Coronavirus set to reshape business models

Coronavirus set to reshape business models

MANAMA: Transformation resulting from COVID-19 will lead to a revolution in the way we live, work and interact, paving the way for agility in business models and reshaping the way businesses recruit and engage with talent, which will contribute to providing greater opportunity to scale, an expert has said.

According to Mandip Dulay, the founding partner of the COO Network Middle East, digital transformation and innovation has been on the corporate agenda for some time, as businesses can no longer afford to have three to four-year project implementation plans and have been forced to change overnight.

She said this during a webinar hosted by Grant Thornton Bahrain as part of its 'Navigating the new order' theme in collaboration with Grant Thornton UK, CFA Society Bahrain and COO Network Middle East.

She recommended that business leaders need to get answers to the following questions to adapt to the new world order: Will you continue to serve the same clients with the current solutions you have? How ready are you to navigate the next global shift? People, process and place – are these robust and agile enough to weather another storm?

Speaking about opportunities to diversify business models whilst retaining value during these challenging times, Grant Thornton Bahrain’s Senior Partner Jatin Karia said changing customer behaviour and expectations was the biggest challenge today.

The latest outbreak caused by Covid-19 has disrupted every industry in a novel way causing havoc and panic.

Earlier, a deliberate strategy was being followed with various factors like expected market growth, segment size, customers' needs, technology trajectories and competitor strength and weaknesses, he said.

Mr Karia said organisational leaders need to think about change management revolving around system resilience, operations, customer interactions, workplace safety and supply chain management.

Furthermore, he stated that businesses ought to be agile, fast and flexible and ready to adopt to a change.

"According to Greater Business Continuity Survey, only 12 per cent of global organisations are prepared to react to Covid-19 which is indeed alarming."

All industries including FMCG, hospitality, insurance, education and banking need to respond to the challenge and all businesses need to know how to align products and offerings at such a critical time like this, he warned.

However, Mr Karia said there will be many opportunities post Covid-19 for which organisations need to plan and prepare now.

"Health will be a key factor of every business."

Also attending was Grant Thornton UK advisory partner Shaun O'Callaghan who spoke about corporate restructuring post Covid-19.

"As managers in corporate restructuring; many of us would have assumed ourselves to be smart and we would have thought of planning for future with demand and private equity in concern. Factors like scenario planning, digital strategy and supply chain, resourcing and branding was taken into consideration but unfortunately, the pandemic had all of us affected." he said

Companies in Europe are going through a triage and are terribly weak which makes them vulnerable and exposed to failing on a daily basis, said Mr O'Callaghan.

Lessors of real estate, aircraft and big assets are the worst affected.

Rentals for offices and spaces would suffer even further if work from home facility were to continue with the prevalence of Covid-19, he said.

Retail and commercial landlords might be able to earn only around 8pc of what they used to earn before the pandemic.

On the other hand, there will be rise in demand for assisted care for the elderly.

"Markets and governments are going to be interdependent. Financial regulations, level of debts, balance sheets will change radically. Unemployment will tend to rise higher," said Mr O’Callaghan.

Moderating the Q&A session, CFA Society president Bahrain Mr. Mahmoud Nawar said the current phase is inarguably one to reckon with utmost care.

“A majority of industries are affected due to the pandemic and the next few years are going to be hard not just locally but globally.” he added