Industries of all types and sizes should now maximise the use of technology to continue operating amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which has altered almost all facets of an organisation’s operations, the chairman of the Philippine Business Council-Qatar (PBCQ) has said.
“Because of the coronavirus issue, many countries have implemented health and safety regulations that require private sector companies and government organisations to operate on a work from home structure,” PBCQ chairman Greg Loayon told Gulf Times on Sunday.
Loayon said, “People are becoming creative; and they have to be knowledgeable of the current trends such that they won’t be forgotten by the wayside. In these times, companies should not only be open to innovation but also quick to innovate.”
Citing teleconference or video conference meetings, Loayon explained that small and large companies, as well as other public sector organisations may benefit from different digital tools that could help them continue to do business or operate without physical presence in their respective offices.
During the 2017 economic blockade, Loayon said many private businesses in Qatar felt the benefits of tele- or video conferences because of the limitations wrought by the land, sea, and air blockade imposed against Qatar by four Arab countries more than two years ago.
“Many businesses resorted to conducting business operations through these platforms because of limitations in terms of movement of many companies with regional presence in the GCC. While it was being utilised by some companies, teleconferencing was not really maximised to a large extent because there was still some freedom of movement.
“Unlike in the current coronavirus pandemic scenario where people are restricted from going outdoors or reporting to work, the need for these digital tools was accentuated because of widespread curtailment of movement,” he pointed out.
According to Loayon, some businesses are looking at remote conferencing not only from the context of interoffice operations but also to sell products.
“If I am a retailer, how do I enable my business if I can’t be face to face with my clients? so, I have to be creative to enable technology in helping me further my business – that could be selling online, or providing advisory services online.
“In the medical or healthcare sector, this puts a focus on ‘tele-health’ for example. As a retailer, could I do a demo during a video conference in order to sell and promote my products and deliver it to my clients?” he stressed.
He added, “The current situation is the realisation of the cliche that "technology is an enabler". And enabling technology is not limited to social media; there are many powerful tools and secure platforms that are available in the market that people have not looked at in terms of how it can enable their businesses. It’s just a matter of identifying which of these tools are suitable to meet the needs of my clients thus, continuing business operations.”