Event Highlights: The Year Ahead January 18-19, 2022

The Year Ahead
January 18-19, 2021

By Bloomberg Live

If the last two years introduced unforeseen changes at a dizzying pace, 2022 will be spent adjusting to them at the same pace, as businesses across the world regroup.

Digital and net zero transformation is accelerating, flexible working arrangements are an ongoing experiment and supply chains are being redrawn. Just as importantly, perspectives and goals are shifting.

At Bloomberg’s The Year Ahead Summit, we explored how business leaders are responding to these challenges and opportunities. They talked about relaunching, picking up the pace with innovation, fighting inflation, the workforce, geopolitics, and inclusivity, in particular, the fast-growing Latino entrepreneurship.

Powered by the world’s largest newsroom and data-driven reporting, The Year Ahead spoke with CEOs and other global business leaders from an array of industries — finance, retail, travel, healthcare, technology and more — to map out a strategic blueprint for global business in The Year Ahead.

Event Highlights

Click here to view video of the January 18th program.
Click here to view video of the January 19th program.

Speakers included:

  • Sheikh Ali Alwaleed Al-Thani, Chief Executive Officer, Investment Promotion Agency Qatar (IPA Qatar)
  • Mark Bowden, Co-author, The Steal: The Attempt to Overturn the 2020 Election and the People Who Stopped It
  • Ursula Burns, Chairman, Teneo
  • Marty Chavez, Partner and Vice Chairman, Sixth Street
  • Michael Chui, McKinsey and Company, McKinsey Global Institute
  • Luke Ellis, CEO, Man Group
  • Patrick Gelsinger, CEO, Intel Corporation
  • David Gitlin, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Carrier
  • Isabella Casillas Guzman, Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration
  • Jan Jenisch, Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors, Holcim
  • Kris Marszalek, CEO, Crypto.com
  • Vas Narasimhan, CEO, Novartis
  • Falguni Nayar, Founder & CEO, Nykaa
  • Dr. John N. Nkengasong, MSc, PhD, Director, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, African Union Commission, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Chuck Robbins, Chairman and CEO, Cisco
  • David M. Rubenstein, Co-founder and Co-Chairman, The Carlyle Group
  • Matthew Teague, Co-author, The Steal: The Attempt to Overturn the 2020 Election and the People Who Stopped It
  • Shai Weiss, CEO, Virgin Atlantic Limited

Bloomberg Moderators:

  • Sonali Basak, Global Finance Correspondent, Bloomberg
  • Romaine Bostick, Anchor, Bloomberg Television
  • Emily Chang, Anchor, Bloomberg Television
  • Tim Craighead, Senior European Equity Strategist, Director of Research Content, Bloomberg Intelligence
  • Mark Dawson, Senior Editor and Editorial Director of Qatar Economic Forum, Bloomberg Live
  • David Dwyer, Head of Research, Bloomberg Intelligence
  • Annmarie Hordern, Washington Correspondent, Bloomberg Television
  • Caroline Hyde, Anchor, Bloomberg Television
  • Guy Johnson, Anchor, Bloomberg Television
  • Mallika Kapur, Deputy Global Editor, Bloomberg Live
  • Carol Massar, Anchor, Bloomberg Businessweek Television and Radio
  • David Merritt, Senior Executive Editor, Bloomberg
  • John Micklethwait, Editor-In-Chief, Bloomberg
  • James Paton, Health Reporter, Bloomberg

Event Highlights:

The Year Ahead in E-Commerce: In Conversation With Falguni Nayar

In India, women entrepreneurs are finally feeling empowered. It has taken a long time , said Falguni Nayar, Founder & CEO, Nykaa, whose message is now, “We have finally given women a right to be born, let’s also give them a right to dream.”

In an industry that is still very small, with only 8% online and almost no branding, Nykaa has broken ground for others to follow, and it’s happening quickly. Nayar spoke about current plans to expand within the country with a fashion line for most of the lifestyle categories, sold online and at retail stores in 100 cities within the next two years. The company worked with regulators to find “amazing” growth during the pandemic, and is holding its own against the likes of Walmart and Amazon.

Bloomberg Intelligence Presents: 50 Companies to Watch in 2022

Growth prospects, restructuring, new products, new leadership and themes, such as pandemic recovery, electric vehicles, green transition, digital transformation, and the metaverse are some of the criteria for making the list of companies well worth keeping an eye on.

Tim Craighead, Senior European Equity Strategist, Director of Research Content, Bloomberg Intelligence and David Dwyer, Head of Research, Bloomberg Intelligence offered analysis.

A few on the list: Volkswagen, because it may overtake Tesla in EV manufacturing by the end of the year. First Solar for its aggressive investment in meeting double-digit increase in demand. Roku, expected to approach a 50-percent annual sales expansion through 2023, SoFi, the first online-only banking app to go public and Airbnb for its underestimated brand advantage as the travel sector recovers..

The Year Ahead in Medicine: In Conversation With Vas Narasimhan

This will be the year we “come to terms” with Covid-19, said Vas Narasimhan, CEO, Novartis. As we enter a phase of normalcy in the healthcare industry, “The race is on amongst the major biopharmaceutical companies to use this as a moment to get back to launching our medicines, reaching more patients. We have some very important launches in cardiovascular disease and oncology.”

Narasimhan talked about the number of new technologies emerging as a result of and before the pandemic and which will breakthrough to permanence, such as gene therapy, RNA interference and editing the genome; “permanent fixes” to address disease.

The Year Ahead in Global Health: In Conversation With John N. Nkengasong

Dr. John N. Nkengasong, MSc, PhD, Director, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, African Union Commission, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, spoke to bringing the continent’s overall 10% vaccination rate to a needed 70%, and the collaboration that effort will require. “Unless we get to that level, the continent has an unpredictable and uncertain trajectory for this pandemic.”

The good news, he said, is that donated vaccines are rolling in. The challenge is getting them into arms. A more deliberate method of doing that will be the focus of 2022. Dr. Nkengasong spoke of tremendous interest in a movement toward manufacturing vaccines in Africa, and the sharing across nations of technology that will increase those capabilities, as well as talks with Pfizer about a partnership that would open access to treatments, with the potential for an announcement in the coming weeks.

The Year Ahead in Infrastructure: In Conversation With David Gitlin

New awareness by the public of air quality is driving Carrier to increase its focus on the right kinds of ventilation systems for indoor spaces, according to David Gitlin, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Carrier. “It will help people feel confident about socializing again.” A key focus has been on $190 billion allocated for schools, much of it to improve environments. They’ve also sold more than 40,000 portable filtration units to schools, restaurants and medical offices and devised a digital tool used to measure air quality inside public places, helping to reopen the world.

Gitlin talked about investors and the need for companies to offer a variety of solutions as energy efficiency is stressed. “They know there are going to be more regulations globally that are going to drive the need for more energy-efficient solutions, and that plays right to our strengths.”

The Year Ahead in Air Travel: In Conversation With Shai Weiss

Shai Weiss, CEO, Virgin Atlantic Limited is hopeful for a better, much more stable year in 2022, especially with the removal of air travel restrictions in the UK and elsewhere. December ticket sales were at 85-90% of 2019 levels. Yet, business travel remains low at about 30%. Weiss predicted an increase in the way of longer, more meaningful business trips. “People do business with people, not with companies, and that’s a true indication of where things are going to go.”

He spoke of taking dramatic measures to make the airline fit for purpose, for the future, and for future volatility “that is sure to come.”

“We’re entering 2022 in a very good position, in terms of cash, resilience and the business model,” Weiss said, “Thanks to employee and stakeholder support, a £1.5 billion recapitalization, capped with a £400 million investment by shareholders Virgin Group and Delta Airlines.” Doubling its cargo capacity also helped. Rebounding from a 45% staff reduction is happening quickly.

The Year Ahead in Investing: In Conversation With David Rubenstein

David M. Rubenstein, Co-founder and Co-Chairman, The Carlyle Group talked about being due for a market correction, interest rates that should ratchet up, and working in the White House in the 1970s, followed by years of 2% or less increases, now a “very high” 7% month to month. Rubenstein predicts inflation will normalize lower, but remain a significant, long-term problem, with the unavoidable ripple effect. “This is going to be with us for as long as we have Covid and the supply chain problems.”

Rubenstein also spoke to midterm elections and likely results that will further stall spending bills, to adjusting the federal budget to pay national debt interest, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin and West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, and the biggest impacts on markets going forward.

The Year Ahead in Economic Mobility: Focus on Latinos in America

One in four people in the US will be Latino by 2050, and one in three workers by 2060, making them the economic engine of the United States. Yet, they remain underpaid and undercapitalized, a social inequity and major loss to consumer spending.

Unlocking the Economic Potential of Latinos in the United States

Michael Chui, McKinsey and Company, McKinsey Global Institute spoke about his company’s new, online report, The Economic State of Latinos in America: The American Dream Deferred, and stated striking statistics in terms of the commerce and the economy, including 735,000 new businesses, 6.6 million jobs and $2.3 trillion in revenue. “The future of American growth is Latino people,” Chui summarized.

The solutions are in focusing on the opportunities, he said, terming it an entrepreneurial market that can benefit from programs aimed at underrepresented markets and an understanding of the potential that can be unlocked. 

Providing the Tools for Prosperity: In Conversation With Isabella Guzman

Isabella Casillas Guzman, Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration represents more than 32.5 million small businesses and promotes the Biden administration’s equitable economy initiative. Guzman spoke about the pressures small business has had to endure, from every angle, during the pandemic, and the expansion from $40 billion in grants and loans to $1.2 trillion in survival funding. In 2022, challenges remain for small businesses, which employ half the private workforce, and “how they innovate, pivot and adapt will define our economy.”

Guzman discussed core and new lending programs, legislation and expanding networks such as the community rescue plan, connecting businesses with resources and the importance of data when it comes to accessing capital. 

What I’ve Learned: In Conversation With Marty Chavez

Latino businesses are growing at the fourth highest rate in the world, according to Marty Chavez, Partner and Vice Chairman, Sixth Street, referencing the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Forum. “There are many metrics by which Latino businesses are doing exceptionally well. If you just separate them out, they’re growing faster than non-Latino businesses in the US.” Yet, they are disproportionately involved in business greatly affected by the pandemic.

Chavez spoke further about bias, such as Latinos being offered different financial products by banks, and about solutions that exist within an atmosphere of creative energy and coaching. “It isn’t just making loans available to these wonderful entrepreneurs. You need to show them how to access that capital, how to pitch for that capital.”

The Year Ahead in Finance: In Conversation With Luke Ellis

Luke Ellis, CEO, Man Group talked about quicker, more aggressive moves, and the right message, needed by the federal reserve, to curb inflation. “Will the market believe the Fed has forward inflation under control? The persistent inflation of the 1970s and 80s could come back very easily,” 

When it comes to tech trades, Ellis said to avoid confusing tech and forward earnings companies. A “very significant” shift in just the first few weeks of the year points to the need to think about quality over value.

He explained why fuel prices are so high, why they won’t stay that way, and why it won’t feel like business as usual in Asia this year.

The Year Ahead in Global Business: In Conversation With Patrick Gelsinger

It’s all about the chips, who makes them and where, and who would know the details better than Patrick Gelsinger, CEO, Intel Corporation. He spoke about pending legislation in the US and China, both with significant allocations for research and development as the world, and Intel, moves forward digitally, with unbounded innovation. “Until the periodic table is exhausted, we will keep moving upward,” he said.

As the supply chain disruption dramatically illustrated, local supplies are a must.

Gelsinger spoke to a “relaunch” of Intel, moving past the inherent complacency of leading the industry for so long, setting a “torrid” pace to the future, and jumping ahead with projects like new transistor tech, all, on or ahead of schedule. Intel is rebuilding across six areas and moving competitively into new ones. “We will be the company that brings EVs across the planet and decentralizes computing in the cloud.”

The Year Ahead in Crypto: In Conversation With Kris Marszalek

An “unstoppable avalanche” of a wider diversity of participants made 2021 a “fantastic “ year for cryptocurrency, with revenues growing by a factor of 22, said Kris Marszalek, CEO, Crypto.com. He’s not predicting a crypto-winter, but expects momentum to return again in the second half of the year, driven largely by gaming and the metaverse. “It will be biblical, the new experiences we are building in this space.”

Marszalek explained the strong message of their Matt Damon ad, criticized as overly-dramatic, and the goal to become one of the top 20 brands in the world. He talked about the company’s investment strategy and the recent hacking of about 400 accounts, promising more details on their blog within days.

The Year(s) Ahead in American Democracy: In Conversation With Mark Bowden and Matthew Teague

The authors of The Steal: The Attempt to Overturn the 2020 Election and the People Who Stopped It, offered a behind-the-scenes look at what it took to reveal the real workings of the voting system and the people who run it. They used a team of researchers to find subjects, but some “were hoovered up by the Trump campaign and thrown into the spotlight,” said Matthew Teague, of local election officials in six swing states.

“We didn’t go into the process thinking it would be overwhelmingly about Republicans, but that was the case,” said Mark Bowden. Republicans were considered more vulnerable to influence. All it took was a slew of allegations to create a cloud of suspicion.

“Instead of red versus blue, as we anticipated,” said Teague, “It became about truth and lies.”

Bowden said people still believe in the sanctity of an honest election, so the human intervention needed to significantly alter results is not likely to happen. As for the January 6 investigations, the authors believe things will be revealed that will shock “fair-minded” people. Others will not be persuaded to change their minds.

The Year Ahead in Tech: In Conversation With Chuck Robbins

While “everyone is trying to embrace a variation of remote work,” Chuck Robbins, Chairman and CEO, Cisco, said his company was part of the “great experiment” before the pandemic, with 10-15% of their workforce remote. They have no workplace policy going forward, letting their people and teams work out their best models. He sees the future as one of opening up talent pools by hiring people where they are. It will work, Robbins said, because it was proven during the pandemic, in large part by Cisco’s technology and by their engineering teams, including those working on the next generation of computing power, who stayed on track despite being apart. 

A big boost to change is the CEOs and government leaders seeing innovation “up close and personal,” leaving them more open to remote connections rather than taking a 12-hour flight for a meeting. Technology, however, will be the easy part as we head into a new, post-pandemic world, Robbins said.  The human aspect will be the most interesting, as he discussed Cisco’s efforts to open the “riches of the world” to the half of its population still not connected.

The Year Ahead in Business: In Conversation With Ursula Burns

“It’s a great time to be a business leader because we can experiment,” said Ursula Burns, Chairman, Teneo, envisioning a more-inclusive, capitalist structure. It’s been a year of taking stock, focusing on sustainability, geopolitics and re-learning how to engage with employees, all affected by a large amount of uncertainty.

But, there is good news, according to Burns, who sees the disruption as leveling the playing field and offering a chance to reassess. “Everyone is starting from the same place, laying a new course, and there is still a lot of technology out there we can leverage.” That also applies to the diversity she said is “good for business, across the board.” Burns called investors the “pockets of business” and spoke to how they are driving change in areas like ESG, wages, and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Holcim Sponsor Spotlight: Building Circular Cities

“Circularity is the opportunity of our time,” said Jan Jenisch, Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors, Holcim. With the world’s total GDP at $94 trillion, Jenisch noted that we are set to consume more than two planets by 2040. With more people moving into cities, they will be on the front line of real change from linear to circular, and the resulting strengthening of local economies and social inclusion.

Jenisch spoke about Holcim’s manufacturing approaches, including using recycled material, developing construction methods that use half the materials and lower carbon footprints by 80%, as well as renovating buildings for durability and efficiency, and about partnering with Bloomberg on a circular city barometer initiative.

The Year Ahead in the Middle East: Building World Cup Momentum

When your job includes promoting your country as an investment opportunity, nothing is more welcome than a steadily-growing GDP and high Covid-19 vaccine rate, according to Sheikh Ali Alwaleed Al-Thani, Chief Executive Officer, Investment Promotion Agency Qatar (IPA Qatar). In concert with a commodities supercycle, the economic boost of hosting the FIFA World Cup later this year and his prediction Qatar will soon move into the endemic phase, Sheikh Ali said their adaptive strategy and available talent allows them to continue to drive growth in new economic sectors, such as agritech, EVs, hydrocarbons, AI, tourism and sports beyond soccer, including F1 racing. It will all serve to “put Qatar on the map” as a place to live and work.

“We have a strong connection to African and European markets,” Sheikh Ali said. The majority of its investments may come from the US at the moment, but he said that will have little impact on their China strategy. “We have an open and liberl economy and welcome everyone.”

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