17 Feb

EXCERPTS FROM THE KEY NOTE SPEECH BY DR RAVI FERNANDO AT THE C-CONFLUENCE LAUNCH ON 28TH JANUARY 2020 AT CINNAMION GRAND

Are you a FUTURE READY and RESPONSIBLE Business Leader?

 

‘Future Business leaders need to move beyond simply being functional experts and build three new skills to be considered Future ready, Responsible and Relevant business Leaders’. The INSEAD Business school launched a new course titled the ‘Aspiring Directors Program’ in 2019 which builds Future leaders by presenting them ‘Future Business opportunities and Business Challenges’ which they need to respond to with New skills.

The Future ready business leader needs to:

1)     Embrace Future Technology

 

Today, New technology can disrupt most business. A few examples include

  • Precision agriculture versus Mass

In Sri Lanka, 25% of its workforce is engaged in Agriculture and extreme weather is disrupting. Today Precision agriculture has enabled Holland to be the 2nd largest agriculture produce exporter where vertical green houses with controlled climatic conditions has made them a global powerhouse. Artificial Intelligence, 3D Printing, Robotics are among the other the other new Technologies which future ready business leaders need to embrace and mobilize in order to remain competitive.

 

2)     Maneuver Geo-Politics

 

Understanding the potential impact of Geopolitics will be a new skill that will increasingly become mandatory for business leaders who run both Multi-nationals and Transnationals. A good example is understanding how the China one belt one road strategy offers many opportunities to Sri Lanka to export to Africa, Northern Europe and Latin America by being a

 

manufacturing hub leveraging it. Sri Lanka must negotiate from a position of strength to leverage its unique geographic location.

 

3)     Build an adaptation strategy to counter the Climate emergency

 

Since 2000, the past 20 years have been its hottest and warmest temperatures ever recorded. This in turn leads to extreme weather incidents such as ‘Drought, above average temperatures and floods’.

Since having around 150 extreme weather incidents between 1990-1999, we see a significant spike of such events to between 500-600 between 2000

  • This in turn significantly disrupts supply chains worldwide. Business which ignores this simple fact will be disrupted.

 

Finally, every business must be ‘part of the solution’ and not ‘part of the problem’ of the climate emergency. The strategic way to do so is to ensure the business has a ‘Sustainable business model’ which ensures it is committed to renewable energy powering the business and its product range is committed sustainable consumption. Having a sustainable business model if in place will make CSR irrelevant and not required. To be a Future ready, relevant and responsible Corporate strategy business needs to factor the above three new competencies to ensure their corporate strategy is relevant.

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