Business Lessons & Tips From Mr. Wilson P. Tan

Business Lessons & Tips From Mr. Wilson P. Tan

Who is Mr. Wilson P. Tan? He’s the Chairman and Managing Partner of the SGV & Company (formally known as the SyCip Gorres Velayo & Company), an accounting firm in the Philippines.

The company isn’t just a regular accounting firm but is among the top 4 or the “Big 4” firms.

SGV & Company’s Financial and Sustainability Reporting Standards Council (FSRSC)  welcomed Mr. Tan’s leadership on February 16, 2022.

Some Business Lessons & Tips

In February 2023, Mr. Tan shared some business lessons and tips addressed to CEOs in the Asia-Pacific region on Business World Online.

Photo credit: SGV

Although the offense and defense strategies were addressed to this specific group, they can still apply to most businesses, particularly in the Philippines.

1. Adopting a Defensive Stance

It’s ideal for businesses to develop and implement a defensive stance to withstand rough changes in the economic landscape.

It can be done through 1) fortifying their business to withstand the worst, such as an economic downturn, while also 2) planning for the business’s future and strengthening their market position.

2. Optimizing for the ‘Short-Term Storm’ and Digitalizing

Yes, keeping up with the times and digitalizing operations, such as payroll services through BPO (business process outsourcing), research, analysis, and other aspects, can be costly. These might also require major changes in the company.

However, these tasks can help the company optimize for the ‘short-term storm,’ then help companies keep up with the times and ‘deliver revenue growth.’

According to Mr. Tan, the companies that did make significant investments in these digital transformations, particularly during the pandemic, are now benefiting from their ‘operational advantages.’

3. Focusing on the Future

Although it had major impacts on countless businesses, it might be safe to say that the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us. According to Mr. Tan, only 29% CEO respondents in a recent study still fear pandemic-related interruptions to their organizational growth.

It’s essential for businesses to move forward and focus on the future, Mr. Tan recommends.

Challenges That Businesses Face

In another Business World Online article, Mr. Tan also laid out the possible challenges that businesses face, including the following:

  • Talent scarcity (or finding it difficult to hire and retain good workers)
  • Continuous workforce transformation (possible demands for a flexible workplace)
  • Diverse needs of a multigenerational workforce (workers from different generations have varied expectations, work attitude, talents, etc.)
  • Climate change
  • Risks with emerging technologies (such as AI, increased cyber threats, and the metaverse)
  • Other risks
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