India's corporates look to rebalance organisational resilience

The continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, or a new public health crisis are the top risk concerns for Indian companies, according to a report published by US risk management society, RIMS and Marsh.

Cyber attacks (56%), data fraud or theft (36%), failure of critical infrastructure (33%), fiscal crises (31%), and extreme weather events (25%), were also highlighted by the joint study.

Widespread lockdowns emphasised the risk of critical infrastructure failures for the survey’s respondents, and, despite various extreme weather events, such as cyclones and forest fires, extreme weather dropped from third in 2019 to sixth in 2020.

“Organisations need to balance their focus between longstanding and emerging risks. While there has long been an awareness of weather-related risks, low-frequency risks generally receive less attention. The pandemic has underlined the need for risk managers to keep all perils on their radar,” said Sanjay Kedia, country head and CEO, Marsh India.

This year’s report examined the need for building organisational resiliency to a variety of low-frequency but high severity risks. However, while many senior business leaders are shifting attention to questions of resilience, more than one-fifth of respondents said that they do not assess or model emerging risks.

“Organisations need to focus on building resiliency to future black swan events. The lessons learned in 2020 should be leveraged to revise business continuity plans so that companies are able to withstand the impact of the next big challenge,” he added.

“Cyber attacks, fraud, weather-related risks and, even, pandemics, have long been identified and prioritised by risk professionals,” said RIMS 2020 president, Laura Langone. “However, risk professionals’ work must go beyond identifying the impacts of these uncertainties. It is incumbent upon us to highlight opportunities and solutions that support shifts in strategy, strengthen organisational resilience and empower business leaders to make strategic decisions with confidence. We are proud to present these findings with Marsh and provide the global risk management community with the insight to help elevate their programmes.”

This report was based on 231 responses to an online survey conducted in August amongst C-suite executives and risk professionals from large firms across 26 industries.

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