Based on Hungarian and global CEOs’ responses, steps taken towards cost reduction and cost-effectiveness are still the most important factors in improving competitiveness (61% of CEOs are considering such measures in Hungary, and 70% globally). However, more than half of the respondents are also planning some major development or investment over the next 12 months: 37% of them are considering introducing new technologies, and 31% are specifically targeting the enhancement of production capacity. In the next few years, the key to growth or survival for many businesses probably lies in finding the right balance between the two.
Hungarian CEOs’ appear to be shying away from increasingly occurring market crisis phenomena, and focusing on keeping their own houses in order. However, this strategy of turning inwards will no longer be appropriate in 2013: one must venture outside the seemingly safe trenches, and seek out contact with every stakeholder, including the government, the customers and other company managers – executives who are in the same boat. Besides competing with one another, CEOs could cooperate and form tactical alliances in many cases: instead of acting alone, they can join forces in engaging regulators. But this would require openness, courage and resolve, together with the realization that new market strategies have to be adopted in order to tackle market obstacles, and faster and bolder decisions are needed.