The world economy is going through seismic changes. In the UK, Brexit is perhaps the most visible and pressing challenge, but it would be wrong to categorise it as the only one.
Technology is changing the way businesses operate. And, as the innovation of today becomes the normal of tomorrow, business leaders are spending more resources on understanding how technology will affect them and how they can harness it for growth.
The emergence of new markets as well as political and regulatory changes are affecting the way businesses deal with suppliers, customers and wider stakeholders.
Yet despite all of this, in the four years we have sought out the top performing companies in the Central South’s mid-market we have consistently found businesses that are thriving. It has been said that uncertainty is the enemy of business, but at BDO we are optimists, and where there’s change we also believe there’s opportunity. It seems our region’s mid-sized companies – its economic engine – feel the same way. Watch our video with Stuart Lisle, Partner at BDO, commenting on the adaptability of these companies and how they are the strength of the UK economy.
There are plenty of examples in the Central South of companies finding success despite the challenges. Businesses such as electronics manufacturer, Blakell Europlacer, which has strengthened its global presence in recent years and whose China operations are growing at their fastest rate. Perpetuum, a world leader in railway safety technology, is another great example which has seen international sales increase in India and Australia amidst the global uncertainty.
The three finalists for the recently announced Central South Mid Market Company of the Year, operating in very different sectors, typify the huge diversity of businesses in this region – a key factor in its enduring resilience over the last decade and which we believe leaves it strongly placed to tackle whatever happens in the next few years.
As outlined in our New Economy report, BDO believes that the UK economy is unbalanced with a disproportionate amount of growth coming from the South East and the city of London. There is support needed for different regions to help rebalance UK economic success and more should be done to support geographic powerhouses including areas which already thrive, such as the Central South. Creating a new “regionalism” will help cities and regions take the initiative to generate local growth, be more nimble and focus efforts on their own economies.
In the short term though, the UK’s and the Central South’s success will be driven by those businesses that are led by far sighted individuals and strong management teams willing to take a risk by investing in new systems, processes and people and in some cases by disrupting the market. These will be the bedrock of our ‘new economy’. To read more about the CSMM Company of the Year visit our webpage.
Malcolm Thixton is Lead Partner at BDO Southampton.