Technological breakthroughs, demographic changes, resource shortages and climate change - main global trends that will shape the future

The Romanian CEOs think there are three main global trends that will impact their companies in the next few years, according to the 17th edition of the PwC Global CEO Survey

Almost all believe that technological breakthroughs will have a major impact. More than half of respondents state that they will feel the impact of demographic changes, as well as resource shortages and climate change. Also, urbanisation is one of the global trends that will reshape businesses.


92% of the CEOS have mentioned technological breakthroughs as one of the three main global trends that will transform their companies in the next five years. The percentage is higher than the Global and European ones (81%).


Both climate change and resource shortages have been mentioned by 51% of the Romanian CEOs, while urbanisation was mentioned by 47% of them.   


Technological breakthroughs and demographic changes are the most important trends mentioned also by the CEOs from around the world. The third most important factor quoted were the shifts in the global economic power. This trend was highlighted by 59% of global respondents, while only 41% of local CEOs quote this phenomenon as one of the three factors to influence their companies in the future.


“There is a wide consensus among the Romanian CEOs about the role of technological breakthorughs in reshaping their companies in the next few years. On the background of a stronger feeling that the future started yesterday, innovation is the most important opportunity for growth. And innovation is not just about manufacturing techniques or developing new services, but also about ways to approach and attract clients”, stated Vasile Iuga, Country Managing Partner, PwC Romania.


After the last five years when Romanian CEOs have lead their companies by trying to keep them profitable in dire economic conditions, most of them count on organic growth. 47% of them see innovation as the main opportunity for growth, both in terms of products and services, compared to 35% at the CEOs globally and 33% of European CEOs. The focus on innovation has grown since last year’s edition, both in Romania and globally, when only 29% of the Romanian respondents thought the development of a new product or service the most important opportunity for growth (25% globally).


“Tomorrow’s successful leaders are the ones that will identify and capitalize on the demographic changes in order to secure the necessary labour force and to prepare it to face the new requirements of the global economy. For sure, technological breakthroughs will radically transform the labour market. There is more and more talk about tomorrow’s jobs. With them, new skills will be needed for future employees, who will also have more specific demands. Therefore, developing human capital will continue to be a priority for the CEOS”, added Vasile Iuga.  


Almost half (46%) of Romanian respondents expect an increase in the number of employees. The percentage is higher than the European one (where 42% of CEOs plan expanding the number of employees), as well as the one in Central and Eastern Europe (33%). Globally, CEOs are slightly more ambitious about hiring staff, with half of respondents envisaging increases.


At the same time, almost one third (32%) of Romanian CEOs expect a decrease in the number of employees this year, one of the highest percentages in the world after that of Italy (43%), Australia (39%) and Spain (37%). Globally, 20% of CEOs foresee a decrease in their staff numbers, while in the CEE the level is of 28%.


The availability of talented employees is seen as a major challenge by CEOs worldwide. Most respondents (63%) see this as a potential risk. Romanian CEOs are becoming more and more concerned with this issue, with the number of those indicating this as a risk increasing to 59%. The second most acute risk is the increase in labour costs on high economic growth markets, indicated by 58% of the respondents.


     Survey Methodology:


For PwC's 17th Annual Global CEO Survey, 1,344 interviews were conducted in 68 countries during the last quarter of 2013. By region, 445 interviews were conducted in Asia Pacific, 442 in Europe, 212 in North America, 165 in Latin America, 45 in Africa and 35 in the Middle East. The results for  Romania are based on responses from 49 local CEOs.  


To download the PwC Global CEO Survey – the Romanian edition – please access the following web-page:http://www.pwc.ro/en/publications/ceosurvey2014.jhtml