Noting that Covid-19 could severely affect the global economy, Assoc. Prof. Wilert Puriwat, Dean of Chulalongkorn Business School (CBS), made the point that many businesses were likely to shut down as a result of the contingency measures being taken by various governments in an attempt to prevent and control the spread of the virus, leading to cancellation of travel, rallies and events.
Meanwhile, people allover the world were living in a climate of fear, anxiety and paranoia. Businesspeople were thus not only be required to cope with crisis management but alsothe public panic over Covid-19. Worry about the disease could cause a slump insales and business stagnancy. Moreover, the growing spread of the virus could forceenterprises to close as consumer spending dries up.
With scientistsunable to give any indication of when the outbreak might finish, Assoc. Prof.Wilert suggested that enterprises prepare a 'Strategic Management underUncertainty Plan’. Entrepreneurs could not operate based on existing models, heexplained, but needed to adopt a combination of science and art for the wholemanagement system. In addition to introducing ways to protect themselves frominfection, they also had to cope with the onslaught of strong public emotions.
Reform Business doesnot refer, as many might assume, to life assurance and non-life insurance for damages.In fact, the reform business is not a plan to relieve the impacts on business,but rather replace the existing model to allow both operations and work tocontinue without any stoppage.
Assoc. Prof.Wilert further explained that the CBS Reform BusinessModel addresses freshuncertainties through its first step: Retooling business by changing means andworking methods. Various businesses have already started to retool by adoptingsuch tech-based services food delivery and online learning programs.
However, retoolingon its own is insufficient given the current uncertainties. The hotel business,for example, cannot use digital technology to boost the number of internationalvisitors. Hence, hoteliers must Retarget by transforming the target group fromoverseas tourists to local customers or people in their areas. Some hotel space
could be modifiedinto serviced apartments, student dormitories or temporary rooms where peoplecould stay out of hours.
If Retargeting cannotcope with the situation, companies should Rebusiness. Airlines for instance,could generate revenue to compensate for lower ticket sales by offering fooddeliveries from their airline catering services to consumers. In addition, theairlines should focus more on cargo services.
Hotels too couldprovide food delivery to generate revenue instead of waiting for customers tovisit restaurants. They could create menus for delivery to people who are askedto self-isolate at home for up to 14 days. Another option would be to put theirhigh standards into play and operate a laundry service as a way of earningmoney.
Reprocessing meansthat companies have to change the process by which they approach customers.Many businesses are facing problems due to customers’ fears. Thus, operatorsshould not wait for customers to come to them but offer services at homeincluding spa/Thai massage and beauty & rejuvenation . Meanwhile, they mustensure safety at every touch point. This involves changing from a reactive to aproactive strategy and building consumer confidence in hygiene to ensure safetyfrom Covid-19.
Finally, the worldneeds to Reunite. All organizations should demonstrate collaboration and uniteto get over the crisis together. Enterprises should not focus only on profit.For example, airlines should allow passengers to return tickets and hotels shouldlet guests postpone dates of stays. Travelers returning from high-riskcountries with widespread Covid-19 infections should stay home for 14 full daysafter leaving the area. And the government must cancel events and seminars tocut down the risk of respiratory infections spreading.
Assoc. Prof.Wilert concluded that the covid-19 outbreak could be a critical lesson forenterprises, the government sector and the public in preparing a ReformBusinessfor doing business and leading their lives.
“The mostimportant thing for all of us is to Rethink and Reform. If people cannotchange, the only choice is to be Reborn in the next world,” said Assoc. Prof.Wilert.