Firms struggle with Covid-19 scourge

25 Mar, 2020 - 00:03 0 Views
Firms struggle with Covid-19 scourge

The Chronicle

Harare Bureau

WITH the coronavirus (Covid-19) scourge swelling globally by the day, business leaders are grappling with how to deal with a myriad of problems stemming from this menacing pandemic.

Stocks have slumped, supply chains are almost coming to a halt as employers push to keep their employees healthy so that continuity on business operations is guaranteed. Any form of business is almost coming to a halt and in the local scenario, President Mnangagwa annulled                                                                                                                                public

gatherings starting from Friday March 20. It is business unusual in Zimbabwe already.

One cannot deny that this pandemic’s outbreak has revealed the other side of doing business all around the world as total shutdown of business is not permissible.

President Mnangagwa

The United States, Asian and several European countries and other centres of capital have issued travel bans, crippling the aviation industry expansively in the process. On Friday South African Airways (SAA) said it will be “suspending all regional and international flights immediately” following a Government notice prohibiting the embarkation and disembarkation of crew and passengers.

In that regard, teleconferencing is slowly replacing physical meetings, some employees have been instructed to work remotely (working from home) all replacing familiar business routines. Institute of Directors Zimbabwe chairman Mr Mike Juru is of the view that emergency of Covid-19 will redefine future of organisations, saying that mechanisms should be put in place for now and future to ensure continuity in times-like-these where pandemics can cause serious lockdown,

crippling economic activity extensively. “Coronavirus is recreating the way of doing things in the economy and redefining business conduct. We have some companies with shareholders that do up and down between Zimbabwe and Europe, America and even Asia. I guarantee you that they have not stopped business meetings because of the instituted lockdowns,” said Mr Juru. He urged authorities and the public to embrace the fourth industrial revolution, which is involving use of technologies in doing business such as shopping and education, while those in the construction industry implored to make it an obligation to encourage architecture of houses with office spaces.

“In terms of education, do people really need conventional classes in the future to be taught? No, people should embrace online training, online courses. These have to be introduced in institutions to ensure continuity of classes.

“As of trade, e-commerce is rapidly developing, it is not going to be about shops but warehousing and investing in scooters and drones for distribution of stocks, while real estate has to rethink and make it compulsory for future plans to have working space at home,” he added.

With a global death toll of over 7 800 (as of Friday), the pandemic has brought major cities across the world to a standstill sending stocks plunging and businesses facing huge losses.

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