These CEOs are optimistic about next year

2014-05-17 09:40

Despite the challenges facing the telecommunications industry globally, communications chief executives are more optimistic about their companies’ prospects for revenue growth over the next twelve months.

This is according to its 2014 Annual Global CEO Survey conducted by consulting firm PwC, which interviewed 1 344 chief executives from 68 countries, including 39 communications chief executives in 25 countries.

Thirty percent of the South African chief executives interviewed said they saw growth opportunities from an increased share in existing markets, 30% from new geographic markets, and 24% from product/service innovation.

“Africa is still considered one of the world’s most dynamic telecommunications markets and is also one of the most innovative. Many international telecoms firms are looking for opportunities in Africa that will provide new revenue streams,” said Johan van Huyssteen, the PwC communications leader for Southern Africa.

While globally, communications chief executives are more likely to be hiring than retrenching – with 52% saying they will increase headcount in the next 12 months – less than half of South African chiefs plan to increase headcount in the same period.

But Pierre-Alain Sur, the global communications leader for PwC, said this would not necessarily come at the expense of innovation.

“The communications industry never sits still. The industry is changing too quickly to predict what will happen in just five years,” said Sur.

“In these circumstances more than half of communications chief executives (56%) only have a planning time horizon of three years.”

South African chief executives are worried about the availability of key skills in the industry, and the concern has been on the increase as demand grows and drives up labour costs.

Chief executives have also realised how important collaboration is and partnerships feature prominently in their plans. More than half of communications chief executives indicated that they are looking into a new strategic alliance, while 56% are also looking at implementing cost-reduction initiatives.

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