Strategy&: Repair, rethink and reconfigure - post-COVID-19
Repair, rethink and reconfigure is a three-step recovery plan for European business leaders post pandemic, according to Strategy& part of PwC.
The consultants expect to see K-shaped recovery developments within certain sectors and economies. “It will be critical for business leaders in Europe to consider how their companies need to repair, rethink and reconfigure their operations, comment Strategy&.
“The ultimate goal must be to emerge stronger from this crisis, in turn becoming a more resilient organisation that will be better prepared for future shocks,” says Strategy& in the report, Navigating the New Reality; Macro overview and recommendations for European business leaders to build resilience in a post-pandemic world.
“COVID-19 has challenged the resilience of the European economy on an unprecedented scale. It seems that European industries are more vulnerable to the pandemic than those in other regions,” said Dr Peter Gassmann, Managing Director Strategy& Europe and Global ESG Leader of PwC.
“We need to build on the openness to innovation and digital transformation we have witnessed this year and reimagine existing business models to make them more resilient.”
Based on the latest data from October 2020, Strategy& expect GDP across the EU to shrink by around 9.1% in 2020, but to recover in 2021 and 2022, with growth rates of 5.5% and 1.2% respectively. In Germany, GDP is expected to shrink by 7% in 2020.
“In light of the current reacceleration of COVID-19 infections across most of Europe, more and more economists and corporate leaders expect to see a somewhat slower recovery for 2021 and 2022, or even longer-lasting recessions in some European countries,” comment Strategy&.
“In light of these differences, we expect a K-shaped recovery, with economies and sectors split between those that return to growth fast and others that endure a more protracted downturn.”
Repair, rethink and reconfigure
The macroeconomic picture revealed in the study, based on analyses from more than 180 research institutes and other academic organisations, shows the extent uncertainty European countries and businesses will face in the future.
“In the face of such disruption, companies may well feel they have to focus exclusively on keeping their operations going in the here and now,” says the report.
“However, most have a critical opportunity to start rethinking and reconfiguring future plans in order to build their resilience and adaptability and emerge stronger from the current crisis. Business leaders must focus on these three strategic goals:
Ensure viability and rebuild strength
Envision the future to manage today
Dramatically redesign future operations
Strategy& emphasis that executives across Europe will also have to navigate four key trends, which have become more relevant in light of COVID-19:
- Dramatic acceleration of digitisation
- Strong impetus to localise operations
- Growing importance of environmental, social and governance goals to foster sustainability
- Increasing adoption of new ways of working that enable flexibility and collaboration
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.