articles | 14 December 2022 | PwC Cyprus

The new era of Cypriot SMEs: Competitive, resilient and digital

The traditional Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) with semi-skilled personnel and an operating model that can barely serve the company's conservative objectives, is no longer the case in today's Cypriot business market. The ambitious Cypriot SMEs today are leveraging their own unique strengths increasing their share of the pie in the market to 76% of all value1 in Cyprus, recording a 10% growth from 2021, confirming once again their key role and prospects in our economy. Yet, the financing burden to acquire the necessary digital solutions and sustain their competitive and resilient model remains their biggest bet, as competitive pressure keeps on rising.

If something was clearly evident during the last two years of continuous crises, it is that being resilient at a time where unpredictability and enormous competition are norms, is a skill that defines your company's next day, especially for SMEs. Either this requires shifting to digital channels to serve customers or enabling digital tools to allow remote/hybrid working, resilience, upskilling and digital infrastructure were cornerstones for making this happen. Despite the fact that SMEs showed tremendous agility to overcome these challenges, upskilling people to respond to the new norm and securing funds for the necessary digital advancements, has been keeping SMEs CEOs awake.

With that in mind and the need for our SMEs to build and sustain their new model of competitive, resilient and digital players in the market, the critical decision to be made is which technology can best serve my strategy to invest in and what upskilling is needed to fully leverage it, to get the business ready for the future. The industry giants are better positioned to invest in the appropriate technology due to their financial capacity, whereas mergers and acquisitions are also intensifying competition for SMEs, making their digitisation a one-way route for being competitive.

Every challenge brings opportunities, and the times we currently live in presents an excellent case for transforming our Cypriot SMEs into more competitive, resilient and digital players in the market. With SMEs identifying their biggest challenge in 2022 as access to finance2, there is no better time to secure the funding, adopt the appropriate digital solutions and make this digital journey a reality, through the Digital Upgrade of Enterprises Scheme.

More information regarding the Scheme in the link here.

By Andreas Papadopoulos, People & Business Transformation, Consulting, PwC Cyprus

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