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Fueling Transformational Growth

Growth Champions’ strategies

Accenture, working with the University of St. Gallen Institute of Management, has once again surveyed Switzerland’s Top500 companies to assess how they are transforming in order to keep up with changing market trends, rapid technological shifts, and an increased public awareness of corporate citizenship.

Three important dimensions – growth, profitability and sustainability – have to be combined in an integrated strategy as firms pursue strategic initiatives or "interventions". Of Switzerland’s Top500, 50 firms have outperformed their rivals to become Growth Champions. Their pursuit of nine strategic interventions provides compelling insights for success strategies from which other companies can learn.

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The Swiss market context:

strategic threats and opportunities

Swiss firms are operating in rapidly changing business landscapes, where technological change, disruptive competition and changing market demands are just a few of the challenges firms face. These ‘macro factors’ can be threats – but they can also act as catalysts for exploring new opportunities. They are grouped into four main categories:


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1

Economic and political uncertainty

Swiss firms operate on a global scale: economic and political uncertainties that affect international operations have been highlighted by the Top500 as critical threats, as they affect global supply chains. The strength of the Swiss Franc has proved to be particularly challenging and led manufacturers to adjust pricing strategies and cost structures.

2

Changing competitive environment

Increased customer expectations towards products and services are seen as an opportunity by Swiss firms. This is balanced by the threat posed by price sensitivity of customers and by competitors with low cost structures.

3

The technology context

Technological change and digitization that radically transform today’s industries are perceived as significant opportunities by Swiss firms. At the same time, cyber and data security concerns are perceived as a threat.

4

Corporate citizenship

Higher expectations for corporate citizenship from shareholders, customers and the public are perceived as an opportunity, as Swiss firms recognize the importance of creating shared value for business and society.

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Growth Champions

among the Top500

Accenture’s analysis shows that 50 firms have outperformed their rivals and the overall economy to become Growth Champions – achieving top-line growth above 7% for the past five years paired with above average profitability levels. The Growth Champions in the Industrial, Commerce & Service segment have set a particularly high benchmark: They reached profitability levels three times as high than their peers.

To find out which firms have been crowned Growth Champions for multiple years in a row, read the study.


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Industrial, Commerce & Service

For non-financial services firms, Growth Champions have also been able to reach a profitability margin on average three times higher than one of their peers. Find out who are the leaders in each industry sector.

List of Growth Champions: Industrial, Commerce & Service

Banking

In a harsh environment created by low interest rates, increased regulation and greater customer expectations, 13 banks outperformed their competitors to become Growth Champions. Find out which bank has been a Growth Champion for five years in a row.

List of Growth Champions: Banks

Insurance

Two insurance companies are Growth Champions for 2017, with average Gross Written Premium CAGR of 7% compared to 0.8% by their peers. Both are Growth Champions for two consecutive years.

List of Growth Champions: Insurance

Growth Champions:

Industrial, Commerce & Service

Source: Accenture Research

Growth Champions:

Banks

Source: Accenture Research

Growth Champions:

Insurance

Source: Accenture Research

 

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Successful strategies for

transformational growth

This year’s study reveals that Growth Champions execute a more comprehensive set of strategic interventions in growth, profitability, and sustainability than their peers to compete in the face of the new business realities.

We spotlight selected strategic initiatives (“interventions”) that were particularly common with this year’s Growth Champions in the subsequent Ways to Succeed section.

ways to

succeed

Growth and customer interventions: growth through strategic interventions
Growth and customer interventions: growth through strategic interventions
The findings show that Growth Champions among Switzerland’s Top500 put customer experience at the heart of their growth strategies, and are better than their peers at exploring new geographic markets and customer segments. They also fuel their growth through engagement with their broader ecosystems – which allows them to harness new ideas and developments, and open up new markets. Growth Champions are also more forward-looking and therefore more advanced along the journey to digitization than their peers, and are better at using mergers and acquisitions to enhance their innovation capabilities as part of their growth strategies.
Profitability interventions: where cost cutting and cost control counts
Profitability interventions: where cost cutting and cost control counts
With today’s challenging global and local economic trends comes the need to strategize to meet these pressures and free-up resources to allow for major transformational investments. The Growth Champions of Switzerland’s Top500 aim for sustainable cost excellence through cost control and avoidance of short-term cost cutting measures, such as delaying investment, to target intelligent cost reduction approaches. The best of the best also apply zero-based budgeting, justifying budgets across different units based on each function’s needs.
Sustainability and trust interventions: being good corporate citizens and strengthening customer trust
Sustainability and trust interventions: being good corporate citizens and strengthening customer trust
Swiss firms can often forget that achieving long-lasting competitive advantage requires corporate sustainability. Switzerland’s Growth Champions of 2017 strategize on sustainability interventions. The best performing firms meet customer expectations on corporate citizenship and work to improve brand reputation – these firms consider what their customers think about them in the wider social, cultural, economic and environmental contexts. Growth Champions also strengthen customer trust through a portfolio of strategic interventions, whether public relations, donations or publication of customer reviews.

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The Study


This study ‘Switzerland’s Top 500 – Fueling transformational growth’ is released at a time when Swiss firms are facing a challenging business landscape. Accenture examines nine interventions that companies can take across three integrated strategic dimensions to fuel transformational growth and allow firms to continue to outperform their peers.


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“Switzerland is doing quite well despite its overly strong currency and upcoming threats on more nationalistic policies. How to remain globally competitive is at the heart of this study.”

 

Thomas D. Meyer

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Get in

Touch

Thomas D. Meyer

Country Managing Director Accenture Switzerland; Managing Director Accenture Digital Austria, Switzerland and Germany

Frédéric Brunier

Managing Director – Accenture Financial Services Strategy Lead Austria, Switzerland and Germany