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Navigator – Resilience: building back better

Businesses are living through the biggest global crisis in a generation. Companies around the world are making significant operational changes to become more resilient after many found their contingency plans weren’t robust enough to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.


HSBC Commercial Banking’s new Navigator report, Building Back Better, draws from a survey of over 2,600 companies in 14 countries and territories. It shows that many firms neglected contingency planning in key operational areas such as technology, finance and sustainability prior to the crisis, with nearly half (47%) saying they could have done more to prepare for the challenges of recent months.

For some, the shift to remote working exposed weaknesses in their continuity preparations, with fewer than three in five (57%) saying they prioritised investment in technology to improve operational efficiency over the last two years. The availability of cash flow was also a challenge, with only 43% having prioritised steps to strengthen their financial position.

The crisis has forced many businesses to adapt, with almost two thirds (63%) having made changes to their operations already. Almost half (44%) will change their products and services further, either by diversifying (33%) or by reducing their offering to become more specialised (17%).


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A picture of challenge and change

We surveyed more than 2,600 companies globally as part of our annual Navigator research to understand how the crisis affected them, including their plans for the future.

The results paint a picture of challenge and change. While 98% of businesses have felt the impacts of the crisis, 65% have been agile and stable enough to be resilient. And many see the crisis as a catalyst for change and long-term growth.


Over the longer term, business plans now call for more agile staffing and office arrangements together with a greater focus on technology and sustainability.

Diminishing real estate occupation: 38% are rethinking their physical footprint of office and production locations, with 29% expecting to reduce their office space.

A more flexible working arrangement: Over two thirds (69%) believe flexible working will become standard practice, as a third (34%) expect to cut their air travel.

Technology will be critical: Six in 10 (61%) think virtual collaboration will become standard practice over the next two years, with 57% saying that virtual meetings –internal and external – are here to stay even after lockdown measures are cancelled.

Sustainability to power the recovery: More than nine in 10 (91%) aim to ‘build back better’ by re-engineering their businesses to be more sustainable, while nearly a third (27%) intend to make their supply chains more environmentally sustainable over the next two years.

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There may be cross border restrictions to undertake any of the products or services contained within the information here. The information provided here is by no means to analyse these restrictions and make a recommendation and is purely for informative purposes. All kinds of transactions shall be subject to business conduct of HSBC Bank A.Ş. and compliance to local legislation. No information in this document is provided by HSBC for the purpose of offering, cross border marketing and sale by any means of any banking services outside of Republic of Turkey.

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