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NZ's most innovative companies - Boston Consulting Group survey

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Zealand’s most innovative companies have been identified in the country’s most comprehensive business innovation assessment. Global management consultancy Boston Consulting Group, which recently re-opened its Auckland office, analysed almost 100 businesses with revenues above $10 million as part of its annual Most Innovative Companies global report. It’s the first time New Zealand companies have been included in the global survey.

New Zealand’s top ten most innovative companies are ANZ Bank, Air New Zealand, Fonterra, Mainfreight, Mercury Energy, Spark, The Warehouse Group, Woolworths (Countdown), Xero and 2degrees.These New Zealand companies saw growth during the COVID-19 pandemic with an average total shareholder return of 16% compared to 12% for the overall market.

While New Zealand executives are committed innovators, they place less importance on innovation than their global peers. 50% of New Zealand respondents said innovation was a top three business priority compared to 75% globally. However, almost 74% of surveyed executives plan to increase their spending on innovation in the next year.

BCG managing director and partner Phillip Benedetti, who is the firm’s leader in New Zealand, said today’s uncertain business environment means innovation is now more important than ever. ‘Our analysis of New Zealand companies shows that innovation is moving towards the top of business leaders’ agendas. The innovation journeys of these companies show that for businesses to be successful innovators, they need to make it a priority, commit to investment and talent, and be ready to transform that investment into results.’

‘In particular, we found that companies with a digital focus and strong customer experience were considered particularly strong innovators. We also found that the best innovators tend to have more diverse leadership. Of those companies listed as Most Innovative, 40% are chaired by women (Air New Zealand, Mercury Energy, Spark, and The Warehouse Group), compared to 22% of the NZX50.’

Mr Benedetti said business sentiment about the future is turbulent given ongoing concerns relating to issues such as climate change, the war in Ukraine, and labor and supply chain bottlenecks. ‘We have seen incredible economic growth thanks to COVID-19. In fact, more than 65% of New Zealand respondents saw year on year revenue growth in 2021. But we also know business leaders and consumers have worries about the future.’

‘The world is at a tipping point. Over the next five years it will become clear who has outperformed competitors when it comes to innovation. For those companies which haven’t yet turned their minds to innovation, now is the time. And for those which have, they mustn’t rest on their laurels. They must double-down in preparation for any challenges that lie ahead.’

A copy of the report can be downloaded here - https://www.bcg.com/en-au/publications/2022/new-zealand-innovation-index-of-most-innovative-companies

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