Surviving the Business in Pandemic

Selasa, 22 September 2020, 19:06 WIB

Author, Malik Arslan (right) in a session with CEO RMOL Network Teguh Santosa/RMOL

THE outbreak of the dreaded Covid19 virus back in the late 2019 in Wuhan, China has claimed countless lives and dilapidated people's health who contracted it and survived it, and on the other hand it has damaged the world economy.

Since the start of the pandemic we have all been living in fear of contracting the virus. In order to contain the spread of the virus government authorities understandably have had to enforce lockdowns in order to mitigate and slow down the rate of the spread of the virus.

The imposition of locking downs on cities have meant shutting down offices, schools, places of worship, and crowded markets. Over time as the virus spread around the globe the WHO officially declared it as a Pandemic and all countries have been forced to impose nationwide complete lock downs that has devastated their economies and resulted in countless job losses.

During this pandemic the down turn among business communities has brought about suffering particularly to small scale businesses around the world especially in Indonesia.

As a carpet retailer based in Jakarta where the economic impact is far more visible than other provinces in Indonesia, we have also been badly affected since  the imposition of  lockdown by the city council authorities, so we have had to close our stores as soon as we were issued a notice which has scaled down our sales dramatically.

We have been presented with a situation like many other retail outlets  to find an innovative way to survive  in such circumstances, so we have had to improvise and take the challenge by starting to work on our digital marketing strategy and build a  team and luckily we have started to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Facing closure, we chose not to lay off our staff and rather started implementing strict health and safety protocols to keep all of our staff  safe. Many big companies have decided to lay off their staff as they have been facing cash flow problems, but we have chosen a different approach to fight tooth and nail and survive and also our staff have remained productive while safety protocols have been taken seriously.

Carpet trading differs with other businesses, as the intricate matching of the right size, color, and material are to be considered carefully. It’s more of the conventional way of selling, now when we are forced to close our stores, so we no longer able to serve our customers  directly in our stores, so our new approach is to visit our potential clients in the comfort of their own homes while strictly exercising all necessary health protocols.

With our stores being closed we have managed to reduce some of our overheads and make a substantial savings. Just like other sectors that have readapted  by going online in order to survive we are striving to see the pandemic through and come out of it unscathed.

Needless to say surviving does not mean profits are sky rocketing but it is making the bare essential minimum to stay afloat as we are optimistic that better days are ahead of us all when there will be no restrictions and people will be able to  come out freely and live their lives as they have always done.

Business life has its ups and downs, but when the unexpected happens and catches everyone off guard then there can be a sense of panic, but taking the whole challenge in one's stride by  adjusting and adapting new measures one can minimize incurred losses.

There is a proverb that say: "Every cloud has a silver lining" which means "every difficult or sad situation has a comforting or more hopeful aspect, even though this may not be immediately apparent."

Malik Arslan (Esq)

AL FATEH CARPTS
Carpet retailer in Jakarta

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