With the coronavirus (Covid 19) scourge swelling globally by day, business leaders are grappling with how to deal with a myriad of problems stemming from this menacing pandemic.
Stocks have slumped, supply chains are almost coming to a halt as employers push to keep their employees healthy so that continuity on business operations is guaranteed.
Any form of business is almost coming to a halt and in the local scenario, President Emmerson Mnangagwa annulled public gatherings starting from Friday 20 March, albeit having no positive cases recorded in the country thus far.
It is business unusual in Zimbabwe already.
One cannot deny that this pandemic’s outbreak has revealed the other side of doing business all around the world as total shutdown of business is not permissible.
United States of America, Asian and several European countries and other centers of capital have issued travel bans, crippling the aviation industry expansively in the process, on Friday South Africa Airways (SAA) said “it will be suspending all regional and international flights immediately” following a government notice prohibiting the embarkation and disembarkation of crew and passengers.
In that regard, Teleconferencing is slowly replacing physical meetings, some employees have been instructed to work remotely (working from home) all replacing familiar business routines.
Institute of Directors Zimbabwe chairman Mr Mike Juru is of the view that emergency of Covid19 will redefine future of organisations saying that mechanisms should be put in place for now and future developments of the similar nature to ensure continuity in times -like these- were pandemics can cause serious lockdown, crippling economic activity extensively.
“Coronavirus is recreating the way of doing things in the economy and redefining business conduct.
“We have some companies with shareholders that do up and down between Zimbabwe and Europe, America and even Asia I guarantee you that they have not stopped business meetings because of the instituted lockdowns,” alluded Mr Juru.
He besought authorities and the public alike to embrace the fourth industrial revolution which is involving use of technologies in doing business like shopping and education, while those in construction industry implored to make it an obligation to encourage architecture of houses with office spaces.
“In terms of education do people really need conventional classes in the future to be taught? No, people will have respect for online training, online courses have to be introduced in institutions to ensure continuity of classes.
“As of trade, e-commerce is rapidly developing, it is not going to be about shops but warehousing and investing in scooters and drones for distribution of stocks, while real estate has to rethink and make it compulsory for future plans to have working space at home,” he added.
With a global death toll of over 7,800 (as of Friday), the pandemic has brought major cities across the world to a standstill sending stocks plunging and businesses facing huge losses.