GCC survey identifies transformation as a route to sustained business growth

Survey reveals the prevailing opinion that transformation is fundamental for businesses seeking new opportunities and growth

NinjaMan Staff Report

4/1/20224 min read

low angle photo of city high rise buildings during daytime
low angle photo of city high rise buildings during daytime

The survey conducted independently by leading Dubai-based market research company 4SiGHT in KSA, UAE, and Kuwait, was commissioned by Philip Morris International (PMI) to understand the public’s perspective on business transformation. The survey also gauged opinion on companies that are currently undergoing a transformation of their own, including PMI, which today is working to deliver a smoke-free future.

Drawing on the opinion of more than 2,000 respondents across the three GCC states, the survey revealed that, among KSA and UAE participants, the majority (84% and 82% respectively) agree that changing with the times encourages companies to innovate and create better business opportunities. Meanwhile, among respondents in Kuwait, the majority (82%) agreed that transformation will help businesses to grow and provide them with a better chance of thriving post-pandemic.

Digging deeper to understand the foundation of this success, the survey identified the most important initiatives for business transformation to focus upon. In KSA and the UAE, ensuring gender equality in the workplace was noted as the most important transformative initiative among companies by 79% and 83% of respondents respectively. In Kuwait, the largest number of respondents (45%) highlighted the need to align corporate transformation to the national agenda as the most important transformation-related initiative.

Respondents across the three markets did agree that companies are taking the necessary action to transform at the pace that’s required for the best results. The majority of participants in each market also agreed that they would be more likely to engage with a company that is currently undergoing transformation.

“These survey findings underline the need for businesses to commit to transformation and constant innovation because it is the consumers themselves who recognize the importance of business evolution to both progress in society and a company’s future prospects,” commented Tarkan Demirbas, PMI’s Area Vice-President for the Middle East. “In fact, tangible change that is aligned with wider society provides a competitive advantage, because consumers are more likely to engage with these businesses,” added Demirbas.

The survey comes at a highly relevant time in PMI’s own evolution as the company continues to transform the tobacco industry to create a smoke-free future and replace cigarettes with better alternatives. Towards this future, the 4SiGHT survey revealed respondents’ perspectives on how the tobacco industry has adopted the change.

In KSA, the highest percentage of respondents (43%) believed that the industry can embrace change better than other industries, while in the UAE, the largest majority (39%) believe that the industry has changed with time to innovate through science-based products. In Kuwait, 49% of respondents believe transformation is a fundamental pillar for long-term sustainability and industry success.

Looking at PMI, the majority (32%) of KSA respondents consider the company to be one that can embrace change as one of the most efficient within the industry. In Kuwait, the majority (37%) consider new innovation-driven opportunities as the main reason for transformation in the organization, while also agreeing that transformation is a fundamental pillar for long-term sustainability and success. Among UAE survey participants, the majority (33%) consider PMI as an organization that is shifting its core business model towards smoke-free practices.

“We are on our own journey to deliver a smoke-free future, and it is satisfying to see such a depth of understanding among the public on the importance and consequences of change for a business today,” said Demirbas. “As society moves forward, so too must the companies that serve consumers — regardless of their sector.”

4SiGHT Survey Methodology

4SiGHT conducted this online survey on behalf of PMI between December 23 and December 29, 2021. It comprised of two online CAWI (Computer-assisted web interviewing) interviews and a structured questionnaire. The survey was fielded among 2,217 legal-aged adult respondents, drawn from the general population, and aged 21 or older, in three countries: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait.

Philip Morris International: Delivering a Smoke-Free Future

Philip Morris International (PMI) is a leading international tobacco company working to deliver a smoke-free future and evolving its portfolio for the long term to include products outside of the tobacco and nicotine sector. The company’s current product portfolio primarily consists of cigarettes and smoke-free products, including heat-not-burn, vapor, and oral nicotine products, which are sold in markets outside the U.S. Since 2008, PMI has invested more than USD 9 billion to develop, scientifically substantiate and commercialize innovative smoke-free products for adults who would otherwise continue to smoke, with the goal of completely ending the sale of cigarettes. This includes the building of world-class scientific assessment capabilities, notably in the areas of pre-clinical systems toxicology, clinical and behavioral research, as well as post-market studies. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the marketing of a version of PMI’s IQOS Platform 1 device and consumables as a Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP), finding that an exposure modification order for these products is appropriate to promote the public health. As of December 31, 2021, PMI's smoke-free products are available for sale in 71 markets, and PMI estimates that approximately 15.3 million adults around the world have already switched to IQOS and stopped smoking. With a strong foundation and significant expertise in life sciences, in February 2021 PMI announced its ambition to expand into wellness and healthcare areas and deliver innovative products and solutions that aim to address unmet patient and consumer needs. For more information, please visit www.pmi.com and www.pmiscience.com.