A public finance expert, Dr Greg Ugochukwu Ezeilo, has suggested survival strategies that organisations can use to revitalize their operations and bounce back to profitability quickly in the post COVID-19 era.
He gave the suggestion at a webinar organised by Team Bronze, a think-tank group from Igbo-Ukwu, a historical town in Anambra State, on Sunday.
Team Bronze is also a group that is driven by the overarching goal of championing the wholesome development of their community and the Nigerian state in general.
Ezeilo is a consultant to the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives and a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAN).
He said that some of the survival strategies include digitisation of business operations, right-sizing of staff and outsourcing of certain functions.
Others include renegotiating wages of staff, adaptation to the dictates of the new normal and close collaboration with key stakeholders.
The webinar, which had the topic: ”Business Recovery and Survival Strategies in Post Pandemic,” was the second in series organised by the group.
Ezeilo said that the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a devastating blow on the world economy, with the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracting by 7.7 per cent, while Nigeria’s GDP shrunk by 5.3 per cent.
He noted that COVID-19 pushed many Nigerians into abject poverty and misery, warning that the devastating effect on local and world economies might remain for a long while.
He regretted that key industries in Nigeria had remained shut since March when the pandemic broke out and that resulted in the closure of several small businesses and loss of jobs for thousands of persons.
Ezeilo further advised promoters of organisations to consider profitable new ventures, mentioning some of them to include the agricultural value chain, transportation, food stuff and groceries, bakery and confectionary as well as commodity brokerage.
“Other tips include deciding if the company’s workforce should operate remotely or in physical offices, exploring new sources of finance and ensuring optimal customer service and care,” he added.
He disclosed that the Federal Government had floated the Survival Fund, a funding scheme that will support micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to overcome the challenges of COVID-19.
He advised businesses to examine the criteria for accessing the fund and take advantage of the opportunity.
He listed a few other sources of low cost funding for MSMEs to include Renmoney, Green Stallion, NIRSAL MFB and Anchor Borrowers Programme.
He identified innovation and technology as a smart technique for reviving businesses, stressing the need to move from brick and mortar business to online business.
He said, ”Whatever business or trade you are engaged in, you need to embrace technology.”
According to him, other benefits of transacting business online include increased sales, brand promotion, being in touch with customers across round the clock, world-wide delivery of goods and services, cost reduction and convenience.