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‘Embracing Uncertainty whilst Building Business’ – Berlin VIP Roundtable

On the 8th of February 2023, Annapurna hosted an incredible event in Berlin around the topic of ‘Embracing Uncertainty whilst Building Business’.

As we already know, the past 2 years have seen many peaks and troughs for businesses with adaptations needed to both changing times and market volatility. As we navigate 2023, the uncertainty of our businesses’ climate doesn’t necessarily have to be seen as a hurdle but maybe as a growth opportunity.

The conversation was led by Becky Finnegan (Associate Director at Annapurna Recruitment), which brought about the following conversation.

What should organisations really be adjusting to?

The current state of your business is one of the largest contributing factors to consider when adjusting your business strategy. Organisations must evaluate where their business currently stands in terms of performance, and consider whether changes need to be made or not as a way to build company success in the future. The answer shouldn’t be reactive but also there is an element of caution if proceeding with being overly proactive

It’s easy to question what exactly firms should be adjusting to…is there a recession going on, or not? On paper, perhaps yes, but this varies due to the simple fact that industries are in completely different cycles. Was there just a perfect storm of factors which have contributed to this “popped bubble”?

  • Economic landscape – Inflation, lack of funding, over-valuation of unicorns etc
  • International relations and global conflict
  • Cost of living crisis and energy crisis
  • Over-inflated salaries and job titles
  • Changes in customer behaviour
  • Post-pandemic working world
The risks for VC firms have increased

During the last 2 years “everyone became a VC” so now the “real” VCs have become a little more scrutinous with their investments. Companies grew quicker without a clear way to monetise and now VCs are more reluctant to jump into this until they see more clear routes. Businesses need money to pay their bills no matter what is happening externally. Organisations are continuing to grow even though there is a global narrative with regard to layoffs. The media has a large influence on how we are all interpreting the information about layoffs and we should navigate the news with interest and consideration. 

Times have changed for the ‘younger generation’…

As times are changing, businesses need to learn to attract and retain their employees more successfully, whilet also learning how to adapt and meet the expectations of the younger generation. So, how exactly can this be done? It was discussed around the implementation of small changes to the physical office such as coffee machines or baristas to entice people back in and on the opposite side, building a culture and providing the tools to enable teams to work effectively within a remote environment. The key is to ensure the purpose and strategy evolve as the company grows – always reassess, never get complacent.

Key things to focus on: passion, purpose, people (and paycheck!)

Hybrid or remote?

The remote and hybrid work models have clearly become more prevalent due to the pandemic and there is the obvious large shift it has caused in the way people now want to work. While the shift gained some popularity during the pandemic, the latter was born out of the post-pandemic era. Some companies have found this shift between hybrid or remote working extremely challenging. On the other hand, some companies have been thriving from this for years. The question was raised around whether leaders are setting teams up to be successful as remote first or whether they are setting their teams up to thrive in an office environment and having to adapt to remote.

Creating opportunities outside of the office for teams to come together and link up whether that be through park walks, visiting museums and more are key to building a culture of collaboration.

The People strategy is key and it is so apparent that whatever the business strategy is, the role that building the right teams play is pivotal no matter what direction it’s moving in.

ForTheFounders (FTF) is a community that offers value for founders and CEOs involved in tech and digital innovation start-ups and scale-ups. With digital technology vastly improving and changing the landscape, ForTheFounders aims to uncover the secrets and insights into how technology is impacting the growth of businesses.

Our events are held at prestigious venues across Europe, in cities such as Berlin, Copenhagen, Oslo, London, Stockholm, Munich and many more. Enjoy a fascinating conversation amongst entrepreneurial figureheads and founders who are like-minded that share interests in topics that start-ups must consider, such as leadership styles, attraction, retention and ESG.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in and would like to take part in one of our events, simply check out our events page and sign up at

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