Continuous business growth remains elusive

It is hardly surprising that companies are not hiring and investing aggressively despite Singapore's strengthening economy (Too soon to say whether labour market has turned around: Analysts; Dec 13).

Continuous business growth in the new economy remains elusive.

We live in uncertain times marked by shorter cycles between economic growth and downturn which are limiting new opportunities for expansion and causing companies to focus more on cost management.

Delivering sustainable value is more difficult to achieve owing to the ever-changing economic models that challenge businesses to stay relevant to ensure long-lasting competitiveness.

The unrelenting changes affecting our society have implications for the way we do business.

Sustainable growth can be achieved only through innovative solutions that bring genuine value appropriate to the specific needs of consumers.

The days of corporations that leveraged on their economies of scale, technology and ability to organise a reliable supply chain to meet the demands of the mass market are numbered.

Unfortunately, the cycle of industrial production and compulsive product consumption from a greater consumer spending power are behind us.

The paradigms of change are driven and shaped by the Internet.

The man in the street now has access to creating value, which was only previously under the influence of large business concerns.

The control that corporations once possessed over communication and media channels is now in the hands of a multitude of technically savvy individuals, who analyse and evaluate products and services.

New media has replaced trust in brand messages with peer opinion.

Positioning through brand slogans is coming to an end.

A revolutionary level of transparency is forcing companies to start listening to what customers want.

Businesses must come up with different strategies and recruit talents who are able to penetrate online forums.

Organisations must re-examine their current business paradigm.

In order for businesses to stay ahead of the competition, they must attain a deeper understanding of emerging market conditions to create sustainable value.

Edmund Khoo Kim Hock