An official of the Philippine Business Council-Qatar (PBC-Q) has reiterated calls for companies to remain proactive and embrace digitalisation amid the operational challenges being imposed by the Covid-19 health crisis.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the world of business to have a long hard look at their business continuity plans, and for many it was a rude awakening – some companies were more ready than others; however, more companies were caught off-guard, and had to scramble to put together a plan on how to respond,” said PBC-Q chairman Greg Loayon.
“For years, many companies have been talking about their Fintech and Regtech, and other digital innovations for their own organisations, however, many have not really taken the leap towards technological innovation,” Loayon said during the ‘Philippine-Qatar Investment Forum 2020’ held virtually on Thursday.
During the forum, which carried the theme ‘Business Continuity Post Covid-19 Outbreak’, Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) director general Charito B Plaza discussed the latest sustained and strategic business opportunities in Philippine ecozones, such as halal hubs, Islamic finance, IT, and agro-industrial exports for potential investors from Qatar.
Loayon explained that the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic had hastened the conversation on digital innovation, and how companies now need to be proactive with regards to their approach to establishing their digital footprint. “Covid-19 put many companies on an even playing field wherever they may be in the world, irrespective of industry – and the call of the times is for your company to embrace the new normal, that technology will now play a bigger role in the world of business,” Loayon stressed.
Loayon called on participants of the forum “to take this digital platform well beyond the internal teleconferencing that we do within our companies.” He said, “Companies now need to be proactive and use the digital conferencing platform to reach out to its various audiences – these could be your customers, your business partners, or potential investors…if your company is not proactive in reaching out to your customers, partners, or potential investors, you will not survive in this accelerated digital revolution.”
Speaking to Gulf Times earlier, Loayon noted that from a preparedness perspective, some companies conduct regular simulation exercises or drills to train employees on how to operate off-site or during ‘work from home’ scenarios.
“To assure that there is business continuity, some drills, aside from working from home, also simulate work operations from an ‘emergency office’ in the event of disasters, wars, or different types of calamities that prevents access to offices,” he said.
He added: “Business continuity planning is not a normal exercise, which is why there are still many companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and even some large companies that do not have contingency plans.”
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