The Next Normal
Every business was looking optimistic for a great 2020 at the beginning of the year, but now are facing a completely different scenario. The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected businesses across every industry and geographical region. The norms of businesses have changed, be it remote working, changed customer preferences and priorities or radically transformed operational networks.
King Solomon said, “There is a time for everything! A time to break down, and a time to build up”. After every disastrous storm and earthquake and war comes a time to rebuild. Now is the time to gather the pieces and undo the damage.
There is still a huge amount of uncertainty about how and when the markets will bounce back, as different countries are impacted in different scales, and no certain cure for COVID-19 yet in sight. Few countries have controlled the spread, few are facing a second wave of infections while many other countries are still crippled by the spread of the virus. Economic activity has returned to normal in countries that have successfully controlled the coronavirus, while in the other countries the economic activity is still about 40% lower than before the pandemic.
We all would expect the economy not only to just get back on track and running but become stronger and more resilient in the process. A lot depends on how companies and leaders can reset for growth beyond the pandemic. The leaders should not fall into the pit of deriving plans to go back to January or February 2020 but should be brave to reimagine, rewire and reset their organizations to seize the opportunities thrown open by this unprecedented pandemic. They have to think very differently, reshape their portfolio and plan to do things quite differently as the future unfolds.
Redefine | Revive | Reset
As businesses start to emerge from the pandemic, the leaders need to focus on critical areas not only to offset the negative impact of the pandemic, but also to bring changes to the way they are going to operate in the future.
Redefine your Customer Relations
Beyond just selling products and offering services it is time for you to open a real time communication channel with your customers. This proactive mode of communication will redefine customer experience by giving them the confidence that you are adapting to the changed customer needs. Updates on the initiatives you have taken to ensure the safety of your team members as well as of the customers during this pandemic, will strengthen client relations.
When the whole economy was paralyzed due to the lockdown, Kreston Menon took the initiative to connect with our clients and to the public through multiple channels, such as phone calls, online meetings, emails, social media, and digital content. Our partners were there to address the concerns of our clients as we had decided this is not the time to disappear.
Revive Employee Communication
Human capital is the engine that keeps any company moving forward. The initial days of the pandemic brought lot of confusion and insecurity amongst the workforce. It is true that many were made redundant and many companies were forced to take drastic steps. The key to maintain the morale of the employees is to have open, honest and frequent communication which will bring clarity to the situation. Most companies had to switch to work-from-home during the lockdown. Majority of them have resumed work from office ensuring the safety of their employees. Wherever there was an open communication there was less confusion and employees were committed to stand with their employers. During this difficult time, commitment is mutual!
Reset your Business Strategies
Smart leaders are re-evaluating their strategies not only to position themselves to absorb the setbacks caused by the unprecedented economic collapse but also to tap the emerging opportunities thrown open by the same pandemic. Questions like, are our services still relevant, does our market strategy still work, do we need to have an alternate supplier base, do we have the needed capabilities and competencies for the Next Normal are to be answered.
It is time to do an introspection that will help you identify what went wrong and what you need to change. For example, companies who were totally dependent on China for supplies are now looking for multiple sources and more domestic suppliers. This has suddenly brought a new life into businesses in Far East, India Mexico and Central America. Indonesia and India stand to benefit from this as we see major investments flowing into these countries.
Only way to emerge stronger post-pandemic is to understand where you stand today and where you want to be. Though the global economy is still reeling and worldwide recovery is still not in sight, it is time for you to decide on how you are going to face the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow. We are here to partner with you in the process of preparing you to stay competitive. We are here for you!
Small Businesses and the Next Normal
Small businesses are the unsung heroes creating jobs and contributing considerably to every local economy. Be it florists, day care centres, coffee shops, groceries or restaurants – they keep the market ticking. But today in most markets, they are facing the challenge of a lifetime.
The Global State of Small Business joint report by the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reveals some startling global figures – 26% of SMBs had closed down between January and May 2020, while the percentages ran much above 50% in countries where strict lockdown was imposed.
According to the report, 61% of small businesses in the UAE are optimistic about their future businesses while 40 per cent of businesses have adapted to the digital mode and 25% of their sales were made digitally in the past months.