Downturns rearrange the board. Bain analysis of company earnings in Southeast Asia finds that winners diverged from losers during the 2007–2009 global recession and widened the gap during the subsequent expansion. Preparing before a downturn gives companies more options. Specifically, winning companies in Southeast Asia excelled in four areas: a focus on cost productivity, aggressive commercial plays, tight balance sheet management and proactive M&A.
Thomas Olsen leads Bain & Company's Strategy and Corporate Finance practices in Asia-Pacific, and he is based in the firm’s Singapore office. Sharad Apte leads Bain’s Healthcare practice in Southeast Asia, and he is the head of the firm’s Bangkok office.
Planning now can create a competitive advantage through the downturn and beyond.