Boston Consulting Group’s Perspectives on COVID-19

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) shared with ABA members the 3rd edition of the integrated BCG Perspectives document on COVID-19 to support them in navigating the turbulent times brought about by the pandemic which “has led to a global, societal crisis that needs to be addressed collaboratively by leaders worldwide.”

According to BCG, the effects on the economy, sectors, business, and society are extraordinary, and they are challenging governments and business leaders globally to find tailored answers to urgent and important issues.

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BCG believes that to navigate through the crisis, leaders need to take a multi-timescale perspective, preparing their responses across three phases: (1) FLATTEN the spread of the virus; (2) Collectively FIGHT the virus, preserve public health and progressively reopen sectors of economy and society; and (3) Prepare for the FUTURE. Organizations managing this change well, will emerge stronger from the crisis.

Hereunder are the major points of the report:


Many countries are starting to establish preconditions for a controlled restart, as COVID-19 continues to be a global challenge to societies

  • Governments’ actions and societal adherence continue to deliver results in flattening the curve; allowing us to consider relaxation of lockdowns
  • However, health care capacity (e.g. masks) and testing (e.g. currently unreliable serology) remain major issues
  • Business preparation (e.g. health protocols; workplace safety) and public response (e.g. revised social norms) are key to ensure a sustainable transition


Impact on economy, sectors, and business remains severe in 2020; rebound to pre-crisis levels not expected by end of 2021

  • Length of ‘Fight’ phase dependent on many unknowns; accelerated movement toward vaccine or treatment at scale could limit ‘Fight’ phase to 12-24 months; data from therapeutics will emerge in a few months—drugs likely to reduce severity of infection
  • Estimating the economic, sector, and business impact requires scenario-thinking to navigate the crisis
  • Current consumer sentiment suggests some willingness to resume activities post lockdown but not to pre-crisis levels (even with treatment)
  • Economic forecasts point to severe downturn in 2020—global rebound to pre-COVID levels not expected before 2021
  • Total shareholder returns (TSR) have rebounded over the last 20 days, most sectors still hit; there are clear winners even in hard hit sectors


To emerge stronger from the crisis requires fast, decisive action; business leaders need to concurrently think across multiple time horizons

  • To navigate through the crisis, leaders can leverage real-time, high-frequency, leading indicators to understand patterns and societal shifts
  • Experience from prior crises suggests that winners innovate to accelerate out of crisis and seek bold moves, e.g. M&A
  • We recommend nine action areas to business leaders that allow companies to emerge stronger
  • ‘Winning the Fight’ improves odds to also ‘Win the Future’


The report can be downloaded HERE.

BCG is an American management consulting firm founded in 1963. The firm has more than 90 offices in 50 countries, and is considered one of the three most prestigious employers in management consulting.

If you have questions on the report, please contact:

Il-Dong Kwon
Managing Director & Partner
M (HK, WhatsApp, Viber) +852 5665 4908, M (VN) +84 86 988 0362

Executive Assistant: Loc Nguyen, +84 94 223 8783,

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