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Global Crisis Survey 2021 Singapore

PwC’s Global Crisis Survey 2021 unearths the worldwide business community’s response to the unprecedented social, economic and geopolitical disruptions caused by the pandemic, while also shining the spotlight on what they’ve learned and how they’re preparing for what’s next.

The Singapore report captures the responses of the local businesses, their actions through the pandemic and what they are doing to emerge stronger in the new world.


Impact on Singapore organisations

Our report reveals that 32% of Singapore organisations had operations that were significantly impacted by COVID-19. According to local business leaders, operation and supply chain, finance and liquidity and workforce were the three most impacted areas of operations.

Top 3 most impacted areas


of Singapore respondents say they were negatively impacted by COVID-19


of businesses positively impacted by COVID-19 are ‘very confident’ about their ability to collect, action, and monitor progress on lessons learned across the organisation

Top actions by businesses through the pandemic

Responses by Singapore organisations

When COVID-19 started impacting operations, more than half of Singapore organisations sought external assistance from government contacts. More than half of Singapore businesses also responded by:

  • Enabling remote operations
  • Adopting new technologies
  • Modified comms/stakeholder engagement
  • Accelerated technology transformation

Four key lessons learned

Digital readiness was not as robust as planned.


more of Singapore organisations indicated technology as a crisis exacerbated by the pandemic.

The rise of cybersecurity awareness.


of Singapore organisations have identified cybersecurity or privacy transformations.

Importance of up-to-date crisis management plan and well-prepared business continuity plan to help minimise costs.


of organisations have used a Crisis Response Plan.

The need to adopt flexible work arrangements.


of organisations improved their ability to work remotely.

Three takeaways

Business leaders recognise that a foundation of resilience can make the difference between faltering or flourishing — during a disruption or in good times. As the post-pandemic period begins to take shape in the coming months, organisations have an opportunity to reimagine opportunities for the future.

>2/3 of Singapore respondents plan to further enhance their resilience program

Organisations with a strategic crisis response plan can mobilise more swiftly, stabilise business operations and respond effectively to the shockwave of disruption.

They are looking at further integrating functions such as crisis management, business continuity management, emergency planning and cybersecurity into the overall business plan.

What should businesses do to prepare for the next inevitable disruption?

  • Appoint a crisis response team. Organisations can mobilise, adapt, and execute a plan that was tested and refined, allowing critical operations to continue.
  • Map out a crisis response plan. To align to the organisations’ strategy, goals, and purpose, a clearly outlined crisis strategy suggests the importance of going beyond a checklist, where the team will understand the meaning of the plan as being essential to the organisations’ vision and goal.
  • Construct an integrated resilience program and constantly improve it. Reviewing and refining of an organisations’ response in real-time and in post-action reviews, and incorporating feedback can help organisations emerge stronger and be ready for what’s to come next.

Only 51% of Singaporean organisations found their Crisis Response Plans very relevant

Break down silos. An integrated response is essential to executing a successful crisis management programme and to building resilience.

While 40% of Singapore organisations have identified opportunity for change towards remote working, only 28% have made it a permanent option for roles that allow it.

To break down silos, organisations should consider:

  • Embrace change in the workforce such as remote working and new working norms
  • Integrate/ accelerate technology with response strategy
  • View crisis events as an opportunity for forward-looking change

Only 23% of Singapore respondents felt strongly confident to quickly implement changes to its strategy and adapt its strategy to respond to future major interruptions

Organisational resilience is critical - not just to succeed, but to survive.

What does resilience mean, exactly? It’s the ability to bounce back from disruption. To persevere. But it’s also about being prepared to enable and secure new possibilities. In a crisis climate, there are opportunities for organisations to reimagine the future of their businesses.

While cybersecurity also ranked within the top 5 functions required to broaden organisational resilience, only 22% of business leaders feel that their cybersecurity function is “very well integrated” within the organisation. This indicates that cyber-risks could be an area that is overlooked, especially in monitoring and detecting digital threats.

How do organisations build resilience?

  • Initiate governance around resilience at a higher level, while appointing a leader to lead the plan. Creating a guiding committee to oversee resources and funding.
  • Review crisis management structure annually. To have a thorough plan that aligns with the organisation’s strategic priorities, the design of the integrated plan should clearly define roles and responsibilities on managing crisis.
  • Ensure digital transformation with cybersecurity safeguards. Review all to-date technologies and design it with monitoring capabilities to help early detection and prevention of possible attacks.
  • Foster a culture of resilience. Set organisational resilience as an overall umbrella over core competencies and across technology and operations, data, workforce and financial.

"The challenge of crisis management in today’s complex world is in recognising the inevitability and unpredictability of disruptions and prioritising investments in cementing a strong foundation of resilience to weather any future disruptions."

Michael PeerDisputes Advisory Leader, PwC South East Asia Consulting

Contact us

Michael Peer

Michael Peer

Disputes Advisory Leader, South East Asia Consulting, PwC Singapore

Tel: +65 9663 9089

Nitin Parmar

Nitin Parmar

Financial Crime Partner, South East Asia Consulting, PwC Singapore

Tel: +65 8588 6187

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