The value of resilience as a prerequisite for business success in fast-changing environments has long been clear. The pandemic, however, catapulted resilience to the forefront as indispensable to business sustainability and relevance. This is reflected, for example, in the strong focus on resilience in work done in collaboration with the World Economic Forum around ‘The Connected Value Chain’.
The pandemic pointed to links in the value chain of businesses most vulnerable to disruption, which are the areas where resilience should be improved. In the mining and minerals sector, for example, reliance on individual companies and geographic areas proved problematic, pointing to the need to diversify the supplier base.
In his recent ‘From the Desk of the President’ newsletter, President Cyril Ramaphosa shares his view that South Africa’s economic recovery in the aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic should be viewed from a transformational perspective as an opportunity to reimagine the local economy within a new global context. He highlights, in particular, the potential of the digital economy as a driver of this transformation, creating much needed employment opportunities, especially among the youth.
The President credits pro-active government initiatives and a strong partnership between government and the business sector with South Africa having recently been ranked the number one destination in the world for global business services. These initiatives enabled South Africa to overtake the usual leaders in this field, such as India and the Philippines – attributing the success to our sophisticated digital infrastructure, a skilled workforce and English proficiency. This strong value proposition, combined with rising global demand against the backdrop of the pandemic, bodes well for the achievement of government’s ambitious job-creation targets.
Resilience for sustainability and relevance
For most sectors, technology has proven to be at the heart of business continuity and recovery amidst far-reaching changes to the environment in which they operate. More than that, technology is pervasively recognised as key to the re-invention of business in the wake of the pandemic. With technology having proved to be the primary instrument for ensuring enhanced resilience across sectors, technology leadership has become indistinguishable from business leadership.
In the travel and tourism sector – arguably the sector most obviously and immediately affected by the pandemic – areas highlighted for improvement include flexibility (i.e., as it relates to cancellation policies), safety and traveller confidence. The ubiquitous experience of empty toilet paper shelves is a marker of the supply chain disruption caused by the pandemic that left few sectors, if any, unscathed.
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Read the full article by Vukani Mngxati, CEO, Accenture in Africa, as well as a host of other topical management articles written by professionals, consultants and academics in the June/July 2021 edition of BusinessBrief.
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