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The power broker

The Inside the Mind of the CEO interview series explores a wide range of critical decisions faced by chief executives around the world. For more insight, see PwC’s CEO Survey.

Where other people see problems, Chantelle Abdul sees opportunities. Abdul, who was born in Nigeria but grew up and was educated in the U.K. and U.S., is the CEO of Mojec International Holdings, a family-owned conglomerate based in Nigeria and West Africa with operating portfolio investments in power, energy, mining, technology, and agriculture.

When Nigeria’s power industry was first privatized in the 2010s, electric bills were rough estimates at best, with no clear link between customers’ usage in a given period and their bill. Not surprisingly, many people refused to pay. In that environment, there was little business value in simply generating more electricity, as those investments couldn’t be recouped. Abdul was among the first to realize that smart

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Five attributes to transform your compliance strategy

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The downside of resilient leadership

The character and culture of companies is revealed in crises. And the same is true of people. As leaders struggle to navigate the impacts of the novel coronavirus pandemic on their business, they are discovering which members of their teams rise to the new challenges and which are overwhelmed. Often there are surprises: The people they expected to step up may become rattled, and others who had operated in the background are finding their leadership voice.

COVID-19 is testing our resilience, and for all that has been studied and written about that quality, it still has an air of mystery about it. Why can some people, when knocked down by life, get up off the mat, while others stay down? Given how important it is to work through challenges in this world of endless disruptions — even in the absence of a global crisis like COVID-19 — resilience is one

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Companies will have to get creative to advance sustainability amid crisis

Before COVID-19, people all over the world had been more focused than ever before on the issue of sustainability. Coordinated climate strikes, beginning in the spring of 2019 and continuing through the end of that year, conveyed the growing environmental concerns of global citizens. Employees and customers had increasingly expressed an interest in businesses taking stances and action on sustainability. And consumer data showed rising salesPDF of products with sustainability features.

Fast forward to today: The pandemic has exposed the fragility of the world and heightened people’s appreciation of sustainability. How many of us have appreciated cleaner air and paid more attention to labor conditions, given essential workers’ greater virus exposure? Consumer insights reflect this sensitivity. More than half of respondents to a recent survey conducted by management consulting firm Kearney said that as a result of their COVID-19 experience, they are more likely to buy environmentally friendly

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As India advances, women’s workforce participation plummets

Conventional wisdom suggests that in a growing economy, as job opportunities increase and education levels rise, more women enter the paid workforce. The Indian experience, however, has been exactly the opposite. Since the liberalization of the economy, which began in 1991, Indian GDP has grown at about 6 or 7 percent per year. Education of Indian women has risen; fertility rates have fallen; and access to electricity, cooking gas, and water has improved. However, women’s labor force participation rate (LFPR) has fallen (pdf) from 42.7 percent in 2004­–05 to 23.3 percent in 2017–18.

This means that three out of four Indian women are neither working nor seeking paid work, putting India among the bottom 10 countries in the world in terms of women’s workforce participation. (The only countries that rank lower than India are Egypt, Morocco, Somalia, Iran, Algeria, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.) The low LFPR is even more

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