KPMG: Nearly half of global CEOs don't expect a return to ‘normal’ till 2022

KPMG managing partner in Malaysia Datuk Johan Idris

KUALA LUMPUR: KPMG has found that 45 per cent of out 500 chief executive officers (CEOs) surveyed globally are not expecting to see a return to 'normal' until sometime in 2022.

The global organisation of independent professional services firms providing audit, tax and advisory services said nearly one-third (31 per cent) anticipate it will happen later this year.

"Interestingly, only 6.0 percent of CEOs in Asia Pacific predict a return to ‘normal’ by this year with a significant majority (59 per cent) envisioning it will only happen in 2022," it said in a statement following the release of its 2021 KPMG CEO Outlook Pulse Survey.

The survey also found that nearly two-thirds (61 per cent) of CEOs will look for a successful COVID-19 vaccine rollout, where at least half of the population is vaccinated, before asking their staff to return to offices.

Nine out of 10 leaders intend to ask their employees to report when they have been vaccinated to protect the wider workforce.

"The COVID-19 vaccine rollout is providing leaders with a much-needed dose of optimism in preparation for the new reality. Unsurprisingly, however, CEOs want to be confident that their workforce is protected against this virus before making any major business decisions.

"We can see this in how CEOs are only anticipating returning to business as ‘normal’ in 2022,” KPMG managing partner in Malaysia Datuk Johan Idris said.

He said the situation last year has changed the way CEOs adapt and develop creative ways to sustain business operations. Now, over one-third of CEOs in Asia Pacific consider their business model changed forever.

"Business leaders must now seriously plan for the long-term implications of the pandemic and grab this opportunity to redefine what the new normal looks like,” he added.

Other key insights in the survey from Asia Pacific's CEOs also called for government's encouragement or enablement as a prompt to return to a normal course of business (68 per cent), and 82 per cent of them agree that public-private partnerships are crucial in building infrastructure around digital and innovation for business continuity.

For more insights about the survey, visit its website at - BERNAMA

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