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HSBC – A Picture Of Challenge And Change

Resilience: Building back better

Our Navigator research provides you with valuable insights and opinions from businesses around the world. As part of that research, we asked more than 2,600 decision makers to tell us how the current crisis has affected them and changed their plans for the future.


The Navigator survey results paint a picture of challenge and change.

Almost every business has been impacted by COVID-19 and short-term challenges dominate the thinking of 3 in 5 business leaders.

Even as restrictions necessitate physical distance, the data show that more than 4 in 5 businesses have grown closer to employees, suppliers and customers; acting on a clear preference for collaboration over self-sufficiency.

This crisis is also catalysing long-term change. Business leaders increasingly focus on culture. This enables firms to become more agile and responsive to change – learning a lesson from this crisis where agile companies have proven resilient. There is a broad focus on employees – both to build resilience and shape the transformation they are seeking.

This cultural change can enable emerging opportunities to be realised. Technology and sustainability are only becoming more ingrained in how businesses operate. And technology is not only about automation, but also its ability to shape culture and enable agility.

So while the results show that challenges are real, they also reveal self-awareness about the need to change and adapt. Accelerating technological change and sustainability are deep structural trends with potential to drive growth but also disruption. Companies are making rapid and quite fundamental changes in response. Supply chains are being reshaped, but not reshored, with a continuing trend towards near-shoring evident.

Broadly consistent findings across surveyed markets evidence the shared nature of the COVID-19 challenge, and the universality of the deep trends companies have identified. Resilience must be built into businesses’ DNA to prepare for crises.


The immediate impact of COVID-19 has been felt by almost every company surveyed.

Around 3 in 4 felt either strong or very strong impacts, reflecting the severity of the crisis. Yet 9 in 20 businesses felt as well prepared as they could be. And only 8% felt completely unprepared.

Firms in the automotive, wholesale and retail sectors are most acutely impacted.

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