Nine out of 10 ASEAN CEOs relish disruption – KPMG


Three out of four chief executives around the globe see disruption as an opportunity rather than a threat, with an average of 94 per cent of Singapore and ASEAN chief executives expressing the same optimism around disruption, according to KPMG’s 2017 Global CEO Outlook survey.

Upwards of 96 per cent of Singapore chief executives (CEOs) and 92 per cent of ASEAN CEOs believe disruption has had – and will continue to have – a positive influence on their business, according to the survey.

Singapore CEOs were also broadly confident about the prospects for economic growth, with 73 per cent believing in an upswing for the global economy, against a worldwide average of 65 per cent; ASEAN CEOs remained in line with the more modest global average of 65 per cent.

“Disruption has become a fact of life for CEOs and their businesses as they respond to heightened uncertainty,” said John Veihmeyer, global chairman of KPMG.

“But, importantly, most see disruption as an opportunity to transform their business model, develop new products and services, and reshape their business so it is more successful than ever before. In the face of new challenges and uncertainties, CEOs are feeling the urgency to ‘disrupt and grow’.”

ASEAN CEOs also had a higher than global average intention to invest in new technologies and to use digital to connect to customers, according to a KPMG release. Intentions to invest in robotic process automation over the next three years averaged about 45 per cent higher than among CEOs outside the region.

“Greater digital investments offer CEOs and their companies more opportunities to find competitive advantage in an increasingly uncertain global geopolitical environment,” said Ong Pang Thye, managing partner for KPMG Singapore.

“Comparing our results across ASEAN with the rest of the world, we see a greater confidence among ASEAN business leaders that should translate into an economically positive year for the region.”

The 2017 Global CEO Outlook surveyed 1,300 company’s chief executives from the world’s largest organisations, including heads from DBS Group, Bank of America, Santander Group, Macquarie Group and Scotiabank.