Is Your CFO Prepared to Seize Opportunities and Overcome Challenges in Singapore’s Business Landscape?

3 mins read

30 May 2023

Discover the invaluable insights from Jiak See Ng, Financial Advisory Leader, Deloitte Asia Pacific, as she reveals strategies for embracing opportunities and navigating challenges in Singapore’s evolving business landscape.

Jiak See Ng, Financial Advisory Leader, Deloitte Asia Pacific, shares her expertise on the trends and challenges facing Singapore’s business landscape. With her extensive experience in advising clients on various financial matters, including mergers and acquisitions, fundraising, and growth strategy, Ng provides valuable insights into the opportunities presented by sustainability and ESG, responsible investing, and social impact. She emphasizes the need for businesses to adapt their models and seize these opportunities to ensure sustainable growth in the face of economic slowdown.

Challenges in Singapore’s Business Landscape

Singapore’s business environment has faced volatility and uncertainty due to factors such as rising interest rates, geopolitical instability, the ongoing COVID-19 recovery, and supply chain disruptions. Ng highlights the importance of industry leaders and key business figures taking proactive measures to address these challenges. Smart investments in digital transformation, talent strategies that embrace flexibility, diversification of business models, and collaboration with the public sector and ecosystem partners are key strategies for overcoming these challenges.

Adapting Business Models to Stay Ahead

To stay ahead in the face of an expected economic slowdown, Ng advises companies to adapt their business models and leverage emerging trends. She emphasizes the opportunities presented by sustainability, ESG, responsible investing, and social impact initiatives. Companies should consider restructuring, refinancing, and recycling capital to capture these opportunities and maintain competitiveness in volatile times. Furthermore, managing working capital, improving liquidity, and realigning supply chains are crucial actions to navigate increasing interest rates and regulatory scrutiny.

Promoting ESG and Sustainability Initiatives

Ng suggests that open communication and transparency are vital in promoting ESG and sustainability initiatives among stakeholders. Regular updates on progress, sharing best practices, and showcasing success stories build credibility and trust. Appointment of a sustainability officer or team can ensure integration of sustainability initiatives into all aspects of the business. Engaging stakeholders through dialogue sessions, events, workshops, and social media fosters support. Embedding sustainability into operations, setting measurable goals, and implementing sustainability reporting enhance transparency, accountability, and comparability.

Measuring Growth and Success

Ng identifies key performance indicators (KPIs) for measuring businesses’ growth and success, including revenue growth, customer acquisition and retention, competitive market share, employee engagement and satisfaction, and ESG performance. However, challenges may arise due to economic uncertainties, supply chain disruptions, evolving consumer behavior, and the absence of standardized ESG reporting frameworks.

Advice for Financial Advisory Professionals

Ng advises aspiring professionals in the financial advisory landscape to cultivate adaptability and a thirst for continuous learning. Besides technical knowledge, possessing strong soft skills such as active listening, effective communication, and relationship-building is crucial for understanding clients’ needs and offering tailored solutions. Trusted relationships with clients and team members lead to collaboration, positive work environments, and ultimately, success.

Expectations for the Awards Programme

Ng shares her expectations for the Singapore Business Review Awards, expressing interest in companies that demonstrate future-forward thinking, innovative business models, and sustainable practices. She seeks entries that showcase successful pivots in response to market conditions or disruptions and a commitment to building strong relationships with customers, employees, and stakeholders.

As Singapore’s business landscape faces challenges and opportunities, CFOs and financial leaders must adapt their strategies and embrace emerging trends. Ng’s insights highlight the importance of digital transformation, talent strategies, diversification, and collaboration. By promoting ESG and sustainability initiatives, businesses can engage stakeholders and foster long-term success. Aspiring professionals are encouraged to develop adaptable skills and build trusted relationships to thrive in the financial advisory space.

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