Dr Ernest Addison, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, says businesses need to take action to develop resilient and innovative strategies to achieve long-term value and sustainability.
He said the knock-on effects of COVID-19 differed markedly from sector to sector and stressed the need for business sustainability.
Dr Addison was speaking at the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) Chief Executive Officer Business Forum on the theme: “Redefining Business Success: The path for Business Value, Resilience and sustainability.”
The Forum is to provide a high-level platform for CEOs, Entrepreneurs, Industry Experts and Policy Makers to deliberate on topical issues and make policy recommendations for the sustainable growth and development of businesses in Ghana and explore new business partnerships.
He said while some sectors, including health, benefitted from the pandemic in terms of economics, sectors such as travel and hospitality, were devastated by the crisis and required policy support to return to the pre-pandemic levels of performance.
Dr Addison said because of the disparities, business strategies and support should be crafted differently across sectors to support the recovery process.
He said the varying risks triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic also led players to question how businesses operated, signalling that it could not be “business as usual” in the post-pandemic era.
“This is where I find the theme for this year’s conference very appropriate because building business resilience and sustainability would be critical to the recovery process and businesses must recognise and anticipate the changing operating environment,” Dr Addison said.
He said it was important for businesses to develop strategies within the context of the changes and must allocate resources and create values to chart a path towards future growth.
The Governor said businesses needed to redefine strategies by adhering to good governance practices, efficiently deploying scarce capital, improving supply chains (from product design to raw material procurement, to processing and distribution) and adopting technology-driven skills development and operations to reposition for future growth.
Dr Addison said businesses must also take advantage of demographics, values and changes in technology, and identify new opportunities.
“The opportunities from the extent of digital penetration in Ghana must be identified with a high level of internet subscribers and wireless subscribers. Technological innovation can for example enhance agricultural productivity through the use of GIS information to undertake precision farming,” he said.
He said technology such as digitisation of medical records and remote diagnosis of diseases also had the potential for the health services sector.
The Governor said the impact of technology in promoting financial inclusion, using digital technology was another example of how technology could help create new opportunities.
Mr Clement Osei-Amoako, the President of GNCCI, said there was no gainsaying that the disruptions and opportunities created by COVID-19 had brought to the fore the need to re-assess strategies critical to charting the path towards building business value, resilience, and sustainability.
He said that was further underpinned by the Chamber’s assessment of the business performance of 3,000 companies in the country in the areas of value, growth, resilience, sustainability, risk and others.
The findings revealed that the business value of enterprises was relatively less stable and more sensitive to economic and market cycles.
“In addition, the business growth of enterprises was relatively less steady and more sensitive to economic downsides, firm-specific risks, and industry volatility,” he added.
Mr Osei-Amoako said over the years, business success was largely defined within the context of turnover, profit, and brands but the impact of COVID-19 had taught businesses a lesson that emphasis on “business as usual” was not sustainable and that businesses would be required to re-engineer their approach along the axis of people, planet and profit.
“This calls for the need to examine a portfolio of other business strategies which will be critical in re-defining and ensuring business success vis-a-vis resilience and sustainability in the new normal,” he added.
Mr Osei-Amoako said the contribution of the Chamber to the growth and development of the private sector and the national economy could not be over-emphasized and said it would maintain a proactive relationship with all stakeholders towards addressing pertinent issues.