Of the 21 countries surveyed, Indian executives gave their organisations the highest rating for maintaining diverse workforces and fostering inclusive cultures.
Indian organisations are at par with global businesses, in terms of having had technology in place to enable remote working.
Once the pandemic and lockdowns end, Indian CXOs expect a slightly larger percentage of their workforce to continue operating remotely, as compared to global executives.
Indian CXOs (77%) appear relatively confident about their organisation’s ability to adapt, and their own ability to lead through uncertain times as compared to global peers. In the wake of a tumultuous 2020, CXOs also believe disruption is here to stay, according to Deloitte’s 2021 Global Resilience Report. In fact, 70% of the CXOs surveyed in India, do not see 2020 as a rare event and believe they are likely to see occasional, or regular, disruptions of this scale going forward, as compared to 62% globally.
Worsening climate events have given Indian CXOs enough cause to anticipate regular disruptions. They also have a higher propensity to believe that climate change is a crisis of greater magnitude (51%) than COVID-19, as compared to global peers (44%).
“The year 2020 has propelled organisations in India, and the rest of the world, to think creatively given the disruptive environment. Our research reveals that resilient organisations; with flexible, adaptable, long-term, innovative mindsets that cultivate resilient cultures, are better positioned to overcome disruptions and help usher in a “better normal” post pandemic”, said Joydeep Datta Gupta, Partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP. “It shows that acting early, and being prepared, matters and offers proven lessons for increasing organisational success”, he added.
Like their global counterparts, Indian CXOs who had taken specific actions, prior to 2020 or who had ongoing efforts to move to new-age work mechanisms, seemed to have been better at weathering the change. These include diversifying revenue streams (61%) and an increasing use of advanced tech, to create new business models and market opportunities (66%). Globally (including India), over one-third of CXOs who said their organisations are doing very well, were all implementing advanced tech into their strategies to become more resilient, and anticipated growing at over 6% in the next year.
Once the pandemic and lockdowns end, Indian CXOs expect a slightly larger percentage of their workforce to remain in remote-working scenarios, as compared to global executives. Over two-thirds of CXOs in India (71%) also believe they had kept their employees and customers safe. These organisations had already invested in technologies to enable remote working (59%) or provided flexible working hours (63%), either prior to 2020 or during the year.
The disruptive events of 2020 reflect prominently in the top societal issues identified by surveyed CXOs. Climate change, along with healthcare or disease prevention, and income inequality were the top three issues for Indian CXOs. This was followed by gaps in education, skills and training. Indian executives also exceed their global peers for honouring societal and environmental commitments, including demonstrating a higher commitment to transparency in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria.
Recognising the imminent need for change and to drive responsible climate choices within the organisation and beyond, Deloitte has unveiled its WorldClimate initiative, thereby committing to achieving net-zero emissions by 2030.
The ‘characteristics of resilience’
Resilient organisations did not necessarily predict the events of 2020, but withstood immense pressure, by enabling and promoting nimble strategies, nurturing adaptive cultures, and implementing and effectively using advanced technologies. Deloitte’s research identifies five attributes of resilient organisations that serve as a strategic, operational, and cultural guidepost. They are:
Prepared: Successful CXOs plan for all outcomes, both short- and long-term. 65% of Indian CXOs said their organisations have done well/very well at balancing both, short-term and long-term priorities.
Adaptable: Leaders recognise the importance of having versatile employees, especially after a year like 2020. To that end, flexibility and adaptability (51%) was, by far, the workforce trait Indian CXOs said was most critical to their organisation’s futures. Majority of Indian respondents indicated that they had implemented actions to make their workforce more adaptable—through training or reskilling workers, implementing worker redeployment programmes, or offering flexible working options.
Collaborative: CXOs indicated the importance of collaboration within their organisations, noting that it sped up decision-making, mitigated risk, and led to more innovation. Two-thirds of respondents who said their companies removed silos in their organisations before the pandemic, reported managing the events of 2020 better than their peers. Technology was a critical enabler of collaboration throughout the pandemic and 83% of CXOs in India said they had invested in technologies and systems that supported remote working, prior to 2020.
Trustworthy: CXOs understand the challenge of building trust with key stakeholders. Indian executives rated their organisations higher than their global counterparts for most trust measures, especially for maintaining trust between leadership and employees, and maintaining digital trust.
Responsible. Most CXOs acknowledge that the business world has a responsibility beyond the bottom line. Of all the countries surveyed, Indian executives rated their organisations the highest - 91% of CXOs in India said their organisations had done very well in creating diverse and agile cultures.
For more information and to view the full results of Deloitte's 2021 Global Resilience Report, visit: www.deloitte.com/resilience2021.