Global experts from various sectors of the economy last month converged at a webinar to strategise on using technology to keep their businesses buoyant and progressive post the coronavirus pandemic.
The groundbreaking webinar was hosted by Inlaks, a leading African systems integrator and financial technology solutions provider, and it brought together some of its partners in the financial sector on strategies to implement in keeping businesses afloat during and post COVID-19.
The experts contributed to the key topic: Sustainable Strategies for Staying Afloat Post COVID-19.
Olufunmilayo Okubena, Country Manager of Inlaks; Yacoba Amuah, the Territorial Head of Infrastructure Business Unit of Inlaks Ghana, Thairu Ndungu, Deputy Managing Director, Consolidated Bank Ghana (CBG), Micheal Appiah, Chief Operating Officer (COO), ARB Apex Bank; Samuel Tamakloe, Chief Technology Officer (CTO), CalBank, Evans Amartey, General Manager, Operations and Technology, National Investment Bank (NIB) were among the contributors.
In his opening remarks, Femi Adeoti, Managing Director of Inlaks, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had changed all aspects of human lives and businesses significantly.
Organisations must look to new ways to continue doing business.
“The way we work, live, play and learn are changing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. I believe that after this pandemic is over, the way we do business transactions would be changing,” he said.
Femi Muraino, Executive Director, Inlaks, also explained that the webinar was designed to bring together key finance and technology experts to address the fundamental issue of what happens after COVID-19.
“With the adverse effect of the virus, we must find ways to ensure that the impact of the virus on our businesses is minimal.
We also need to address the impact on cashflow of businesses and organisations. Companies must present detailed plans to keep the business afloat.
There is also the need to imagine the new normal and discontinue the impact of the virus. What do we need to do differently in terms of that?
The webinar provided ideas of how to move forward and strategise to keep businesses going,” he said.
Mr. Thairu Ndunga Deputy Managing Director CBG touching on how to do business in the new normal stated that although business in finance have not been greatly affected by the pandemic like it has the services sector, it has thought the banking sector a lesson of what they need to do to stay afloat post coronavirus.
He noted that CBG has thought of rethinking capital and operational expenditure.
Key among which is to accelerate digital banking investment, optimise work environment by utilising online meeting rather than face to face, work from home for those roles that can and workflow automation to eliminate documents.
Taking his turn, Mr Michael Appiah, COO ARB Apex Bank, noted that in times like these “we need to intensify market research because the customer is key.”
So, he advised investment in market research to identify evolving customer needs and for companies to move at unprecedented speed to serve customers with quality service that meet those needs at affordable pricing.
He also suggested on prioritising “the now”, that is, to focus on supporting people i.e frontline staff to be able to provide the needed support to customers to maintain customer satisfaction through customer service centres and e-channels.
For his part, Mr Samuel Tamakloe, Chief Technology Officer (CTO), CalBank advocated scaling up digital agenda.
Mr Tamakloe was, however, quick to add that companies must look at how to keep customers excited or else there’s a human factor that will fight to resist the new changes post COVID.
The General Manager, Operations and Technology, National Investment Bank (NIB) Evans Amartey, advised companies to adopt digital channels post-COVID.
With regard to that, he said companies should focus on customer experience, how the needs of customers have changed and determine how to meet those needs.
Olufunmilayo Okubena, Country Manager of Inlaks, noted that businesses must face tough truths, manage expenditure, do better, not more, think out of the box, reduce perks and benefits. To him, leaders must lead with resilience, empathise and unify, create a community and constantly think of future scenarios.
Yacoba Amuah, the Territorial Head of Infrastructure Business Unit of Inlaks Ghana Limited, also underscored the need for empathetic leaders post COVID-19.
According to her, the move is the surest way to ensure not only business growth but also to help the world deal with the scary layoff numbers that awaits.