Doing business during troubled times

For many businesses, a pandemic can derail business strategy and cause a range of unforeseen challenges. One needs to have a nose for survival to stay afloat in any kind of business.

The global pandemic toll keeps increasing with new variant and in Bhutan too Covid positive cases goes   on. This too became exceptionally unavoidable for the country with daily detection of positive cases.

The Southern part of the country is hard-hid by the novel coronavirus, particularly Phuentsholing and Samtse. The residents of these regions are in trouble, not being able to pay rent and bills. Their business items are expired and damaged. This further makes them grave.

There was no other strategy than to impose lockdown. Reality, however, is generally more disruptive, as the governments and agencies balance health security, economic and social imperatives on the back of positive rationale.

It is a governance challenge that may result in long-term consequences for the country’s economy.

This all creates an increased level of uncertainty and unpredictability for the business for the pandemic is unpredictable.

The flow-on impact to business and the economy is even less certain. And for how long? Government responses around the world are also varied and unpredictable. With low interest rates, central banks have fewer options to stimulate a slowing economy and many countries are relying more on fiscal policy, with less predictable outcomes.

Where a stringent policy response is deemed necessary, business will inevitably be impacted, with both near-term effects and less-expected longer-run consequences.

So how should the government or agencies respond?

Strategies set only a few months ago are being disrupted by the rapidly changing and uncertain environment. The new policies and measures should be implemented.

Businesses that invest in strategic operational and financial resilience to emerging risks should be better positioned to respond and recover. Successful players should build a scale able learning infrastructure and invest in a learning culture.

On top of this, the government also needs to accommodate human behavior and consider their appeal. If concern authority or policy decider cannot come up with immediate strategic measure, why not consider simple measures. The concern ministry can at least exempt taxes and fees which can ease burden of the business individuals and which would help them to revive their affected business. 

For many businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises, the challenges go beyond strategic planning. The inability to manage cash flow, financing and resourcing in the face of sudden and unpredictable change can put the future of this business at risk.

As the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, its impact is obviously felt in every region, every industry, and indeed every aspect of life. Hence, there is need for clear measures and prioritize on addressing some pressing needs of the business community who are hardest hit.