Welcome to our 2020 edition of Spot On publication. Our objective for this publication is to share insights with you about the Consumer, Industrial Products, and Services (CIPS) sectors, as well as the Entrepreneurial and Private Business (EPB) sector.

Whereas these sectors encompass a broad range of businesses and markets, we believe they largely share commonalities in challenges and opportunities for growth.

The articles in this publication seek to share insight about the common challenges and opportunities that businesses in these sectors may face and perhaps help you to think a bit differently about the path ahead.

By Michael Mugasa

Certainly the most disruptive development in 2020 has been the COVID-19 pandemic. Organisations of all kinds have had to adapt very quickly and implement new ways of working almost overnight. Hindsight is always 20/20, as they say, but it does seem as though organisations with in-built cultures of resilience powered by technology and strong values have weathered the storm better than most. Building resilience takes time but we have learnt some important lessons, as the authors of our different articles explain. In the retail sector, consumer habits can take a lifetime to learn but just a lockdown to lose. In only a few short months, COVID-19 accelerated ongoing changes in consumer behaviour, advancing a series of digital disruptions that may have otherwise taken years to play out. In his article, PwC’s Wreford Momanyi argues that new opportunities to connect with consumers who are predominantly at home and online have required retail businesses to rethink business models and communicate the value of their brands differently. Innovative entertainment and media companies are identifying and adopting new avenues for growth and adapting to consumers’ preferences, according to Meshack Ndirangu. A drive towards subscriptions, for example, reflects a wider attribute of the accelerated digital future: the power of direct-to-consumer connections. Some E&M companies in this region are exploring different ways to bring live or on-demand experiences directly to consumers through their phones or smart TVs with the attendant growth in data consumption, potentially powered by 5G. In his article about the role of technology in the private healthcare sector, Benjamin Mkwizu shares that the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the health system and the ways that people are accessing health information. The delivery of care may look very different after the pandemic; telehealth is rapidly earning trust especially amongst generally healthy people looking for quick consultations as well as those who have more complex medical conditions. Transport and logistics are key facets of most CIPS and EPB businesses in this region, and as June Kago argues, planning ahead is more important than ever before. Next-generation tools like data analytics can provide invaluable insight helping to optimise routing, manage supply chains and improve delivery processes and the customer experience.

Prior to the pandemic, many CIPS organisations had made plans to expand their businesses into new product or service lines or into new markets, or both. Indeed, the very definition of a business in the CIPS sector may have changed for these organisations seeking to expand through acquisitions. Akinyemi Awodumila discusses the new business combinations standard, IFRS 3, and its changes to the definition of a business which will likely result in more acquisitions being accounted for as asset acquisitions for CIPS companies in the real estate, pharmaceutical and oil and gas sectors.

In his article, Eric Owino considers different factors that can influence decisions to expand. A good understanding of these factors can help organisations to prepare adequately and competitively for recovery. Innovations in media, agriculture and manufacturing can provide a competitive edge and help these companies to expand and diversify; Steve Kaluna discusses some of the specific innovations in these sectors. Wreford Momanyi and Annitah Mukoli share some in-depth analysis of the customer experience in an ‘always on’ environment and the value of an organisation’s ‘human side’. Communicating empathy through remote, digital, socially-distant channels is more difficult - and more necessary - than ever before. George Weru, Malvi Chavda and Danvas Mongare address some of the difficulties common amongst distressed businesses and the objectives of an independent business review. They discuss some of the tools that can help a distressed business to recover and salvage value. Shifting gears towards the Entrepreneur and Private Business sector, Sunny Vikram and I co-authored an article about what resilience really means for family owned businesses. Our biannual Family Business Survey, currently in its tenth year, consistently demonstrates that the owners’ agenda places a high premium on sustaining resilient family businesses from generation to generation. There is a lot to learn from these organisations, which typically focus on value and tend to take a long-term view. As always, we hope that you find these articles useful and insightful and we welcome opportunities to discuss them with you. Please feel free to contact me or any of the PwC experts who feature in this publication for more information.

Michael Mugasa

Partner and Consumer & Industrial Products and Services Leader

E: T: +254 (20) 285 5000

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