man in suit smiling for photo

Maintaining the Utility Services Essential to Modern Life

For the last decade, Sapphire Utility Solutions Ltd. has been providing award-winning services to several important sectors, including clean water, wastewater, gas, digital networks, and highways. Over the years, it has become the partner of choice for many clients, having earned a strong reputation for its exceptional work. Here, we speak to Founder and CEO Michael Patel to find out more about the company in the wake of his success in winning CEO of the Year, Lancashire, in the CEO of the Year Awards 2023.

Having worked for several larger contractors in the past, Michael established Sapphire Utility Solutions in 2013, aiming to create a company that would provide a more flexible and tailored service to its clients than his previous employers. His mission was to act as a catalyst for change, introducing new ways of thinking, approaches, and technologies in order to meet the ever-changing needs of the utilities sector.

In its earliest years, Sapphire Utility Solutions primarily subcontracted to larger Tier 1 contractors, but Michael’s vision was for the company to operate as a Tier 1 in its own right. In working to achieve this goal, he risked alienating the contractors that the business was currently working for. To avoid this, Michael planned to continue supporting them whilst identifying and bidding for areas and contracts that they were not pursuing. This approach enabled Sapphire Utility Solutions to secure multiple main contracts, whilst maintaining its strong relationships with existing contractors.

Having operated as a subcontractor for six years, Sapphire Utility Solutions had worked tirelessly to develop its systems, processes, and capabilities. Eventually, it was awarded its first main contract with United Utilities, a company that provides water and wastewater services to the northwest of England. This served as a solid foundation for it to win further opportunities. Today, the company holds six main contracts with United Utilities.

By maintaining direct relationships with its clients, Sapphire Utility Solutions has gained a far deeper understanding of their needs than its competitors, enabling it to better tailor its offerings to support them in achieving their business objectives. For example, utilising a key account management approach, Michael personally led the evolution of the operating model in delivering wastewater activities with United Utilities. Through this, he has helped the company to significantly enhance both its customer experience and regulatory performance.

Since establishing Sapphire Utility Solutions, Michael has been working to achieve his overall strategy for business growth, which was to initially serve as a leading supplier focused on wastewater and highways drainage works, then to expand its capabilities into other complementary sectors. In line with this strategy, Michael has been working to expand the services offered by Sapphire Utility Solutions and increase its client portfolio in order to reduce its reliance on United Utilities. As a result, whilst United Utilities accounted for more than 80% of the company’s revenue in 2018, this figure has been significantly reduced to less than 50%.

Whilst he is proud to have been at the helm of Sapphire Utility Solutions and its success in the last decade, Michael understands that the business would not be where it is today without its workforce. Over the years, his focus has been on creating a high-performing and diverse team, fostering opportunities for everyone. Today, the company operates with a directly employed workforce that genuinely represents a cross-section of society, led by a leadership team that consists of 40% ethnic minority and female employees.

In addition to this, with people at the heart of Sapphire Utility Solutions, Michael has worked to ensure that all staff members feel heard and have a voice. For this reason, he set up an employee forum that consists of elected representatives from across the business who encapsulate the team’s diversity. Michael meets with them every month to hear their ideas and understand any issues or challenges that directly impact the company’s senior leadership decision-making processes.

“We treat people as individuals,” Michael adds. “Everyone has their own life story, their own personal situation. We respect that and collaborate with our employees to deliver a working environment that helps them to fulfil their potential.”

To achieve this, Michael invests heavily in training, aiming to provide his team with the opportunities and support they need to truly excel in their roles. He is wholly committed to facilitating their personal and professional growth and development. He explains, “We wanted to take a completely different approach to people management and talent development. We want people to work for us not because they’re the finished product but so we can help them develop. We’re focused on empowering our people to be the best they can be.”

Moreover, if Michael’s passion for employee development is strong, his desire to ensure the personal wellbeing of each worker is indestructible. Many members of the Sapphire Utility Solutions team have received accredited mental health training, and every employee is provided with free 24/7 access to counselling services to help them deal with any issues they are facing. On this, Michael shares, “Mental health is so important, and we want to ensure our whole team can be open about how they’re feeling and what they’re thinking. What our people think lies at the centre of our business, shaping the way we progress.”

To dig deeper into the extent of Michael’s excellence as a leader, we also speak to his daughter, Shanaz Patel, who currently works as Payroll Manager at Sapphire Utility Solutions. She believes that her father is truly committed to looking after his team and emphasises his commitment to providing opportunities to those who may otherwise struggle to find employment.

“He is a keen advocate of Apprentice schemes and supports offenders, ex-military, and the long-term unemployed, realising that they all have potential if given the right tools and help,” Shanaz explains. “Mental health is a huge subject for my father, who initiated many schemes within Sapphire that help all employees. They have access to personal counselling at any time and are encouraged to look after their mental health as a priority.”

Shanaz also mentions that her father is hugely popular amongst both his employees and the community. With genuine compassion that goes beyond supporting people in the workplace, Michael builds affordable housing in his local area through another company that specialises in construction projects. She adds, “Our family would be so delighted to see him get recognition for everything he has achieved because he has done so much and helped so many people.”

In light of his outstanding accomplishments, both in business and beyond, it is truly no surprise that Michael Patel has been awarded the title of CEO of the Year, Lancashire, in the CEO of the Year Awards 2023. In the years to come, there is no doubt that he will continue to lead Sapphire Utility Solutions Ltd. to success, with ambitious plans for growth and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035. We wish him and his team the best of luck in all their endeavours.

For business enquiries, contact Michael Patel from Sapphire Utility Solutions Ltd. on their website –

Coworkers taking a lunch break together

“Please, Do Not Disturb”: How to Help Staff Disconnect After Work Hours

With all that has happened in the last couple of years, it is fair to say that our lives have been completely overturned. If commuting to the office every morning used to be the norm, more and more employees are now working from their bedroom, kitchen table or home office on a regular basis. This may seem like a tremendous advantage at first, and, in many ways, it can be – no early wake-ups, no rushed breakfasts, and no morning traffic.

However, working from home can conceal a few challenges. One of them is that employees find it difficult to switch off and relax after office hours. It has been found that 76% of people struggle to disconnect from their jobs at the end of the working day, with it taking them an average of one hour and 39 minutes to unwind after leaving their desks. In addition, a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research revealed that working from home makes it even harder for people to detach. With many more internal emails circulating inside their inbox, workdays from home are becoming longer.

As a business, it is crucial to always ensure high standards of health and wellbeing in the workplace. Employees are a company’s most valuable asset and their wellbeing deserves special attention. This article explores some ways in which businesses can help their home-working staff wind down after office hours.


Encourage breaks and hobbies

When working from home, it is very easy to stay glued to the work laptop for an extra hour or two. Whether it is checking emails or polishing presentation slides for the following day, employees may end up losing precious ‘me time’. With no sight of colleagues leaving the office when the shift is over, it may be tricky to realise that it is time to stop for the evening.

One way to make sure your staff are not overworking is to encourage them to take up a hobby. The promise of going to dance classes or for a kick-about with friends may spur them to switch off when they should. For instance, playing an instrument is an excellent solution too. Strumming a guitar or improvising tunes on a piano can reset their mind. In this respect, you may also want to encourage your employees to take short breaks during the day and have a go at their favourite hobby – whether it is singing, gardening, or cooking, it will actively refuel their energy levels and get their creative juices flowing, ready for work again.


Promote socialising with co-workers

Working remotely means that employees’ workplaces no longer include co-workers. Colleagues may still see each other during meetings from time to time, but that is only through a screen. What’s more, conversations will always be about work and the current tasks at hand.

Why not promote virtual, social meetings at the end of the working day? This will allow staff to have casual conversations with co-workers that, in an office setting, would generally happen in hallways or at the coffee machine. By encouraging informal interactions, you will help employees detach from their duties for the day.


Lead by example

One of the most effective ways to ensure your workers switch off after office hours is to lead by example. Why would homeworkers turn their laptop off if their manager is still online?

Outside of typical office hours, HR and managers should not reply to emails (unless truly urgent, of course). If a task can wait until the morning, it will alleviate the pressure on your people to continue working. That way, you and your employees can quickly indulge in some well-deserved after-work rest.


Turn technology to their advantage

As mentioned, workers may feel hesitant to close their laptops after office hours. If a task or meeting request appears on their screen at the end of the day, they may feel pressured to crack on with it regardless of what time it is. Ultimately, they may end up being overburdened with work.

In this respect, you may want to encourage your staff to turn technology to their advantage. There are apps, including Google Calendar, that allow employees to set specific timeframes and work hours. This means that if anyone sends meeting requests outside their office hours, they will be informed that the colleague is currently unavailable and the invitation will be declined. Similarly, apps such as Microsoft Teams can also be set to alert users during core work hours only.

These are simple but effective ways to eliminate people’s temptation to check their work inboxes and messages outside their working hours.


Write a to-do list

Why not motivate your employees to write their own to-do lists for the day? Jotting down the tasks for the day has a number of advantages. Firstly, ticking off items is satisfying and spurs staff to keep going, improving productivity and efficiency. More importantly, seeing a completed agenda at the end of the day will help workers settle down for the evening, as it’s evidence that there is nothing else that needs doing.

Writing a to-do list will also allow employees to prioritise their tasks. They will be able to plan out their day to focus on the more pressing duties at times that suit them. If their minor tasks are not finished that day, they could be picked up the next morning.


It is true that working from home has its benefits. But there is also no denying that it comes with some challenges, with employees finding it difficult to turn off their work devices and enjoy some all-important ‘me time’. You can also read more tips on how employees can switch off on our blog.

Celebrity creative director in a photoshoot for their brand

From Entertainment to Enterprise: A New Era of Celebrity Creative Directors

The recent appointment of Love Island’s Molly Mae Hague as Creative Director of Pretty Little Thing has proven to be a disruptive topic within the social sphere, leading to conflicting opinions on whether or not celebrities are equipped to lead the creative practices of brands. 

Printing experts Solopress have analysed the new emerging trend of celebrity Creative Directors, delving into the potential benefits and drawbacks of offering senior titles to those already accustomed to the spotlight over professionals who are not.

The World of Celebrity Creative Directors

With household names Jennifer Aniston and Drew Barrymore representing the corporate image of Vital Proteins and Garnier respectively and Emily Ratajkowski named Creative Director of face mask brand Loops in October 2020, there’s an evident rise in demand for celebrities to occupy these sought-after roles.

Supermodel and influencer Kendall Jenner also became the most recent addition to the Celebrity Creative Director roster, joining fashion brand FWRD as Creative Director.

However, it isn’t famous females alone that have made a name for themselves with varying levels of success in the business world, with rapper Big Sean appointed as Creative Director of the Detroit Pistons in 2020, being previously appointed as Creative Director for tech giants Intel, and fashion titan Marc Jacobs being appointed as CD of Diet Coke in 2013.

This obvious demand for celebrities in senior corporate roles has left many consumers, followers and industry professionals questioning whether or not these appointments are strategic business decisions or mere PR stunts to drive brand awareness.


Are Celebrities Qualified to Become a Creative Director?

Between four and seven years of experience working in the advertising, marketing or design sectors is required for non-celebrity candidates to reach executive level and become Creative Directors, according to Campaign.

Skillshare also notes that degree-level education is required in either art, marketing, graphic design, photography or fashion, in addition to practical experience in the chosen industry, naturally climbing the career ladder from a junior position.

The job specifications and qualifications required for prospective non-celebrity Creative Directors already put these candidates at a significant disadvantage compared to celebrities and influencers, who are given leniency with their credentials due to their status, followership or wider industry experience.


What Duties are Involved in the Role of the Celebrity Creative Director?

Creative Directors are tasked with defining the creative vision of a brand, ensuring a cohesive look and feel, establishing budgets and leading the creative team; governing the direction of advertising campaigns and marketing communications.

When it comes to the expectations of celebrity Creative Directors, the rules are slightly more nuanced. Jennifer Aniston’s relationship with Vital Proteins includes being responsible for product innovations and brand strategy in addition to leading a new social campaign for the brand which incorporates her personal wellness rituals.

On the other hand, Kendall Jenner’s Creative Director duties include taking charge of the look and feel of the FWRD site, the curation of brands sold on-site, monthly trend and style edits as well as marketing ideas, brand partnerships and brand activations.

Pretty Little Thing said Molly Mae Hague will be working closely with the brand’s creative team throughout 2021 and 2022, directing upcoming advertising campaigns and signing new faces for the brand.


What Can Celebrity Creative Directors Offer Brands?

With their immense followership, strong connection to their audiences and involvement in the promotion of various brands throughout their career, celebrities bring with them the promise of mass exposure, improved customer confidence and increased sales. Leveraging the 6.1 million Instagram followers of Molly Mae Hague or the 191 million followers of Kendall Jenner will naturally enhance the exposure of a brand, which in turn builds momentum from a sales perspective.

This undisputable effect and sales uplift is evidenced in Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s signature sneaker for Under Armour named Project Rock One which sold out just 30 minutes after launching. When Pizza brand Papa John’s partnered with Shaquille O’Neal and the star created his own signature pizza, over 3 million units were sold within a 2-month period leading to O’Neil eventually becoming a board member of the brand. 

Creative Director of 20ten Sam Richardson stated that one of the key responsibilities of a CD is to promote a brand in the most effective way possible and hiring celebrities is a strategic way to achieve this.

Whilst some brands will naturally gravitate toward hiring idolised celebrities to share their audiences, others are drawn to their years of experience in certain fields. In response to the appointment of Kendall Jenner as CD of FWRD, Revolve Group shared that due to her years of operating within the fashion industry, Kendall is an expert in the field and therefore couldn’t be a better fit for the position. Similarly, Umar Kamani, CEO of Pretty Little Thing commended Molly Mae Hague for playing such a strong role in the Pretty Little Thing journey and for her investment in the brand, implying that the 22-year-old was selected for her experience, previous input and capabilities in the industry.

Despite the varying motivations for placing celebrities in these demanding roles, are celebrity Creative Directors really up to the task?


Celebrity Endorsements Gone Wrong

From David Beckham representing Brylcream and soon after shaving his head, to Helena Bonham Carter revealing “I don’t know why they chose me, I don’t wear much makeup” in response to her becoming the face of Yardley Cosmetics, there have been a number of jarring examples of celebrity appointments taking a turn for the worse.

The event of Lady Gaga being elected as Creative Director of Polaroid in 2010 to develop a wireless mobile printer and glasses that could take pictures that never materialised also suggests that the partnership was forged in pursuit of acquiring the artist’s following as opposed to introducing something new and innovative to the market.

These instances emphasise the real risk attached to celebrity appointments without the attachment of relevant qualifications and commercial awareness. One of the most notable examples being when Jessica Alba was hired as Microsoft’s Creative Director to promote the new Windows phone in 2021, the actress was caught tweeting a picture from an Apple iPhone, a directly competing product.


The Average Salary of a Creative Director

As you may expect, becoming a Creative Director in the celebrity world usually involves a highly lucrative proposition. Molly Mae Hague is rumoured to have been awarded a seven-figure deal as a result of her new position whilst for the non-celebrity Creative Director, the average salary sits at £78,654 per year for Creative Directors in the United Kingdom.

Unsurprisingly, this significant pay gap and arguable skills gap between celebrity and non-celebrity corporate brand leaders has sparked a great deal of debate on social media.

One Twitter user commented “Nowadays the connections you have and amount of followers are more valuable than education or experience even” in response to a tweet on the subject of Molly Mae’s appointment, with many others eluding to the fact that those with relevant qualifications would be more deserving of the role. Others took to the social platform congratulating the former Love Island star for her hard work, hailing the 22-year-old as an inspiration, revealing a significant divide in opinion in relation to celebrity “hustle culture”.


The Future of Celebrity Creative Directors

Time will tell if this emerging business model of bringing celebrities to the forefront of major brands will become more about finding new ways to resonate with audiences and develop brands and less about reaping the benefits of a celebrity’s huge social presence.

It will be interesting to see if a candidate’s social presence is going to be considered a significant commodity or pre-qualifier in the hiring process as we look to the future of Creative Directors and whether or not measures will be taken to provide fully qualified, non-celebrity Creative Directors with the same benefits and commendation as their celebrity counterparts.

Khalid M. Al Telmesani

Real Estate Development CEO of the year 2021 (KSA) Khalid Al Telmesani

Rua Al Madinah Holding Company is one of the Public Investment Fund companies (PIF) involved in the investment of Saudi Arabia’s vision for progression and evolution for 2030. Rua develops the most distinguished projects in line with the 2030 vision which seeks to enrich the position of the city and its Islamic heritage. Khalid M. Al Telmesani, recognised as CEO of the Year, 2021- Saudi Arabia, describes Rua’s role and importance within the Kingdom.


Rua Al Madinah Holding Company, one of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) corporations, aims to develop and diversify the economic base of Saudi Arabia by strengthening the position of Al Madinah Al Munawara as a prestigious religious destination with a modern infrastructure derived from its Islamic history. Furthermore, Rua inspires to raise the readiness of the central area of Al Masjid Al Nabawi – or the Prophet’s Mosque, built by the Islamic Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and opened in 622AD – by developing integrated hospitality, commercial, residential and edutainment projects that serve the Madinah people, pilgrims, and its visitors.


Rua Almadinah project, focusing on this vision for 2030, is embarking on a unique transformation of economic and social reform to reinvent Saudi Arabia to the world. This strategic framework would reduce Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil and diversify its economy by developing public sectors such as infrastructure, recreation, and tourism. Its fundamental goal is the reinforce economic investment activities and promote a softer image of the Kingdom. Rua’s initial design and initiation were to reinforce the position of Al Madinah as an Islamic destination by harnessing expertise, capabilities, and all modern technologies in its projects. The Rua project is known for its character by its strategic location and direct view of the Prophet’s Mosque from its eastern side, with a total area of 1.35 million square meters. In addition, the project is based on several essential elements, including complete separation between the movement of vehicles and pedestrian paths.


Rua has a modern design within a sustainable green environment, enriching the visiting experience while respecting the sanctity of the place. The project extends past the unprecedented urban renaissance experienced by Saudi Arabia and, therefore, reflects the community, with rich history and a bold, fresh outlook as a pillar holding up the municipal area. The Rua project is directed towards pilgrims, visitors, and Madinah residence and aims to host additional visitors to Al Masjid Al Nabawi. The project will do this by increasing the capacity of hotels and providing unique commercial, residential, and cultural projects in a great area, enriching the spiritual and cultural experiences of pilgrims and visitors.


It also hopes to develop cultural centres and museums around the area, comprehensive and modern systems for pedestrian passages, and facilitate arrivals and departure procedures. Additionally, the project is integrated and directly connected to the eastern yard of the Holy Mosque.


At the helm of this impressive project is Eng. Khalid M. Al Telmesani who joined Rua as Chief Executive Officer in 2019. Having previously served as a board member in several reputable firms, lectured in various seminars, and attended numerous accredited courses and executive programs in international institutes such as IMD, Lausanne – Switzerland, Eng. Al Telmesani is a leading authority in his field. He received his graduate degree in Systems Engineering and Operations Research from King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUMP) in 1985 and since then has worked his way up the ladder of several significant and reputable companies before landing the role of CEO at Rua Al Madinah Holding Company, where he was recently recognised as CEO of the Year, 2021 – Saudi Arabia. He, like the team around him at Rua, is driven by the vision for 2030 and all that their project can contribute to this ambition: “We need to create a true sense of place, a destination and an opportunity,” he states.


Rua Almadinah project has adopted a lifestyle rich in serenity and spirituality. The project acquires its importance by facilitating the services of visitors from all countries of the world, offering pleasant stays next to the Prophet’s Mosque, and providing the highest standard of hospitality. Therefore, the project’s master plan was designed by world renowned consulting firms with local and vast international experiences based on best practices and standards of international quality and technology worldwide.


However, like many places around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically and significantly affected the real estate market since the beginning of 2020. This was the biggest challenge to overcome for the Rua project; however, the staff and team members have been highly willing and open to working from home whilst carrying on with the responsibilities required. During this period, face-to-face and personal experience with staff members are appreciated. It has been seemingly underestimated how important human interactions are for team members and staff members within the workforce.


For Rua, the employees are the actual assets of the organisation as they are the ones who contribute effectively towards the successful functioning of the company, the community, and the project itself. They strive hard to deliver the utmost best performance, of high quality, standard and regards and achieve the assigned targets and above within a timely and respectable manner. Therefore, the Rua hiring policy is based on but not limited to those who show long-term potential, enthusiasm, and passion. Additional aspects considered are loyalty, dependability, self-reliance, team players, and dedication to the business by working hard, practical, and intuitively. The team has been more productive throughout this virtual journey due to fewer interruptions within the workplace or working area. With this vastly unexpected progression, the Rua project has accomplished more than expected in its projected timeline and is looking forward to the future and the oncoming years. Rua will then be able to showcase all the hard work its dedicated members of staff have taken on during this time with a clear mission to enhance Al Masjid Al Nabawi and the incredible nation that surrounds it by 2030.


For business enquiries contact Khalid M. Al Telmesani at Rua Al Madinah Holding via

Female Influential Leader

The Most Influential Business Women from Around the World

It wasn’t long ago that possibilities for women were severely restricted. Executive and managerial roles were reserved for men, whereas female employees could only aspire to second-class positions. However, with the advancement of gender equality, women are finally being offered the possibility to showcase their qualities as leaders and directors too.

This said, we have detailed a list of the world’s most influential businesswomen. Join us in the celebration of inspiring ladies that are sure to motivate future generations of bright female (and male) minds.


Mary Barra

Following in the footsteps of her father, a die-maker at General Motors for 39 years, Mary Barra grew up with a strong passion for cars and engineering. There is no hiding that, arguably, the automotive industry was always bound to be the perfect sector for her to thrive in.

Barra and GM’s journey together started in 1980, when the firm awarded her a fellowship to study at Stanford Business School. Once she graduated, she progressively worked her way up in the ranks and covered several different roles within the business. In 2013, she was chosen as GM’s Chief Executive Officer, becoming the first female CEO of a “Big Three” automaker. 

Fully invested in the science of climate change, Barra is striving to ensure that GM has only zero-emission vehicles on the market by 2035. What is more, she acts as an empowering source of inspiration for women, urging ladies to throw themselves at life-changing chances. Finally, she is a signatory of the OneTen coalition, which aspires to expand economic opportunity for those people who currently struggle to make their voices heard.


Gail Boudreaux

Gail Boudreaux’s academic career perfectly encapsulates the famous Latin saying “mens sana in corpore sano”, in that practising physical activity fosters one’s lucidity and mental wellbeing. While netting points and breaking records for her basketball college team Dartmouth Big Green, Boudreaux excelled as a student and graduated from Columbia University with high honours.

Mindful of the importance of team development, support and collaboration from her athlete days, Boudreaux understands how to lead a group of colleagues to achieve ambitious goals. Dedicated to improving people’s lives and to making US healthcare more accessible and affordable, she is in charge of American insurance firm Anthem since November 2017. Prior to this appointment, she was the CEO of UnitedHealthcare.

With numerous special mentions in both Forbes and Fortune’s lists of Most Powerful Women, she is undoubtedly a businesswoman that many look up to with respect and admiration.


Carol Tome

Similarly to Figaro, the renowned barber of Seville, Carol Tome is a true factotum. The American businesswoman started her career as a commercial lender at the United Bank of Denver and, following a long spell as Johns-Manville Corporation’s banking director, she served as the Chief Finance Officer for Home Depot from 1995 to 2019.

As if her CV was not impressive enough, Tome stepped out of retirement in June 2020 to take on the delicate role of CEO at United Parcel Service, a global and logistics services firm. She revealed that retired life on her farm was seriously boring, and she jumped at the opportunity of becoming UPS’s first female CEO – as well as the first woman president in this specific industry.

While focused on improving employee development, diversity and inclusion, and sustainability within the business, Tome’s charismatic leadership allowed UPS to efficiently distribute COVID-19 vaccines all over the world. 


Emma Walmsley

Born in Cumbria and raised in Kent, British businesswoman Emma Walmsley is a prominent figure in the pharmaceutical industry. She may have studied languages and classics at the University of Oxford, but she made a name for herself through marketing and managerial roles at L’Oréal in the UK, Europe, China, and the US.

In 2017, Walmsley replaced Sir Andrew Witty as CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, a well-known multinational pharma company. She originally joined GSK in 2010 and supervised the European consumer healthcare sector. As COVID-19 gradually had the world on the ropes by the early stages of 2020, Walmsley announced that her company would collaborate with global alliance Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), playing a significant role in finding a vaccine for the novel virus.


Julie Sweet

Another eclectic mind in the world of business is Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture in North America. Having joined the IT services and consulting firm in 2010 and having held various positions from secretary to general counsel, Sweet reached the company’s pinnacle in 2019.

The US-based businesswoman is also a member of the World Economic Forum Board of Trustees and is on the board of directors for the Business Roundtable, for which she chairs its Technology Committee. Moreover, Sweet strives to help young adults with disabilities who have just completed college to find meaningful jobs. Indeed, she serves on the board of trustees for the Marriott Foundation for “People with Disabilities – Bridges from School to Work”.

Not “only” that, but this inspiring and influential lady is a key component of the Center for Strategic & International Studies, an American think-tank that aims to aid decision-makers chart a course towards a better world. All things considered, it is no wonder Sweet was named No. 1 on Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women in Business” in 2020.


With the outstanding careers of these businesswomen in plain sight, it should be obvious to all that there is no place in this world for any form of gender discrimination. We hope that reading the achievements of these bright and successful women has both filled you with inspiration and motivated you to always give it your best shot.     

Occupational Stress

National Stress Awareness Week 2021: How to Overcome Occupational Stress

By Alex Hattingh, Chief People Officer at Employment Hero

Occupational stress is a huge concern across every business. Every business should be diverting a significant amount of energy towards ensuring their workplace and culture is a healthy and happy environment for their employees. Happier employees mean increased productivity, less turnover and absenteeism.

The working world must adapt to how mental health and wellbeing can affect business. Recent research from Employment Hero found that British businesses are facing a mass exodus of staff, with 55 per cent of people planning to move jobs in the next year. Two key reasons are being feeling underappreciated (31 per cent) and feeling overworked (26 per cent).

There’s no time like the present to learn more about occupational stress and employee wellbeing to make sure you are doing everything in your power to help your employees.


What is occupational stress?

Occupational stress refers to the ongoing and progressing stress an employee experiences due to the responsibilities, conditions, environment, or other pressures of the workplace. Work-related stress can be a response to an employee being presented with work demands that are not matched to their knowledge or skillset. When the pressure builds and gets too much – that’s when your employee’s wellbeing could be at stake.


Signs to look out for

Always be vigilant with your employees, and look out for any signs that they are under occupational stress of any kind. 


Some of the main telltale signs are:

  • An employee who is lacking the motivation to complete basic tasks in their working day
  • They are constantly missing deadlines; whether they’re important ones or BAU deadlines
  • Employees displaying frequent feelings of general stress, chaos and confusion
  • Physical signs such as anxiety, abnormally high blood pressure, noticeable changes in diet, sleeplessness and irritability
  • Abnormal feeling of depressions amongst your worker; listen out for an alarm bells ringing in conversations with them
  • Inability to perform or communicate in a productive manner
  • Feelings of excessive burnoutCheck-in with your employees

Build an employee wellness strategy that ensures you are regularly checking in with your employees and setting up\ initiatives for them to make sure they are happy at work. One way to make sure you are regularly checking in with your employees to monitor their stress levels is to send round regular employee happiness surveys to get a good understanding of how they are coping at work. Include questions about how they are dealing with their workload, if they enjoy coming to work in the mornings and if there’s anything that causes them stressor during the working week.


Tips on overcoming occupational stress

1. Control your working deadlines. 

By maintaining a diligent, reasonable work pace, employees can prevent procrastination and consistently finish the tasks they begin. This means that they won’t feel overloaded, overworked or overwhelmed with the number of unfinished tasks they have left to do.


2. Learn to push back.

A lot of time people dealing with stress at work will take on too much and this makes the situation worse. Make sure your employees feel comfortable and confident enough to push back on tasks that they just don’t have the capacity to do. Employee wellness is linked to productivity at work, so you should aim to create an environment that promotes employee well-being at all times. A good place to start is by letting your employees feel comfortable in having an open conversation with you as a manager, leader or HR professional. It’s good for them to have a place where they can clarify what’s expected of them, ask for any necessary resources or support from other colleagues or enriching their job to include more challenging or meaningful tasks.


3. Take a break.

Make sure your employees are taking regular breaks and getting outside for some fresh air for at least 10 minutes in the day. It’s also important to that everyone takes the time to recharge. To avoid the negative effects of occupational stress and burnout, humans need time to relax, destress and return to work with a fresh outlook and mindset. Switching off from work by having periods of time off, when you are neither engaging in work-related activities or thinking about work, is really important in making sure work-related stress doesn’t take over. Establish some work-life boundaries for yourself. That might mean making a rule not to check email from home in the evening, or not answering the phone during dinner. Your time off is important and should be valued.


4. Track stressors.

Make sure you are taking notes to identify which situations create the most stress and how you responded to that stress. Record any thoughts, feelings and information about the environment, including the people and circumstances involved. This will give you a better understanding of how you deal with certain situations and what you can do better in the future.


5. Ask for support.

Accepting help from trusted friends, family or even other co-workers can improve your ability to manage stress. Your employer may also have stress management resources available through an employee assistance program (EAP). If you continue to feel overwhelmed by work stress, you may want to talk to a psychologist, who can help you better manage stress and change unhealthy behaviour.

Dental Clinic

Brokering the Perfect Deal

The value of a business is often difficult to quantify, especially when you’ve put years of hard work into building it into something special. Someone who understands this deeply is Matt Arthur of Mayfield Practice Sales. He’s spent years building up a reputation as one of the UK’s most influential CEOs. We took a closer look at the business to see how he has been able to achieve such success.

Mayfield Practice Sales is a dental brokerage specialising in selling dental practices and groups. The teamwork alongside clients who are either looking to sell their business now or are starting to plan their exit in several years’ time. As a business, Mayfield specialises in practice valuations, financial health checks, financial due diligence and preparing for future sale.

It’s not an easy experience to add value to a business while preparing to let it go, and under Mr. Arthur’s leadership, the team have made the decision to position themselves as more of a partner than a consultant. He started the busines because he was fed up at seeing so many deals fall through, with such variable service from brokers. For many, there wasn’t enough attention paid into the intricacies of a business, which caused problems at the due diligence phase of buy.

The approach of Mayfield has always been to ensure that this doesn’t happen. Care and attention is taken to understand the business, and from this information, the team work to negotiate the best possible deal. Clients trust their advice, not only because it is personable and candid, but because the Mayfield team are always on hand. They take the time to get to know both the business and the owner so that everyone involved is satisfied with the end result.

The team is deliberately small, comprising over 30 years’ experience in dental finance and accountancy. What sets Mayfield apart is the team’s careers working in mergers and acquisitions on the other side of the deal, advising some of the largest dental corporates. They know exactly what these organisations are looking for as well as how to avoid pitfalls, how to ensure deals don’t fall through and how to eliminate the need for lengthy and costly renegotiations.

Because Mr. Arthur and his team serve clients that have successful, high-end practices and who have built their business with blood sweat and tears, it is important they get the return they deserve. The financial background that the team bring to each case is second-to-none, ensuring accurate valuations and hastening the process of selling a practice as a result. As the majority must work for a period post-completion, it is paramount that they also feel comfortable with the incoming buyer and can retain their reputation too. Mayfield have proven experienced in the negotiation of renumeration packages that everyone is happy with.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought new and unique challenges, including uncertainty in the value of practices. While private practices received very little government support, they were often able to open up before NHS sites, provided they were COVID-secure. Those who have needed urgent treatment have turned to these suppliers and are likely to stay with them, creating record levels of monthly revenue. Currently, there is high demand, with a market that is particularly hot.

The value of a good broker is not to be ignored, and Mayfield are one of the best. Thanks to the care and attention that Mr. Arthur has put into building up his business, he has been able to build others to even higher standards. Their success is something to be celebrated, both now and into the future.

For more information, please contact Matt Arthur or visit

Tech Talent

Tech-Savviness and Diversity

Bower Talent is an ethical and data-driven recruiter specialising in support staff; any roles with a focus on operations, people, HR, marketing and comms, or admin, from reception all the way up to senior leadership positions. It is a company led on vision, a fiercely loyal and talented team and emphasis on constant innovation. CEO, Georgie Bale has steered it to great success. Recognised by CEO Monthly as Most Influential CEO 2021 – London, United Kingdom, we take the time to profile Georgie and her company.

The team at Bower Talent is unrivalled, a strong team of people who are exceptional at their jobs. It is made up of ex-industry professionals who have deep and specific knowledge of support staff roles and who highly value the company’s way of working.

Priding itself on being highly ethical, Bower Talent always puts people before profit, i.e., if a candidate is choosing between two roles and one is clearly better for them, they will be guided in the direction that most benefits them, even if it means the company will lose a fee. The company also holds a very high duty of care towards its candidates as well as a long-term approach to clients, which means it doesn’t just walk away once the deal is done.

The company also boasts its use of tech and automation which keeps it efficient at the backend, whilst helping free up the frontend humans to ensure a warm, respectful experience for candidates and clients. It also focuses greatly on data and testing to ensure proper due diligence and consistent quality in its process, with bespoke tests which are highly functional in assessing people for roles and provide great insights into the talent markets and trends. Bower Talent’s testing assesses people for the softer, core skills, regardless of their background, and it allows less unconscious bias, creating a better, more inclusive recruitment flow.

CEO, Georgie Bale’s background is as an EA/PA. She won a very competitive role as PA to the Home Secretary at a young age. This was when the Home Office was dealing with extremely serious issues on the back of 9/11 and terrorism was becoming a huge threat. Her experiences whilst working at the Home Office really tested her skills as well as her personal resilience and gave her exceptional grounding for the rest of her career. She was promoted to Head of HR for a short time before returning to support in another Government office.

After this, Georgie moved to the private sector and focused on Hedge Funds and Sovereign Wealth Funds. She always worked for the CEO/owner and, with hindsight it’s clear that her more than 15 years as a senior EA/Chief of Staff was like a very long-term MBA; she saw how a business should be run and how it definitely shouldn’t! The most successful leaders she worked for really cared about people and put them before anything else. The ones that failed were all about profits and didn’t care who got hurt along the way.

Georgie has faced and overcome several challenges throughout her career and COVID certainly has been one, but over a year later, it’s clear there have been some positive outcomes. She feels that the huge pressure on her to keep the business together forged an extremely strong core team which now means the business has deeper roots and stronger legs. The decline in day-to-day business also allowed her to flex her creative muscles and develop two more business projects, Tech Warriors (tech-stack learning platform) and Good Eggs (ethical job board), both of which have the potential to become high growth businesses on their own, and which she has big plans for. She feels that her ultimate strength as CEO is that she’s very good at new ideas and pivoting products and services to accommodate market change or uncertainty.

The exit of the company co-founder at the beginning of 2020 was another challenge as until then, Georgie had someone to bounce ideas and problems around with. Becoming the sole CEO and founder has meant she no longer has that sounding board. Whilst that has been hard, it’s also been a growth opportunity for her; she now relies more on her team and has brought in external senior figures for the advisory board. She sees the importance of not assuming a CEO can or should know it all.

Looking ahead to the rest of 2021, Georgie’s immediate plans are to continue the high recovery growth post-COVID and grow Bower’s client base further (they are about to confirm a Government contract) Technology will continue to be used as a centre point for keeping the business agile and fresh, and a lot of the company’s focus will remain on marketing and noise in the market to hammer home to people its unique values and offering.

Longer-term, Georgie sees herself investing more in start-ups and using her experiences and expertise to help others navigate the tough but rewarding landscape of growing a business to success.

For further information, please contact Georgie Bale or visit:


Why Successful Leadership Starts with Listening

Leadership should be a two-way street, but managers in US organizations are falling behind. According to a 2019 study, 83 percent of workers would like their managers to ask for their opinions more often.

You’re in a management role for a reason. But that doesn’t mean that your teams can’t contribute effective ideas. Equally, a key part of your role is to listen to and address their concerns.

Here, we outline how you can improve your leadership by listening to your employees.


Make performance reviews a two-way street

Most businesses will carry out monthly, quarterly, or annual performance reviews. But many won’t be using them to their full potential. In recent years, performance reviews have been criticized for focusing on looking backward instead of forward. What’s more, 30 percent of employees find them unhelpful.

While it’s important to review your employees’ performance and identify areas in which they’re doing well, as well as what they could improve on, use them as collaborative sessions. In addition to identifying actions for your team members going forward, allow them to provide feedback. Are they receiving adequate support? Do they have any ideas that could improve your team or business performance? Do they have any concerns they need you to address?

Not only will this allow you to become better at listening to your employees, but it also creates an open and inclusive environment. This is essential to making them feel comfortable sharing their concerns, opinions, and ideas in the first place.


Create forums for employees to provide ideas and feedback

First and foremost, your employees should feel comfortable contributing ideas and feeding back about areas they’d like to see improved. Creating an environment of trust is essential to this, which can in part be achieved by the above point. But so is giving your employees additional appropriate platforms to submit feedback.

Having an online forum or tool specifically for employee feedback can help you facilitate this. If you adopted a tool like Microsoft Teams during the pandemic, you could create a chat or a team in there to allow employees to submit ideas and concerns.

Allowing employees to submit feedback privately or anonymously is also an important option. They might have a concern that is important to them, but it’s not something they want to speak about publicly. This is especially true if their feedback is constructive criticism. You could use an online survey tool that allows them to share their thoughts directly rather than in a shared forum. Equally, you could utilize the same tool to allow them to do it anonymously.

Ultimately, you need honest feedback from your employees and giving them an anonymous option will make them feel more comfortable about this.


Group and prioritize the feedback

Eliciting honest feedback from your people is important. But there’s little point in this if you don’t do anything with it. Categorizing the ideas and concerns your employees are submitting will allow you to deal with them more effectively.

When collecting feedback, encourage open discussion so that employees can talk about anything on their minds, or ask for ideas or thoughts on specific areas you want to improve on. Splitting this firstly by new ideas, like a change in your strategy, and concerns, such as slow processes, is a good place to start.

Once you’ve done this, you can start to address your two strands and work out key priorities. If one theme — such as high workloads — surfaces over and over again, this should be a top priority. Having an effective change management process in place is important too, especially if your employees are contributing to your overall business goals.


Be transparent with the changes you make

However you choose to collect employee feedback, make sure you’re providing regular updates on how you’re taking this on board and responding to it. Communication is key to your team members trusting you — 41 percent of US employees think their managers should improve their communication skills.

If your company hosts regular business updates, this is a great opportunity to share your updates. Collate the feedback you’ve addressed into groups of similar ideas or concerns, and share the changes you’ve made, or plan to make, in response.

Don’t feel like you need to be limited to formal meetings either — if you have an intranet or a dedicated feedback tool, utilize this to share frequent updates on the progress you’re making. Proactively providing updates throughout the year will show your people that you’re listening to them and actioning their feedback.


There are many skills required to be a good leader. As well as being confident in your own decision making, you should also be open to listening to your employees. Whether they have ideas on how your business can improve its operations or they need to share some concerns, creating an environment that makes them feel heard and understood is important.

Office workers smiling and linking hands to show solidarity

Keep on Improving: A Guide to Successful Business Change

The majority of businesses have had to adapt their ways of working during the pandemic, but why stop there? Having gained a taste for improvement, many companies will now be looking at new ways to update their processes, systems, and infrastructure. However, effective business change requires careful planning to ensure it is successful. 


A switch to more remote working has arguably been the most lasting business change triggered by the pandemic. Many organisations have seen first-hand that it can improve employee wellbeing and cut costs yet result in high-quality outputs. As such, this working model is likely to continue. 


In order to enable remote working, use of technology has altered, with greater use of laptops and mobile devices, video conferencing and virtual collaboration tools, as well as Cloud-based applications and storage becoming the norm. In some organisations, these changes were a knee-jerk reaction to the pandemic, but many are now considering how remote working processes can fit their longer-term business model. 


Organisations that were already investing heavily in both their people and technology before the pandemic have found themselves on the front foot throughout this period of change. For these businesses, Covid-19 acted as a catalyst, accelerating uptake of their transformation agenda. This uptake has enabled these companies to evolve their approach, considering how they can mitigate the potential risks of working in the ‘new normal’. Employees have also used this time to re-evaluate their working preferences and how they would like to work more flexibly in future.  


While attitudes towards change have become more positive, it’s important to note that there have been disadvantages too. For example, virtual meetings have made interactions more functional – no ‘water cooler conversations’ to check in with staff or develop stronger working relationships. Collaboration and mentoring have also become more challenging, as in person working can enable employees to learn more effectively. As a result, businesses must consider which aspects of flexible working best suit their overall business model and put in place activity to bolster any perceived weaknesses in this approach, from an organisation, staff and customer perspective. 


When it comes to ways of working, customers, employers, and employees no longer accept what has always been. Questioning why we do things in a certain way is vital to continuous improvement, and the pandemic has opened up conversations regarding business practices. The world feels increasingly uncertain, so being able to adapt is essential. Ensuring organisational agility is perhaps the most key learning aspect of the recent period.   


Companies need to look critically at their investment in technology, as it’s not just about enabling staff to work remotely, it’s also about investment in staff skills, engagement with customers and improving business processes. Data is a core part of this, and people should have the tools, skills, and capacity to analyse data from different sources effectively. Companies that have invested in analytics are able to make more informed decisions and adapt more easily. Improving accessibility to business data via the Cloud can also help to ensure staff have the information they need, no matter where they’re working from. 


Businesses should also consider the lessons they have learnt throughout the pandemic, whether positive or negative. As well as looking inwardly, it is also wise to assess what other organisations and sectors have done in case their choices can act as inspiration or warning. This offers an opportunity to review the company’s strategic roadmap, considering whether it is still fit for purpose and has been adapted for the long-term. 


Immediate impacts, such as a rise or fall in profits and quality of service delivery is a quick way to assess whether the current business model is effective. However, other impacts may take longer to play out, which is why communication with staff is vital. They see the advantages and disadvantages of change first-hand, so are in an ideal position to provide actionable feedback. Keeping communication open throughout change is essential, as employees’ views will likely evolve as the various stages of the transformation process are implemented. Effective communication is a core component in supporting employee wellbeing, a topic which is currently high on the agenda. 


People are pivotal to the success of a change journey – they should be brought along for its entirety and help shape it. Collaboration and survey tools can be used to support engagement, enabling employees and customers to offer their views more readily.  


Improvement is a continuous process, so businesses should prioritise the changes they want to make depending on their needs. A key question to help prioritisation is ‘Will this change make my business more effective and agile?’ By looking at the short- and long-term impact of the change, organisations can assess whether activity directly contributes towards the business.  


There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to transformation projects, which is why a holistic approach to change is essential. Every business has its own strengths and weaknesses, and improvement is about identifying these and tailoring your approach to capitalise on strengths and address weaknesses over time. No one can predict the future, but if a company invests in its people and technology, and ensures alignment to strategic objectives, they are in a good place to tackle whatever challenges lie ahead. 

Tamara Pleasant

Tamara Pleasant, managing consultant at business change consultancy, Entec Si 


Securing Hospitality for the Future

In some businesses, it can be difficult to connect the artisan nature of an organisation with the commercial side that keeps it afloat. Main Course Associates thrives on being a beacon for both sides of the coin. We take a closer look at the firm, and its impressive CEO Muhammad Asif to see how they have achieved such success and why they have been recognised as Most Influential CEO 2021 – London, the United Kingdom

Consultation forms the heart of many businesses, allowing experts to drop into different organisations as required to provide vital support when it comes to developing a company. While this approach was how Main Course Associates first started, it soon became clear to CEO Muhammad Asif that it wasn’t the best way of supporting his clients.

Mr. Asif has built his business on connecting restaurants, chefs, restaurateurs and entrepreneurs with the intricate world of finance and money. His solutions ensure that they have accurate, timely and defensible financial data whenever they need it. Not only does this ensure that that they have good information to hand, but it means that they can react quickly to it and drive further success.

One of the key innovations brought forward by the Main Course Associates team was the implementation of weekly flash reporting. This mini profit and loss account provides relevant Key Performance Indicators for the businesses they work with. Instead of waiting weeks for trends to occur, it’s possible to act on the data that is available immediately. In many ways, this reflects the proactive and adaptable approach that the team has always championed, delving deeper into how to secure success in a way that goes beyond the numbers.

With clients ranging from talented chefs and entrepreneurs who need an injection of business know-how, to overseas investors looking for a foothold in the UK, it’s clear that what Mr Asif has to offer is incredibly appealing. It has allowed Main Course Associates to gain a foothold on an international level, with offices in the UK, Italy, Spain, Netherlands and Finland. Such a strong position has ensured incredible results for this hardworking firm.

Much of the success of the firm is down to the work that Mr Asif has undertaken. His leadership style is focused on inspiring others and leading by example, which is by necessity inclusive. He sees the team he has built as an extended family, and it has generated a great response from staff too. Instead of forcing people to follow his orders and demands, he invites them on a journey which allows them to grow and develop at their own pace.

 As the staff learns, so too does the firm and this education has allowed them to constantly develop their skills. These are lessons which once learned can be applied to a multitude of situations. Mr. Asif’s leadership was crucial during the unique challenges presented by COVID-19 as many in the industry were adversely affected by the pandemic. Fortunately, the resilience that had been built into many of the firm’s portfolio of clients ensured that they were safe during this difficult time. The impressive results from the firm made it clear to many businesses that a strong CFO was vital and has brought the team a great deal of work coming out of this difficult time.

When looking at Mr. Asif and his work, it’s impossible not to see it as a journey built around growth and development. Throughout his career as a CEO at Main Course Associates, he has tried to develop new ideas and ways of working that will benefit his clients, his staff and himself. With such an adaptable approach, it’s little wonder that he has achieved such success.

For further information, please contact Muhammad Asif or visit

Global Expansion

New Report Highlights Several Opportunities for Global Business Expansion

COVID-19 has brought a new level of complexity to businesses around the globe. As companies plunged into uncharted territory almost immediately, it has put at risk our safety and livelihoods.

All aspects of business have been affected by the crisis, from where and how goods are sourced to where they are purchased and sold to where work is done and how it gets done.

In order to ease the burden on businesses, governments have also injected billions into their economies. TMF Group, a leader in international business administration services, found 1,114 COVID related individual government support programs available to companies around the world. Multinational firms have many options for assistance, but it is difficult to process and manage such large volumes.

Many companies will expand internationally as the global economy recovers from the COVID-19 crisis. A recent survey of U.S. business leaders revealed that more than 36% said the experience had helped them to plan for international expansion. Complexity is another challenge for firms when they move abroad. Multinationals must be able to navigate the complex web of laws, processes and conventions that exist in every jurisdiction.

TMF Group published a report on global business complexity to help businesses navigate the complex and changing business environment. The Global Business Complexity Index ranks 77 countries based on their ease of doing business. TMF experts from each jurisdiction were interviewed in detail to determine the ranking. TMF conducted surveys in three areas: accounting, tax, rules and regulations, penalties and human resources.

Although the implications of COVID-19 on international trade and business rules are not clear, the report highlights the issues companies need to consider when considering foreign investments or distributing resources among global operations. Companies had to work hard before the pandemic to be able operate in a complex regulatory and financial environment.

While businesses must compete with local and global forces, they also need to succeed. Among the rapidly changing trends is the rapid growth of technology and the emphasis on cross-border compliance. Multinational corporations may find it costly to follow the rules of individual jurisdictions.

Indonesia was the most complex jurisdiction. The country’s large population, 260 million people, and its abundant natural resources are attractive to businesses. However, there are many barriers to doing business in the country. TMF Group discovered that the greatest obstacles to foreign ownership are restrictive laws protecting workers and limiting foreign ownership. However, the government is making efforts to liberalize its economy. This includes deregulation and tax incentives to invest in special economic areas.

South America is home to five of the ten most complicated countries in the world: Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia. Brazil, for example, has many tax systems that span federal, state and municipal levels of government. There are also different rules for local and international companies. Furthermore, Brazil’s employment laws can favor employees over employers.

The United States is at the opposite end of the spectrum, and it’s the most complex business environment for multinationals. TMF Group has highlighted some key factors that make the U.S. business friendly.

  • The rules and regulations are clearly stated and publicly accessible. They can be subject to change or strict inspections. The assumption that all companies comply with the rules is the basis of the U.S. economy.
  • Financial statements audits are not required for publicly traded companies. This is in contrast to China and other large economies that still place heavy administrative burdens on multinationals to ensure compliance.
  • It streamlines tax and accounting administration and makes it easy to hire and fire employees.

Also, offshore financial centers like Curacao, Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands did well. They are becoming more complex for businesses as they respond to public pressure to enact stricter regulations and supervision in tax transparency, money laundering and beneficial ownership.

The Netherlands and Ireland are attractive destinations for foreign investments in Europe.

TMF Group concluded that global perspective, international alignment of laws and regulations and the increasing use of technology have led to greater synergy within international business. Multinational companies find it easier to navigate complex jurisdictions because of these factors.

It is important to note that countries that wish to attract foreign investment or create business-friendly environments must find the right balance among three broad trends.


Internationalism Vs. Localism

There are huge commercial opportunities for expanding operations in new areas around the globe. International business is being welcomed by governments. They are improving their processes and offering incentives to assist them in integrating into local economies. There are many jurisdictions that have had different success in creating an environment conducive to foreign direct investment.


Modernization Vs. Tradition

Modernization, in general, is about adhering to international standards and practices. Tradition is represented by localized obstacles to smooth operation. Many traditions are held by governments, regardless of whether they are laws or standard practices. These traditions can make it difficult for companies to operate.

They can add complexity to businesses because they are often out-of-date and don’t fit in the modern world.

They can be a source of idiosyncrasies that may increase the cost of complying with legislation.


Technology Vs. Simplification

A new jurisdiction must adopt new technology in order to be attractive to international businesses. This can cause a spike in complexity because jurisdictions have to adjust to digitalized systems and bridge the gap between online and paper solutions.

To be able to compete in the global economy, businesses increasingly rely on technology. Information and communication technology has been used by the least complex jurisdictions to improve their compliance mechanisms, making it easier to set up and operate a business. Technology, modernization, simplification, and unification are the key drivers to get the global economy rebounding from the pandemic. This will allow businesses to respond to market complexity more effectively.