How Saudi business leaders can steer companies beyond COVID-19

ICAEW panel: Experts give insights into their most pressing issues

The King Fahd highway in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Image use for illustrative purpose

The King Fahd highway in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Image use for illustrative purpose


A panel of experts in leadership have highlighted the need for sound financial management to steer Saudi businesses beyond the coronavirus pandemic.

In a webinar organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW), panelists including Adnan Zakariya, Country Managing Director, Protiviti Saudi Member Firm for Management Consultancy; Ammar Khayyat, Chief Financial Officer, SACO; and Asad Zain, Vice President Finance, Olayan Saudi Holding Company, offered their opinions on the issues they are focusing on and the actions companies must take to guide their businesses through recovery.

Here are the key pointers of the webinar:

Challenging any long-held assumptions about their businesses that they had before the coronavirus pandemic

Plotting scenarios of what the business may need to do next

Understanding the critical interdependencies within their supply chains and how they may have been affected by the pandemic

Exploring available financing measures and strategies that could help the business rebuild

Panellists said that companies need to ensure the below in the early stages of an economic crisis such as the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Health and safety of employees
  • Business can continue to operate
  • Profitability can be preserved as much as possible
  • Business can manage its cash flow to stay liquid

Speakers also urged businesses in the kingdom to not only implement cost-cutting initiatives, but to also focus on cost optimization and highlighted the importance of communication during a crisis, both within the organization and with customers.

(Writing by Gerard Aoun; editing by Seban Scaria)

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© ZAWYA 2020