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Business News

New report reveals how companies are adjusting to COVID-19 pandemic

Executives in different industries are seeking innovative ways to protect the health of their employees whilst reinforcing their companies’ resilience amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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How businesses are preparing for post covid-19 era, Top 10 business risks that Nigerian companies will face in 2020/2021 - Report 

As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses and the economy continues to mount, executives in different industries are also seeking innovative ways to protect the health of their employees whilst reinforcing their companies’ resilience.

A new recent report by Philip Consulting examined some these strategies that companies are adopting  to protect their employees, clients, and partners from the effects of COVID-19 were highlighted. Some of these strategies include:

  • Formation of Crisis Management Teams: Here, organizations create a committee to make policies and provide information to executives and front line staff on topics like awareness, prevention and great hygiene.  They also handle employee safety and other future developments; covering issues like protocols for remote working, daily safety check-in, etc.

(READ MORE: COVID-19: What businesses must do to mitigate crisis)

  • Monitoring Business Impact: Senior leaders hold dedicated meetings to monitor business impact in efforts to protect or sustain business functions.

How businesses are preparing for post covid-19 era

  • Business Support for Clients: Here, Firms develop strategies to communicate with their clients to help them navigate the challenges and uncertainty generated by coronavirus.
  • Using Virtual Training: There has been a fast expansion of training opportunities within enterprises. A lot of organizations are making use of platforms such as Zoom, Teams etc. to render bespoke training to clients.

It was noted in the report that business leaders and organizations should be prepared for the new normal recovery phase for Covid-19.

READ ALSO: Fending off Recession in Nigeria: Experts Offer some Advice to Presidency

The future of work?

Here are key insights into the new normal that lies beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, and considerations business leaders should factor into planning for the new normal today:

  • Rapid Acceleration of Digitalization and Innovation: Remote working has triggered a rapid spur in the adoption of technology. Many social distancing strategies have been deployed, hence the explosion of innovation around virtual meetings, video conferencing, virtual classrooms, digital learning, telemedicine and knowledge sharing. Also, the fear of contagion is leading many people to abandon cash payments, thus embracing digital payments via digital channels. This acceleration of digitalization and emerging technologies will generate efficiency gains, thus dominating the working world during the Post COVID-19 era and further drive remote working technologies, such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) systems.

(READ MORE: PwC survey identifies key priorities of Nigerian businesses amid Covid-19 pandemic)

  • Reinventing Supply Chains and Manufacturing Strategies: The novel Coronavirus crisis has revealed the dangers of relying heavily or solely on factories localized in single countries. The rate of vulnerability is alarming and thus, calls for re-thinking and reinventing of the present supply chain and manufacturing model.
    In the world, referred to as the ‘new normal’, resilient organizations will find a way to mitigate the negative impact witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic. They will do this by adopting emerging automation technologies, such as robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) vision systems. They will gain competitive advantage by building manufacturing industries locally and most importantly, move businesses from offshoring to near-shoring and even re-shoring of production.

  • Rapid Increase in Public Health Awareness and Civic Responsibility: The international response to the Coronavirus has revealed the weakness and shortcomings of the global health care systems. The use of surgical masks and disinfectants which is becoming a common practice can become global in no distant time.
  • Significant Decrease in Business Travel: The Coronavirus pandemic is affecting the travel industry’s economy badly. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the effect of Coronavirus could cut over 50 million jobs globally in the travel and tourism industry. In the Post COVID-19 world, there will be a significant decrease in business travel due to the over-dependency on virtual conferencing, video-conferencing and other virtual meeting enabling tools.
  • Rapid Increase in Digital Learning (E-Learning): With schools closing in over 190 countries all over the globe, home-schooling is already on the increase as many are presently leveraging the lockdown as an opportunity for self-development. Children are not left out too, as parents are encouraged to enroll their children in online academic activities, as this helps in developing their skills and discovering their talents. According to UNESCO, the world after COVID-19 will witness a surge in home-schooling activities which will disrupt the traditional schooling system.

(READ MORE: Businesses most affected by COVID-19 outbreak)

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Quick Wins for Organizations During the Transition Phase

  • Thrive Amidst the Challenges
  • Understand Your Business and Its Operating Model
  • Risk Management Systems: In transitioning during the pandemic and the recovery phase, organizations must prioritize and develop a comprehensive risk management framework and systems.
  • Collaboration is Key: As part of the critical action plans required to ensure organizational survival for the new normal, active collaboration through the convening of regular meetings with supply base and customer representatives for pooling ideas is very crucial.
  • Be Positive: set up a team whose sole responsibility is to champion the development of the business post-COVID-19.

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Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Billionaire Watch

TikTok’s 38 year-old founder is worth $35.5 billion – Here’s what we know

At 38 years old, Zhang Yiming is the 39th richest man in the world.

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TikTok a video sharing app was named the most downloaded app of the first quarter of 2021 but not much is known about its founder. The app now has over 689 million active users worldwide according to statistics from oberlo.com. It has also been downloaded over 2 billion times on App Store and Google Playstore. It is arguably the most popular video-sharing app out there and the numbers keep growing.

TikTok was able to grow at a faster rate than Facebook and Instagram since its startup. The man behind this massive success is currently worth $35.5 billion and he is our person of interest today.

Meet Zhang Yiming, the founder of Bytedance 

38-year-old Zhang Yiming is the CEO and Founder of ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok. Zhang Yiming majored in microelectronics and software engineering at Nankai University. He worked for various tech startups including Microsoft before settling to start his own company.

The billionaire leads a very secretive lifestyle. He founded ByteDance back in 2012 and steered it all the way to financial success. He is currently worth $35.5 billion but his net worth is well on its way to doubling based on recent valuations.

ByteDance has two main flagship products – Toutiao, an AI-backed news aggregator and TikTok which he founded later after the success of Toutiao.

Revisiting the success of  TikTok 

Last year Zhang Yiming’s ByteDance was regarded as the most valuable startup in the world. TikTok became the most downloaded iOS app worldwide in the first quarter of 2019, according to the US research app Sensor Tower.

TikTok is available in 155 countries and in 75 languages.

Impressive valuation 

Bytedance’s first major valuation was in 2018 where it was valued at $75bn according to Forbes. This was followed by another valuation which put it at $140bn according to CB Insights.

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The latest 2021 valuation places ByteDance at over $250bn according to the South China morning post.

Zhang Yiming owns a quarter of ByteDance and with this recent valuation, his net worth is set to grow to $60bn according to experts in the field.

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Donald Trump scare 

The former president of the United States was on the verge of banning TikTok in the country. He claimed the App has ties to the Chinese government. This would have been a setback giving that the application is quite popular among US millennials and Gen Z. Donald Trump lost his re-election bid and very little has been said by the Biden administration on the issue.

What you should know 

  • At 38 years old, Zhang Yiming is the 39th richest man in the world. His parents were civil servants.
  • The popularity of TikTok in the United States has raised concerns from US regulators.

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Business

FG explains why the loan amount for youth investment fund is limited to N300,000

At N300,000 per beneficiary, only 41,000 beneficiaries would be covered in the first tranche of N12.5bn.

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President Buhari to address Nigerians on Lekki toll plaza shootings after investigation , Youth Investment Fund:  Ministry of Finance and CBN to launch provision of funds- Minister, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports launch DEEL initiative

The Federal Government has explained why it limited the loan amount for the current beneficiaries of the N75 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) to N300,000.

The government said that it had to place a limit of N300,000 for individuals and eligible businesses who meet the conditions and guideline in order to ensure that it gets to as many beneficiaries as possible.

This disclosure is contained in a statement signed by the Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, who noted that the disbursement of the fund is being done in phases.

What the statement from the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development is saying

The statement explained that the ministry had received more than 3 million applications for the initial N12.5bn made available adding that at the current cap of N300,000 per beneficiary, only about 41,000 beneficiaries could be covered.

The statement from the ministry partly reads, “The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has been following with interest the reaction of some beneficiaries of the NYIF, particularly those expressing disappointment at the N300,000 cap on disbursement under the first tranche of N12.5bn.

Firstly, the framework specified N250,000 as the maximum for individuals and eligible businesses that are critical can access up toN3m subject to meeting key criteria set in the guideline and conditions.

Considering the number of applications received, there was the need to ensure spread and enable more beneficiaries enjoy the facility.”

The ministry assured beneficiaries that higher loan thresholds would be possible once additional funds were available in subsequent phases.

The ministry in the statement also noted that it is ideal to start and gradually increase, considering that there are lots of first-time borrowers as well.

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The ministry reaffirmed that NYIF was not a grant, but a loan, targeted at supporting the youth to start small businesses or to inject funds into existing small businesses.

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that the Federal Government had on October 15, 2020, launched the N75 billion Nigerian Youth Investment Fund, which was set up for investment in the innovative ideas, skills, and talents of Nigerian Youth.
  • It is to also institutionally provide the Nigerian youth with a special window for accessing much-needed funds, finances, business management skills, and other inputs critical for sustainable enterprise development.
  • The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development is the lead implementation entity and is responsible for budgetary provisions and for funds mobilization.

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