B20 Virtual Plenary: The new business reality – responding to the crisis while preparing for the future

28 April 2020

In nearly every corner of the world, businesses are taking steps to respond urgently and effectively to the unprecedented challenges presented by COVID-19. And yet, despite the many short- and long-term challenges, this moment also represents an opportunity for businesses to re-examine their approach and future.

As global business leaders address this new reality, on April 21, leaders of the B20 Saudi Arabia hosted a panel discussion with Francesco Starace, Chief Executive Officer of ENEL, the second largest power company in the world, and Werner Baumann, Chief Executive Officer of Bayer, a German pharmaceutical and life sciences company, to address lessons learned and best practices put in place by the business community to mitigate the impact of the crisis and understand the path forward.

For many businesses, these trying times have allowed them to focus on what is essential. After first prioritizing the health and safety of their employees, the next priority has been ensuring the continuity of service. Across all sectors, one of the biggest challenges has been keeping supply networks going. However, businesses are meeting this challenge by working together.

COVID-19 has accelerated the need for companies to address deeper and more important issues than just quarterly results. Through collaboration business are finding solutions to help not only improve, but save lives during this unprecedented time.

A key takeaway of this panel is that companies must continue to refocus on the roots that justify their existence – their product, their service and their role in the community.

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