New business culture ‘on the way’

A new business culture — built on the experiences of the cause of the recession — is set to emerge, leading to a more sustainable economic growth, a majority of Irish businesses believe.

The AIB/Amárach Business 2020 report, which asked Irish businesses their views on the global economy in the year 2020, found that 55% think a new type of business culture will emerge in Ireland that avoids the mistakes of the past and leads to a more sustainable growth for our economy.

Among the key findings of the survey of 265 senior decision makers in Irish businesses were:

* Online sales will account for 26% of total sales for Irish businesses

* China will have the largest economy in the world by 2025

* Two-thirds of businesses expect the Irish economy and their own business performance to be better in 2020 than it is today

* Less than one in 10 Irish businesses consider their current business structure to be completely appropriate for the future.

The survey also found most respondents see a rise in the number of women, graduates, and retirees, or those close to retirement, starting their own business.

The survey found the majority of businesses also anticipate new types of payment innovations — such as mobile phone-enabled transactions — which they in turn are set to embrace.

AIB’s head of business banking, Brendan O’Connor, said: “We commissioned this report to prompt Irish businesses to think about future opportunities. AIB’s success is dependent on the success of our customers.

“After five years of slow or no growth in the Irish economy, success is something none of us can take for granted. Nevertheless, the message we hear repeatedly from our customers is that they have survived the recession and now want to grow and succeed.

“Together we are all looking for the path to sustainable growth.”

Amárach Research chairman and report author Gerard O’Neill said: “Looking ahead to 2020, businesses have to look beyond Europe for long-term growth opportunities. The good news is that the digital tools we anticipated in 2000 have now become reality and will play a key role in helping Irish businesses succeed over the rest of the decade.”

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