The biggest opportunities for CEOs in 2024

In difficult times, leaders who can spot opportunities amid the obstacles will be the ones whose businesses thrive. Here, four members of the Raconteur 50 share how they’ll be innovating and adapting to challenges over the next 12 months

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The challenges facing business leaders in 2024 have been well documented, but every potential issue brings with it opportunities. Although only 27% of the CEOs feel optimistic about the global economy, according to a February 2024 survey by Deloitte, 80% are optimistic about their own company’s performance. This may be because their organisation’s fortunes lie, to a certain extent, in their own hands. 

A savvy and resilient leader must find ways to flourish in difficult environments and turn widespread negatives into positives. This can be done, for instance, by rallying and inspiring your people, overhauling your business model or embracing new technologies. Raconteur’s inaugural list of outstanding CEOs features 50 examples of leaders who have taken actions such as these to succeed in trying times. Here, four of them share the biggest opportunities they see for the year ahead.

Radha Vyas 
CEO and co-founder of Flash Pack 

In an era where we have endless data, analytics and technology at our fingertips, AI can help CEOs make faster and more informed decisions. Investing in analytics platforms and AI-driven insights has allowed us to uncover opportunities and optimise processes faster than ever before, and in very creative ways.

For example, we’re currently looking at how to automate the highly nuanced process of matching solo-traveller roommates together – something that is based on a wide range of influencing factors from sleep preferences to personality types. It all ties into our vision to use tech as a tool for deeper connection and, in this case, that means helping set the stage for long-lasting friendships. But equally, AI can be used to help coworkers become more creative and capable.

We’ve also used real-time insights to rapidly build our profile in the US market, ultimately supporting a key life decision for me and my co-founder (and husband) Lee Thompson – we’re planning a relocation to Miami this summer. This move isn’t a decision we took lightly, but it is the logical next step for overall business growth, underpinned by data and facts.

Brian Perkins 
President of Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I

There will undoubtedly be challenges in 2024 as the cost of living and an evolving political landscape remain top-of-mind in the UK. But, this year, we also have opportunities to lean into exciting moments and bring joy to consumers amid a fractious cultural landscape. In challenging times, it’s important to remember to have fun and get together with the people you love. That’s what beer is all about.

We have major sporting events coming up – the Olympics, Wimbledon, Euros – all of which are likely to yield peaks in consumer interest and spending as people save up and treat themselves around these big cultural moments. It is important that business leaders harness this enthusiasm by offering consumers positive messages and value for money to tap into these moments.

Tessa Clarke 
CEO and co-founder of Olio 

As we emerge from four years of polycrisis, business leaders are starting to look to new horizons once again. Many are recognising that the sustainability revolution is finally getting underway and are grappling with how to turn this paradigm shift into a source of competitive advantage, rather than a threat. 

For incumbents, this will require a wholesale reimagining of both business operations and business models; while, for the upstarts, this represents the enormous business opportunity that they’ve staked their future on.

Cesar Carvalho 
CEO of co-founder of Wellhub 

In 2024 CEOs have an opportunity to revolutionise their approach to employee wellbeing. More than 90% of employees believe their wellbeing is as important as their salary, so there’s immense potential to flip the script and drive impact on both employee satisfaction and business success. 

While many companies already offer wellness programmes, they often focus on highly specific perks that don’t truly improve employee wellbeing, such as free yoga classes or even pet therapy. While well-intended, these one-off programmes often see low usage because they fail to meet the diverse needs of employees. By focusing on creating impactful programmes and providing support that improves employee health, productivity and retention, CEOs can make wellbeing a strategic advantage.