Storm analogies reigned supreme among the winners of the IR Magazine Awards – South East Asia 2020. From perfect storms to depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes, it’s clear that many teams had to batten down the IR hatches to weather the pandemic winds.
But with ‘innovation and agility’, IR Magazine’s award-winning companies not only overcame the challenges thrown up by Covid-19 but also ensured they were available to communicate during extreme volatility even as issues such as ESG gained an ever-greater focus.
Here we present video interviews with some of the award-winning companies from across the region.
The virtual event took place on December 8, 2020 and, as with other IR Magazine Awards, trophies were split across two categories. In the awards-by-research categories, the runners-up and winners were decided by a survey of hundreds of investors and analysts. In the awards-by-nomination categories, companies submitted entries that were then judged by a panel of investor relations experts.
- Best overall investor relations (large cap)
- Best investor relations officer (large cap): Jiraphan Thongtan
- Best in sector: consumer staples
‘A perfect storm’ is how Jiraphan Thongtan, head of IR at CP All in Thailand, describes 2020. The challenges the company confronted, she says, were not just focused around Covid-19. The company also completed a ‘complicated’ $10.6 bn deal for Tesco’s Asian operations. ‘This [was] one of the biggest deals in Asia,’ explains Thongtan. There were a lot of rumors around the deal, which was confidential for a long time, making communication with investors and other stakeholders a particular challenge for the IR team. And then there was the pandemic. The company had to respond to ‘protective measures’ put in place by the Thai government, such as curfews, as well as panic-buying by consumers.
- Best overall investor relations (mid-cap)
- Best investor relations officer (mid-cap): Vikash Jalan
- Best in sector: materials
Sustainability is something that has been ‘magnified in a big way’ during 2020, says Vikash Jalan, vice president of strategic planning and investor relations at Indorama Ventures. ESG – as well as market volatility due to the pandemic – has really been a key issue over the past year. The company has around 25,000 employees across 33 countries and, as a result of the pandemic, it created a global management team with a focus on ESG issues. Much of what the company does around health and safety, for example, ‘is a given,’ says Jalan, adding that in future it’s going to be more about ‘how we include that [information] as part of our regular materials. How do we communicate this important information?’
This is an extract of an article that was published in the Spring 2020 issue of IR Magazine. Click here to read the full article.