In addition to the serious implication for healthcare services, some major industries are greatly affected by the global pandemic Covid-19. Domestic Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are suffering and in some worst scenario even shutting down.
However, several companies are not silently watching this pandemic to subside. Instead, they have adapted well to the situation and responded early to mitigate significant losses. In short, they have analysed the market trend and taken a risk in reshuffled their production lines – making Covid-19 as a new hope for new growth and unleash potential.
Many local businesses emerge out of a crisis with well-plan strategies for their worst-case scenarios and establish financial solutions. WargaBiz spoke to some CEOs who run small and medium-sized businesses which some are greatly affected by Covid-19. What’s in their mind now, during this horrible nightmares?
1. Wahi Abd Rashid, founder of Green Matrix
“It was a nightmare for us. Our profit decreased by almost 80%. Many customers cancelled their orders and we had to give back the refunds. However, we still manage to operate as usual with the monthly fee collected from our licensees.”
“If this health issue prolongs, we already planned some strategies and we have identified a new target market which is logistics. We saw a significant increment in online shopping. We have over 6,000 drivers all over Malaysia and we will cooperate with other courier services on how to ensure all parcels can be sent to customers promptly during this MCO period. I prefer to focus on the opportunity rather than the problem itself.”
“As an SME, of course, we have to bear some losses. Luckily, with the Stimulus Package announced by our PM, it somehow can help us to sustain the business. The six-month deferment for all loans greatly helps us. However, we can’t enjoy that much. We still need a plan to bring in more profit.”
“For Green Matrix, we have created a dropship platform named CovStore where car rental providers who are affected by Covid-19 can still generate income by selling products that we have in the online shopping platform. For now, we sell hand sanitizer as it’s high in demand. In just 1 week, we managed to sell 270 bottles of Medima hand sanitizer and recruited 200 agents. This is our source of income for now while hoping our country will be free from Covid-19.”
2. Sky, founder of Laundry Hub
As 24-hrs self-service laundry shops have to be closed during MCO, the founder of Laundry Hub has to think smart to save the business. “We have no choice but to follow instruction to close down all the laundry outlets. We are losing our daily sales income and our investors are facing the same thing too.”
“We had experienced significant business drop since last year due to not many investors willing to invest in this self-service laundry industry. Besides, there are over 2,000 players in the industry and the competition is stiffer. So, we have planned our strategy 2 years ago given the market situation. At Laundry Hub, we enhance our employees’ skill and knowledge so that our employees can work independently with minimum manpower.”
This strategy helps them on minimising monthly overhead as they only have less than 10 employees. Responding to the Stimulus Package, Sky said the financial aids are targeted more on the individual as in B40 and M40 and tourism and travel industries. “It does not benefit much for an SME like us who don’t have loans or credit.”
“There’s always a silver lining in every problem. Complain won’t change anything and changing doesn’t mean surrender. We need to be well prepared during this MCO period.”
3. Dato’ Dr Reza Ibrahim, founder and CEO of Maxxima Group of Companies Malaysia
“As we are in the health and wellness company, it doesn’t affect us that much. We use this time as an opportunity to educate the public to strengthen their immune system and continuously promote our products and bran, Maxxima.”
“We have prepared a plan to sustain the business. We shift our focus to digital transformation. We focus on exploring the potential of our database and introduce an e-commerce platform for our customers to enjoy our products at a discounted rate.”
“For me, the stimulus package will help us as an entrepreneur – especially on the repayment and tax benefit. This is a tough time for everyone, especially business owners. You need to be agile and explore other opportunities especially in technology.”
There’s still hope for us
The collapse of businesses means thousands of people losing their jobs. Surely, it will take months or years to build up the economy again. In these tough times, remember them. Once our country back to normal, let’s support local businesses so we can survive again.