • 33% of respondents believe that M&A will help accelerate their business transformation 
  • 90% consider sustainability as the primary driver for competitive advantage, long-term strategic growth and lowering cost.
New Delhi | Mumbai, 24 May 2022: Post dealing with pandemic-induced disruptions, as businesses now grapple with increased geopolitical issues, rising inflation, higher commodity prices, and the ensuing impact on profitability, the EY India CEO Survey 2022 reflects the change in capital strategy of businesses in India. For more CEOs (over 40%) sustaining and extending the core business, and digital transformation dominates the investment decisions to increase the potential to lead in the emerging landscape. The ongoing geopolitical tensions are also triggering the Indian CEOs to take proactive measures to readjust their supply chains, with 80% of them adjusting their supply chain to manage geopolitical risks or reduce logistic costs and uncertainty. 
 
The survey also highlights the growing importance of ESG in CEO’s agenda with 78% of respondents identifying ESG factors (at par with revenue growth as a factor) as extremely important or important, when it comes to strategic decision making and driver of value.
 
Rajiv Memani, Chairman, EY India said, “There is no doubt that Indian CEOs are leading from the front to combat the challenges emanating from the pandemic and geopolitical tensions. More than ever, CEOs are looking at how these interconnected issues may impact their growth agendas and are building agility and the ability to pivot quickly as circumstances demand into their overall corporate strategy. They are increasingly looking at M&As as a lever for accelerating business transformation and long-term value creation.”
 
The EY report highlights that the post-pandemic challenges that hold the CEOs agenda can be encapsulated in three themes - Innovation, Sustainability, and Acquisitions (M&As):
 
The necessity to innovate:
 
As companies see a significant increase in input prices, automation and technology offer tremendous potential for CEOs looking to drive transformation in their organization and to pivot employees to higher value activities. In parallel, the severe push towards digitisation has led organizations to upskill their existing workforce.
  • Almost 50% of the respondents expect to improve their business’ profit margins through digital and technological interventions
  • 43% are using data effectively to develop new products and services and developing innovative delivery systems and channels for interacting with customers
Sustainability is the present and the future:
 
Climate change is real, and its consequences are beginning to show not only in terms of natural calamities but the preference of customers toward sustainable businesses.
  •  17% of the respondent CEOs accept that their businesses are witnessing the accelerating impact of climate change thereby, increasing the pressure to be sustainable
  •  96% are proactively considering sustainability as a driving factor for their M&A agenda, and are creating KPIs for long-term value creation, acquiring technology and talent
  •  90% consider sustainability as the primary driver for competitive advantage, long-term strategic growth and lowering cost.

Mergers and acquisitions become key to business transformation:

Since the pandemic, business leaders have been forced to re-align their business solutions and approach to cater to their customers nationally and globally. Therefore, the role of M&As in their respective business strategies is a key element for their business transformation as against solely driving growth and expansion. 

  • 22% of Indian CEOs will undertake M&A for the acquisition of technology, talent, new production capabilities or innovative start-ups, significantly higher than their global counterparts (14%)
  • 22% of the respondents have planned bolt-on acquisitions/consolidations in the near future to increase market share
  • 11% of the respondent CEOs plan to utilize their M&A strategy to improve their sustainable footprint because of changing customer behaviour

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About the EY 2022 CEO Outlook Survey 

The EY 2022 CEO Outlook Survey is the benchmark of CEOs’ sentiment on global challenges, growth and sustainability strategy, portfolio optimization, and M&A. It aims to provide valuable insights on the main trends and developments impacting the world’s leading companies as well as business leaders’ expectations for future growth and long-term value creation. It is a regular survey of senior executives from large companies around the world, conducted by Thought Leadership Consulting, a Euromoney Institutional Investor company. The panel comprises select EY clients across the globe and contacts and regular Thought Leadership Consulting contributors.  

Between November and December 2021, Thought Leadership Consulting surveyed on behalf of the global EY organization a panel of more than 2,000 CEOs in 53 countries and across 14 sectors. Respondents represented the following sectors: financial services, telecoms, consumer products and retail, technology, media and entertainment, life sciences, hospital and health care providers, automotive and transportation, oil and gas, power and utilities, mining and metals, advanced manufacturing, and real estate, hospitality, and construction.  

Surveyed companies’ annual global revenues were as follows: less than US$500m (20%), US$500m– US$999.9m (22%), US$1b–US$4.9b (31%), and greater than US$5b (28%).  

Organization’s global headcounts were as follows: less than 999 (9%), 1-000 – 4,999 (39%), 5,000-9,999 (15%), more than 10,000 (37%).  

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