On April 21st, everis hosted an online event “Covid-19, from a shock to a new reality for CFOs”.
Stephane Suveg, Schneider Electric CFO gave us his direct view on how his company and finance community are reacting and planning the “New Normal”.
“I’m Stephane Suveg and I’m CFO at Schneider Electric. It’s true that the current situation in sector is very challenging, but at the same time we see that the degree of interaction between us and our clients is even better than it was before this crisis. Why? Because our clients’ priority, our priority, and the priority of everyone in this country is to overcome this crisis and to do it in the quickest way possible. What is our role? The role of CFOs is to achieve the quickest possible recovery.
I’d like to share three ideas with you.
I think that we, the CFOs, could encourage collaboration, collaboration among our companies and other companies.
We can encourage innovation.
We can encourage all this to be executed more quickly. We can encourage Speed.
Around collaboration, we are all facing the same challenge. Each of us can survive this crisis; if our clients survive, if our clients grow again. We can also survive if our suppliers survive and if our suppliers grow again.
The collaboration among our companies and our entire business environment, the entire ecosystem, is the key and it’s a point where the CFO can take action.
In the case of Schneider Electric, we’ve developed a leasing value proposition so that instead of selling our products, we will lease our products to our clients because many of them are in a critical cash situation. This is an example of collaboration.
I’ve also mentioned the topic of innovation. During this crisis and in order to overcome it, we see that our clients have different needs, and it’s important that we know how to develop new solutions to respond to these needs.
Sometimes we can develop these solutions alone but sometimes it’s not possible. Either way, collaboration is key. One thing that is clear is the need to enable the digital transformation of our clients and suppliers. Here we can collaborate to enable that digital transformation.
In respect of what I have said about collaboration and innovation, it is necessary to achieve it quickly and at the same velocity in which our companies are achieving it. Because our country’s economy has declined quickly and we must recover and begin to grow again as quickly as possible. In order to achieve this growth, in my opinion, we must adopt the attitude of emerging markets where the key is speedy decision-making, where more risks are taken than in other European countries, and where basically speed is prioritized over perfection.
I’m sure that we, the CFOs, can support our companies in collaboration, the collaboration of the entire business ecosystem. If we make searching for an innovative solution a priority for our clients and help them at speed, we can fully overcome this crisis and take advantage of all opportunities in the future. This is what I wanted to share with you.”