For the fifth year in a row, we have interviewed top representatives of leading firms active in the Czech market. A total of 138 Czech business leaders participated in this year’s Czech CEO survey. This local report is a follow-up on PwC’s 17th annual Global CEO Survey, unveiled at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The Czech CEO Survey 2014 showed that thoughts on the crisis, which were very common during the past five years, have been replaced by a new challenge – achieving a new reality. The new reality is as demanding as the recent period. However, CEOs’ increasing confidence indicates that, certain doubts aside, they do believe in success. Entering new industries could help them to achieve it.
After five years, it’s time for CEOs to give up brooding on the crisis and fully concentrate on how to be successful in the new reality. The directors’ answers show that they’ve already started. For the first time in the five-year history of the CEO Survey, all respondents showed at least some confidence that sales would be growing in 3 years. Over a 12-month horizon, 95% of respondents at least partly believe in growth.
“The CEOs’ responses don’t radiate crisis any more but rather a healthy individual effort to get ahead. Yes, companies facing tougher competition must be more efficient and innovative, but many examples show that one can succeed. In addition, success in a challenging environment confirms the right business model and a healthy corporate culture that supports innovation and good ideas.”
Jiří Moser Country Managing Partner, PwC Czech Republic
“Organic growth is difficult and long term, so when expanding into new industries, companies often buy established players. Generally, they decide for acquisitions in a sector which will enable them to achieve interesting synergies. To reach them, careful analyses of strategies and business models of both companies are essential."
Miroslav Bratrych, Leading Partner, Advisory Services, PwC Czech Republic
“Risk management is the only field where the parent companies make key decisions about their Czech subsidiaries, according to local CEOs. Two-fifths of respondents put more effort into it than in the past. If this reflects the whole Czech market, it’s a good result. But from my own experience, I know that domestic enterprises themselves still underestimate risk management and concentrate on putting out fires, rather than preventing them.”
Tomáš Kuča, Leading Partner, Risk Assurance Solutions, PwC Czech Republic
“I see many opportunities for the new government to take further steps towards a more userfriendly tax system where citizens and companies willing to pay taxes are considered as good clients. Examples of such measures may be a call centre, methodological support and increased use of electronic communications and e-audits.”
Peter Chrenko, Partner, Tax and Legal Services, PwC Czech Republic
“Businesses are relying on the greater certainty of well-known markets. Our experience from collaborating with Czech companies shows that entering foreign markets is a crucial decision in the life of a company. Mastering the new business environment, a different tax or legal system and specific customer requirements poses a long-term investment—not just financial—which requires courage. The expected recovery of the global economy as well as the Czech one should encourage companies to take such a step into the unknown.”
Věra Výtvarová, Leading Partner, Assurance Services, PwC Czech Republic
“Confidence that the economy will grow again is the first step to ensuring that companies have begun to re-invest and recruit. I believe that increasing optimism will gradually transform itself into an increase in demand, and thus into new orders.”
Jiří Moser, Country Managing Partner, PwC Czech Republic
“From the perspective of CEOs, the three biggest opportunities for innovation create a logical triangle: when processes don’t work and when employee motivation fails, control mechanisms fail as well. The logical consequence is corruption - one of the three greatest business threats, according to CEOs.”
Karel Půbal, Director, Public Sector Consulting Services, PwC Czech Republic
Czech CEO Survey 2014