Pandemic winners & losers in business: A global approach to business recovery

Pexip - Brian Ferreira - Chapter 1 V2

 

In this episode of our New Ways: Leading in a Changed World Series, Pexip chatted with Brian Ferreira, vice president managing executive partner at Gartner. Brian is a global expert in business and technology trends and executive leadership.

When it comes to companies and their approach to recovery, Ferreira believes there are several key trends that he’s seeing across organizations globally.

As a starting point, certain industries the world over have been impacted as most people assess how they spend their money. Some previously lucrative industries had their revenues halved overnight when Covid-19 struck. Businesses aligned with leisure, fitness, travel are fighting to survive.

At the other end of the spectrum, there’s a small group of industries that are actually increasing their revenues. IT and consumer technology sectors are a good example of this with uptake of revenue from hardware, cameras, laptops and network providers on the increase.

“We’ve seen the most phenomenal change impacting … industries such as video streaming, alcohol and online groceries. But… the biggest surprise we've seen is gambling. People have really increased the gambling behaviors … and there are businesses out there with 50, 60 80 per cent growth in revenue over the course of the crisis.”

As a result, sectors such as FinTech, gaming, investment broking and the tech start-up side of things are growing. These emerging industries might still be borrowing or operating on debt while attracting investment and interest.

“If you think about leaders in these sectors… if you’re running a company and your market capitalization has doubled, maybe you’re running on a loss but you’re attracting investment… how do you manage your disclosure obligations to investors and regulators? And manage that risk in a regulatory environment? That’s the tough part of business.”

When it comes to recovery, Ferreira sees organizations struggling with how much to communicate with employees.

“There might be companies going out of business or may fundamentally end up being a smaller operation. Then there are businesses that are holding on and hoping for a quicker recovery with a vaccine. Then there are companies that are re-inventing themselves. What we’re seeing is that leaders are trying to make sense of their current situation without frightening the people around them.... how do you keep those people and share that transparency without scaring them?”

Ferreira sees hope with organizations who are adapting with a fast outcome mindset. He says there are many stories of leaders and businesses who have shifted overnight and done things differently.

“The best example is actually down in in your neck of the woods [South Australia],” Ferreira adds. There are two factories that within … about seven or eight days made the change from producing gin to creating hand sanitizer, and they just changed their business model.”

This episode was filmed with interviewer Ben Campbell in Adelaide, and Brian Ferreira in Sydney, Australia – using Pexip meetings to bring everyone together.

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