20 minute read 15 Feb 2021
EY Surfer Under Water

How business leaders have been rewarded by embracing necessary change


Multidisciplinary professional services organisation

20 minute read 15 Feb 2021

Even during a pandemic, embracing change, responding to customer needs and supporting employees can enable businesses to thrive. 

In the latest episode in our EY Private: Real Insights video series, Victoria Price, UK Private Client Service Leader, unpacks how three privately-owned business leaders have made strategic changes to deliver long-term success in a fast-changing and disruptive economic landscape. 

Three topics were discussed: embracing change, evolving customer behaviour and employee and wider community support.

In terms of embracing change, Per Vegard Nerseth - CEO of CMR Surgical, the UK’s leading surgical robotics company - poured investment into training its surgeon customers, enabling CMR’s business pipeline to exceed expectations over the course of the year.

“Training our surgeons and the surgical teams is where the pandemic gave us the biggest challenge. But we needed to continue. We were able to move some training online, but as the training is so critical for patients’ safety we had to adapt and increase the number of locations where we can offer training to hospitals throughout the year.”

On evolving customer behaviour - Steve Hill, MD and founder of Light Source, a leading telecommunications infrastructure specialist - highlighted how Light Source pivoted to support its customers resulting in a rapidly increasing revenue stream.

“We’ve seen an absolutely huge growth in demand through people using their IT, not just for business but equally for leisure. It’s put a lot of pressure on our clients that now have to service additional installations. We’ve supported those customer provisions, and because we’ve got a real glide and forecast into 2021, we’ve got a business case for the further training of people.”

Regarding providing support to employees - Sarra Bejaoui - founder and Chief Experience Officer at SmartPA - made big changes to SmartPA’s line management processes to support staff through remote working.

“We put a much more robust framework structure around six conditions we believe support our people to perform. This empowered our managers to provide details of their teams’ successes up to the leadership team, to help us fully understand the detail around their successes - which now means every detail of our culture is celebrated across the company.” 

Read the full video transcript.

Please subscribe to receive the next episode using the link below.

Direct to your inbox

Stay up to date with EY Real Insights – for private and entrepreneurial business.



Our Real Insights series invites inspirational leaders of privately-owned businesses to share their experiences. In this episode, we discuss how business leaders have benefitted from turning to face the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

About this article


Multidisciplinary professional services organisation