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News from Members PwC’s CEO Survey Romania 2015: The Speed of Technological Change Will be the Main Factor Shaping the Future of the Economy

PwC’s CEO Survey Romania 2015: The Speed of Technological Change Will be the Main Factor Shaping the Future of the Economy

by PwC July 9, 2015

•  Romanian CEOs show growing concern about new competitors arising from the technology and IT sector;
• There is a high potential for business partnerships to boost companies’ growth, especially for facilitating access to new technologies and improving innovation capacities.

In a world in which digital technology fundamentally reshapes markets and industries, while geopolitical and economic uncertainty is engulfing much of the globe, the speed of adjustment to new realities is a key factor for the success of organisations. This is one of the main conclusions of PwC’s 18th annual edition of the CEO Survey, based on the answers of 1,322 CEOs in 77 countries, including Romania.

The report highlights the deep changes in the competitive landscape due to technology. Barriers between markets and industrial sectors are slowly evaporating, with companies extending to new sectors and new competitors coming from new areas, which are often difficult to anticipate. Technology and IT is the industrial sector most often credited with generating new competitors.

When asked from what industry (except their own) they anticipate a new major competitor, 27% of Romanian CEOs mentioned the technology sector, 22% communication, media and entertainment, 16% professional and business services, while 14% mentioned retail and distribution. At a global level, CEOs mention new possible competitors emerging from the technology sector (32%), retail and distribution (19%) and communication, media and entertainment (16%).

“Digital economy brings with it new challenges, but it also generates multiple opportunities. Regulatory and consumer behaviour changes, as well as new emerging competitors, from other industrial sectors, especially from the IT and technology sector, are the main disruptive factors”, stated Ionuţ Simion, Country Managing Partner, PwC Romania.

As for the speed of technological change, the number of Romania CEOs concerned with this issue has risen to 60%, compared with 45% in the previous edition and 18% in 2013. This trend is also visible at a global level, with the number of CEOs preoccupied by the phenomenon increasing from 47% to 58%.

“The leaders of successful organisations are fully aware that investments in digital technologies, especially those that improve client experience, are creating added value to the business. In order to find a better way for technology to streamline business operations and bring the companies closer to their clients, CEOs are willing to get personally involved and actively support the migration process towards digital technology”, added Ionuţ Simion.

In order to cope with cross-sector competition, organisations are increasingly collaborating with a wide range of partners, which not only grant access to new markets and consumer categories, but also to innovative technologies, vital for the development of the business. The collaborator networks include not only traditional business partners, but also clients, universities and even competitors.

When asked if their organisation has already established or plans to establish a commercial partnership (joint-venture), a strategic business alliance or an informal collaboration with several partner types, 81% of Romanian CEOs mentioned partnerships with clients, while 80% mentioned those with suppliers. The third most mentioned business partnership (70%) is that with business and professional associations. Half of Romanian respondents (51%) mentioned companies in other industries, while 48% identified academic institutions and NGOs.

When asked what are the three main reasons to establish a commercial partnership (joint-venture), a strategic alliance or an informal collaboration, over half of Romanian respondents (52%) mentioned access to new clients, 43% underlined strengthening the brand and its reputation (compared with 28% of global CEOs), while 37% indicated access to new geographical markets.

When it comes to access to new technologies, only 29% of Romanian CEOs mentioned this as the reason behind establishing a business partnership, compared with 48% of European CEOs and 46% of CEOs from Central and Eastern Europe. As for developing new innovation abilities, only 25% of Romanian CEOs mentioned this reason, compared with 43% of European CEOs and 49% of American ones.

“Business partnerships and strategic alliances can be instrumental in obtaining access to new technologies and fostering innovation, by pooling resources and expertise of multiple organisations. Yet such partnerships are still in their infancy in Romania, with a huge potential for growth”, stated Ionuţ Simion.

About the report

For PwC's 18th Annual Global CEO Survey, 1,322 interviews were conducted in 77 countries during the last quarter of 2014. By region, 459 interviews were conducted in Asia Pacific, 455 in Europe, 147 in North America, 167 in Latin America, 49 in Africa and 45 in the Middle East. In Romania, 63 interviews were conducted with local CEOs.

The full survey report with supporting graphics can be downloaded at http://www.pwc.ro/ro/publications/ceosurvey2015.jhtml

About PwC
PwC helps organisations and individuals create the value they’re looking for. We’re a network of firms in 157 countries with more than 195,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at www.pwc.com.
PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.

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