The COVID-19 mitigation initiatives kept entities across the private sector busy, looking for ways governments are providing aid during lockdown. The Proven marketing team sat down with Proven Deputy CEO Omer Saleem to ask questions clients want to know the answers to. Below is the Q&A.
PMT: In your opinion, what can companies be doing to safeguard themselves both operationally and from a compliant perspective during this situation?
OS: There are a number of initiatives companies should be taking in order to prepare themselves to operate more efficiently and compliantly in the current environment. The actions will be dependent on the sector and type of organization, their current market and client base. Most companies will be looking inwards to evaluate the complete value chain of service offerings. They should be understanding demand drivers and looking at historical data to understand trends. It might be prudent to re-align workflow and operations during volume downturn. In addition, non-performing sectors of the business can be divested to operate lean. It is important to be mindful of application regulations when taking actions such as layoffs or sales of business assets. There is usually the tendency to take quick actions but sometimes the repercussions from non-compliance or hasty business decisions are more costly in the long run than short term savings.
PMT: What do you think the impact of COVID-19 will be on businesses wanting to enter the market?
OS: Businesses looking to enter the market will have to re-assess their market entry plans. The premise for market entry might have shifted or changed altogether. It is important to re-check the business case and driving factors. There will be a lot of opportunities in niche areas created by the COVID-19 situation. However, businesses wanting to enter markets will need to have a realistic business plan in order to capitalize these opportunities. There will be a lot of divestiture from existing companies. This might be a good chance to attain struggling businesses or other assets at a significant discount.
PMT: How will corporate immigration be affected by COVID-19?
OS: The immediate impact on corporate immigration value chain has been significant. Firms with solely corporate immigration service offerings have been hardest hit. However, the long term effects will only become clear once the curfews and basic lockdowns come to an end. There will be an initial flurry of activity as clients will look to distribute and re-deploy resources based on the post COVID-19 business scenario. However, companies need to work with their clients to project demand needs beyond this period and allocate internal assets accordingly. In addition, the regulatory environment will undergo quite a few changes. Each jurisdiction has been taking measures and initiatives to reduce the negative impact of COVID-19 by easing or modifying existing regulations. Companies will need to be vigilant of these regulatory changes and reversions to perhaps the originals as well.
PMT: Is there anything else you would like to add that you feel is relevant for companies to know?
OS: There are a number of initiatives provided by the government(s) in various jurisdictions. The aim of these initiatives is to ease the burden of downstream effects on companies. Many companies will feel the urge to take advantage of these initiatives quickly. However, thorough analysis should be conducted on long term impacts on the business if any initiatives are adopted.
Governments across the board have evaluated the COVID-19 status day by day, and provided solutions within capacity. In the GCC region, the UAE and Saudi Arabia were examples of mass stimuli and regulatory facilitation to reduce losses on SME’s and private sector corporations. Read COVID-19 updates from the Saudi, Emirati and Kuwaiti governments on the Proven Insights page.