Optimism has returned to the boardrooms in Kuwait, with the majority of CEOs in the Gulf State now looking to make investments and hire additional staff, according to a new survey KPMG.
Among the CEOs polled for the first edition of KPMG 2021 Kuwait CEO Outlook, close to nine in ten (88 percent) said they have plans to make acquisitions in the next three years as part of their strategy to grow and transform their business.
About 92 percent also confirmed they are planning to increase their headcount over the same period, with more than a third (32 percent) saying they intend to expand their workforce by more than six percent.
Rasheed Al-Qenae, Managing Partner, KPMG Kuwait, said: “It’s great to see that optimism is finally returning to boardrooms after 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. CEOs are pushing towards growth and want to get back to the pace their organisations were moving 18 months ago.”
Overall, 96 percent of the CEOs are confident of their company’s growth in the coming three years. To achieve growth, 72 percent said they are turning to strategic measures, such as creating alliances with third parties (16 percent), mergers and acquisitions (32 percent), joint ventures (20 percent) and outsourcing (4 percent).
There is also a strong focus on technology, with 80 percent of CEOs saying they prioritise tech investment while pursuing growth.
More than half (52 percent) of CEOs participated in the KPMG survey said they intend to invest in disruption detection and innovation processes to achieve growth.
Close to seven in ten (68 percent) also said they are actively disrupting the sector in which they operate.
Corporate leaders also want to devote significant capital to sustainability. Among those surveyed, 72 percent said they are planning to invest more than 10 percent of revenues to become more sustainable.
Most CEOs (76 percent) are also seeing a rise in stakeholder demand for greater transparency in ESG-related reports.
However, many agreed that government support is necessary, with about 80 percent saying it will be a challenge for businesses to achieve net-zero targets without government stimulus.
(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)
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© ZAWYA 2021