The final instalment in our Secrets of Resilience series, MaltaCEOs speaks to four CEOs who have successfully navigated their companies through crises. Here, they share valuable insight into the strategies, mindsets and principles that empowered them to not only ride out the storm but emerge stronger. The series was first carried on MaltaCEOs.t’s sister print publication, MaltaCEOs 2024.

Matthew Wismayer, Director of local pet food producer Pet Nutrition, shares how the business is getting through the scarcity of raw materials and high transport costs triggered by COVID-19 and compounded by the two ongoing wars in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip.

“As global instability continues, navigating our way through precarious situations is the rule of the day. Successful CEOs are those who are capable of adapting to difficulties and turning threats into opportunities. In the face of soaring inflation, fiscal and monetary policies that have hindered growth across the board, among other macro circumstances, at Pet Nutrition, we have adapted by focusing on two strategies.

The first was to develop a new range of quality products at a lower price as many pet consumers can no longer afford expensive products. Adapting to consumer shifts has therefore been instrumental for us to maintain a healthy business. Our second strategy was to seek out different export markets and reach new customers to trigger business and generate growth. Thankfully, the high demand for products in the pet sector has helped us overcome this challenging period successfully.

“In today’s business environment, success centres around the ability to evolve when looking to thrive rather than survive, and when faced with challenges, decisions should never be taken alone. In our company, we make sure that all departments are involved and that a consensus is reached after careful consideration, as implementing the wrong business decision would only make matters worse.

“Moreover, keeping team morale high is key in challenging times as it is not possible to overcome uncertainty if a team isn’t motivated and invested in solving problems together. Operating on empathy and understanding, and consistently inspiring our workforce through good and bad have been key to maintaining a flow of positivity at Pet Nutrition, where every individual matters and has an important role to contribute. We even set up a committee to organise teambuilding events throughout the year to ensure opportunities for interaction that boost productivity.

“In line with our focus on offering innovative alternatives in the pet world, we continue to nurture our resilience and recently invested in a new factory establishment to help us further our development. We now provide high-quality products formulated with healthy raw materials from the Mediterranean that are unique in the pet world, and which are generating more interest among consumers.

“Additionally, we started working closely with established brands to manufacture private labels for their products – a strategy that has opened doors to new markets as we aim to build a stronger company reputation worldwide and internationalise our brands to reach new shores.”

First published as part of a wider feature first carried on MaltaCEOs 2024 print publication, the sister brand to MaltaCEOs.mt.

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