PwC Cyprus: CEOs are optimistic about facing the challenges of a new era

PwC presented the key findings of its 13th annual survey for CEOs in Cyprus at a dedicated event titled “Thriving in the age of continuous change: Accelerating the reinvention of our businesses”.

A key observation from the survey, compared to last year, is the fact that CEOs in Cyprus (alongside 4.702 global CEOs from the 105 countries who participated in PwCs Annual Global Survey) appear to be more optimistic about economic growth despite the significant prevailing headwinds and disruption. CEOs seem to apply more confidently a mindset of adaptability and agility, focusing their efforts on the reinvention agenda of their businesses.

Specifically, 40% of CEOs in Cyprus believe global economic growth will improve in the next 12 months, 43% consider that local economic growth will also improve, while 45% stated they will increase their organisation’s headcount. The findings represent a significant recovery in optimism from last year’s survey results, in which CEOs (globally and in Cyprus) recorded historic levels of pessimism.

It is striking to note that 43% of CEOs in Cyprus recognise that their organisations will not be economically viable beyond the next ten years if they maintain their current operating model. This realisation is directly associated with CEOs’ experience that technological change (66%), changes in customer preferences (53%) and government regulations (43%) have significantly impacted companies in the last five years and will continue driving the need for reinvention over the next 3 years in an accelerated manner. Technological change is identified as the number one driving force for reinvention by all CEOs (Globally, in the Eurozone and in Cyprus). Interestingly, CEOs in the Eurozone highlight the rising significance of government regulations in this area.

The findings from this year's survey highlight the complex environment within which CEOs are called upon to make those strategic decisions that will safely navigate their businesses into the new era of continuous reinvention. Concerns about major challenges remain acute. Inflation dominates as the main concern with 23%. Geopolitical conflicts and cyber attacks follow with 21%, and then macroeconomic volatility at 18%.

Revenue and headcount growth

Despite the above mentioned concerns about the long-term viability of their organisations, business leaders in Cyprus appear to be more optimistic regarding their own organisation’s revenue growth over the next 12 months. 41% are very optimistic about their company’s revenue growth prospects, marking a slight increase compared to last year’s 38%. Respectively, 35% of CEOs in the Eurozone and 38% of CEOs globally are very optimistic about their own organisation’s revenue growth prospects in the coming year.

Regarding employee headcount, 45% of survey participants in Cyprus responded that they plan to increase numbers and 49% will not make any changes for the next 12 months. CEOs in the Eurozone give a 19% probability to reducing their headcount, while CEOs globally give a 22% probability.

The Artificial Intelligence landscape

The rapid technological advancements and their influence on business operations are also a cause for uncertainty. The fast emergence of Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) is creating expectations to the majority of CEOs that it will provide the means to tackle the great administrative inefficiencies currently within their organisations and also improve the quality of their services and products over the next 12 months.These results highlight the significant need for workforce upskilling.

Reflecting on the survey results, CEO of PwC Cyprus, Philippos Soseilos (pictured above) stated, “The PwC CEO survey reveals that CEOs in Cyprus demonstrate agility and adaptability as they are becoming increasingly more confident about the prospects of the Cyprus economy especially when compared to the rest of the Eurozone. At the same time, they are aligned with the CEOs globally in the recognition that their businesses will not be viable in the medium term unless they reinvent their business models, leveraging GenAI amongst other driving factors. The message is clear: We should no longer speak of the need for speed in taking action. We should be speaking of the need to accelerate our reinvention!”

To view the results of the survey press here.

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