On 13th March 2020, Kenya reported the first COVID-19 case and since then numbers of positive patients has been on the increase. As a result there has been a lockdown and curfew and these have had major impact on our everyday lives and the “old normal”. It has become clear that this way of life is becoming the “new normal” and while businesses have lost heavily and employees have borne the brunt of layoffs and pay cuts, there is still hope.
Crossover Kenya’s Harleen Jabbal had a chat with Dr. Darshan Chandaria- Group CEO of Chandaria Industries on his recommended five comeback tips for business as we get to a “new normal”.
- Assess the Financial Damage: The first step should be to assess the situation and just how deeply your business has been affected. Start with the hard numbers.
Closely analyse your financial statements such as profit and loss or cash flow statements first and then compare them to last year’s numbers to determine how much your business may be down.
Aside from hard numbers relating to sales, profits, and cash flow, consider other ways in which your business might have been affected.
- Re-evaluate your Business Plan: Your business model may have worked perfectly fine pre-COVID-19 but coming out of it may mean you have to do some modifications.
You may need to consider how your business can pivot to adjust to a new normal. Digital expansion of your business is one example to accommodate the higher numbers of people who are shopping from home.
At Chandaria Industries we have implemented an aggressive social and digital marketing strategy to ensure high awareness levels of all our major brands such as Velvex, Nice & Soft, Toilex, Rosy & Dawn Pekee.
Analyse how your overall industry has been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. When looking at your competitors and the industry, pay attention to the trends and focus on finding the opportunities. Being able to find a gap or need that your business can fulfil that’s been neglected up until now could be critical to reclaiming and expanding your customer base going forward.
- Ask yourself, what would you do differently? The pandemic has been an eye-opener for businesses globally. Many businesses have realised weaknesses within their business model and systems. If you’ve felt that your business was not ready for this, you know some areas that need improvement.
Start embracing technology because if it weren’t for technology, this pandemic would have been a lot more complicated than it is. Technology has become the business equivalent of a survival kit. Prioritize implementing technology intelligence within your organisation for future operations.
- Modify your budget to accommodate new spending: As part of your Coronavirus recovery, you should have a clear idea of what you need to be budgeting for and what you can cut to make the most of the revenue you do have coming in.
The goal is to eliminate the monetary waste and get your operating budget as lean as possible so that when the chance to invest in growth comes up, you’re able to take advantage of it.
For example, you may need to spend money on hiring and training new and existing employees. Inventory may need to be purchased, and you might have to accelerate your advertising budget again to start building fresh buzz.
- Develop a clear timeline for rebuilding: There may be several issues that need to be resolved and some planned steps that need to be taken to recover from COVID-19 but doing everything at once may not be realistic. Remember to track your progress.
This is particularly important if you have secured capital to fund your business because you don’t want to waste time on activities that do not deliver consistent returns on your investment.
In the initial stages of your business recovery, you should check in weekly to see what’s working and what’s not. Later, you can shift to reviewing your business financials monthly as the situation begins to stabilise.
Chandaria Industries is the largest company within Chandaria Group’s portfolio and was established on 1st May 1964. The company started out as a small Tissue Converting operation and today is the largest Tissue and Hygiene products manufacturer in Kenya, East, and Central Africa. It is also the only Tissue and Hygiene products manufacturer in Kenya that manufactures its products 100% in Kenya and therefore living by one of the company’s core values of “Buy Kenyan, Build Kenya!”.
They have been actively donating to various organizations throughout this COVID-19 period.