Emerging Markets - cfagbata

Navigating through Pandemic-Related Risks in Emerging Markets

Even when the pandemic would have, eventually, been under a form of relative control, the coronavirus would still pose a threat to many emerging markets.

These are markets from countries, with unequal governance, poor healthcare system, overpopulated urban slums, coupled with extreme poverty.

In some countries, there are indications of instability in the region’s politics, with civil unrest.

These and many more would pose many disadvantages to foreign investors, trying to dabble into these emerging markets.

Prior to the pandemic, the business atmosphere in the regions of these emerging markets, are already becoming unfriendly.

Now that the pandemic has taken its toll on a global scale, it will appear very difficult for ease of business navigation, especially, foreign investment.

With travel restrictions still in place, investors may find it difficult to get a piece of first hand information on their investment destination.

Some developed countries have flattened the curve, however, travelling to developing countries would still get restricted.

Some governments would not allow it and asides that, national health restrictions and also, the bankruptcy facing some airlines, would make the situation, much tenser.

Foreign investments would, eventually, have to secure strong, local partnerships, even though, each carries its own risks.

Local partnerships come a long way when foreign investment is making its way into an emerging market, as they can make a significant difference.

On the flip side, too much reliance on local partners, such that the investors would have less direct insight, can lead to unnecessary liability.

With the current physical distancing, businesses can get worsened and cultural differences can, also, get heightened.


Also read, Post Pandemic Recession: Strengthening Our Economy Through Diversification


Some business situations may lead to misconception and since the pandemic has made movement difficult, communication might, also, get affected; a situation that leads to cultural insensitivities.

Considering the weight of the pandemic, governments in emerging market regions may pose as a hindrance to foreign investments.

The system is already overwhelmed, with health challenges, an economic downturn from loss of jobs and foreign debts.

Even as some government officials try to self-isolate, the tendencies in attending to foreign projects may likely get affected as they have health-related issues to worry about.

For instance, in Africa and the Middle East, a significant number of the country’s leaders, are well over 60, a result that poses a COVID-19 related risk to them.

At this point, many of them are left with no option, than to stay back in their country, as they cannot carry out their usual medical tourism any longer.

This is a development that is not favorable, as a lot of awaiting projects for approval, would remain unattended to for long.

Crisis situations, like these, can overwhelm governments, in developing economies, investments will get stalled, money wastage will increase, as companies will battle over changes in government policies and priorities.

In all these, investors can still navigate business environments, through the following:

Reconsider your local partners

The capacity of a local partner would, definitely, have a direct effect on the risk option of an investor.

Consider their strength and weakness, also and if physical distancing has tied investors’ hands, in over-reliance on local partners, then, they should consider new training and capacity development for them.

Know the government’s current priorities

At this point, political connections are required to deal with this new situation.

You may have to reach out to some top government officials, or probably get engaged with local consultants, who can call for priority investment.

Consider the different human dimensions in the pandemic

Just like every other person, your local staff and partners will, definitely, have concerns over their health issues and the crisis ruining the economy.

The stress from the pandemic is enough, to cause government officials to get exhausted.

Investors should, therefore, reiterate their commitment to the country of concern, by supporting its recovery growth.

Emphasizing how the investment would help bring jobs for the local community.

Investors need to take a new look, at the effects of the pandemic, on their target country, in order to be well informed, of the eventualities that might work in their favour.


Featured Image: knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu


 

cloud - cfagbata

4 Ways your Business can Benefit from Cloud in this Pandemic

Before the pandemic, a significant number of businesses have moved their businesses online.

Now with the pandemic fully blown, more businesses have been forced to join the cloud train.

Not all these enterprises, however, have the required facility, to run the cloud.

A simple way your business could pull through this pandemic effect is to leverage cloud computing.

The concept of cloud computing is not new, as businesses have sought after it, to modify their structure.

Indications have it that, a large percentage of workload, will run through the clouds and COVID-19 has appeared to be the booster for the digital process.

With the ravaging effect of the pandemic, your firm should not get caught unprepared for eventualities.

Adoption of cloud computing can ensure that your company possesses the facilities required, to face the current challenges.

Here are 4 ways to ensure that your business remains relevant:

Cybersecurity

The digitized world of business has been prone to cyber attacks, however, the coronavirus pandemic has increased the challenge.

A report from McKinsey, shows that the increased work from home, in this period has seen an increase in cyberattack rates in organisations, through their digital platforms.

Cybersecurity, backed by cloud, have the ability to solve many challenges facing a lot of businesses in this period.

When you keep your security operations in the cloud, you enable your firm, more digital prowess, as more platforms leverage artificial intelligence, to find out cyber threats.

Remote Working

Before the pandemic, some organisations allowed some employees to work remotely.

With the pandemic fully blown, a large chunk of organisations, especially, the private firms, have duly embraced working remotely.

Even after the world gets over the effects of the pandemic, it is unlikely that some offices will be fully opened.

With the stay at home, work from home policy, it is important that businesses find ways of managing their workforce, beyond the office walls.

Video conferencing platforms have become necessary tools, for remote working.

Zoom has become the most popular of them all, however, if it boils down to simply messaging, then, Slack can offer a cloud solution.

Your workers may not have to worry about challenges, like internet connection and data usage.

Document Sharing

In an endless chain of email, important documents can get lost, but with cloud-based documents, you can easily share the piece of document for viewing and accessibility, by anyone who needs it, without spending hours trying to dig them out.

With people no longer together in the office, it is becoming more difficult to keep up with sharing physical documents together, however, document-sharing platforms, backed in the cloud can save the day.

Google Docs and Dropbox can make this easy for your team members.

Scaling

Uncertainty looms in times like these, for larger digital firms, experiencing growths.

The same cannot be said of smaller organisations that are looking to downsizing.

Businesses must seek ways to remain solvent in times like these.

The cloud does not require any physical server to operate.

That is why you can use as little, or much computing power as you require.

According to research conducted at MIT, data centers on-site require up to a year to get built properly.

With cloud computing, you scale, without waiting all these long years.

COVID-19  has come with some unknown factors that have directly affected all our daily lives, therefore, your business needs to dive into the cloud, to explore the many advantages it offers.

It is not too late to leverage cloud, for the benefit of your business.


Featured Image: thebalancesmb

COVID-19 - Cfagbata

Covid-19: Thoughts for Investors During the Pandemic

Owing to the present situation of things, around the COVID-19 virus, it is, highly, necessary for entrepreneurs, to keep the focus, on their current ventures, so as to keep a sustained growth of their business.

In this present lockdown caused by COVID-19, you do not have to go to hibernation. Explore these means, of keeping yourself busy;

The first investor in your business is you

In all these things, remember that, you are the first investor, in your business. Let me put it this way; when you commence a business, you throw in all you have got, in it, time and cash.

That is a form of investment and not, necessarily, external funds coming in.

Sometimes, you just have to take a step backward, from your position, as a Founder and examine the resources and time you have invested.

Look at all possible expectations and timelines, while you decide on what milestones you want to achieve.

You should not, also, not forget that, you have to consider what might happen, if you do not get to achieve your intentions.

By setting a target, you would know the importance of staying on track, thus, keeping a measure of your success rate.

Do not trust anyone who does not embrace failure

You cannot learn valuable lessons from an incomplete story. This means getting to know of success story while learning from the failures that accompanied the success.

Stories of failure, are essential, to achieving success, as mistakes are essential ingredients to success.

An individual, trying to cover up what mistakes were made along the route to success is definitely, leaving out parts of his/her investment journey that would prove useful, for others to learn from.

Coming across an obstacle, you may decide to quit, but not until you have learnt that, it is a normal part of an investment journey.

At a point, you may, even, run out of cash, acquire customers at a slower rate, than you expected, etc.

Never despair, as all these, are part of the process and surely, you would get through it all

The best way you can get through to this is, by giving a listening ear, to those, who have walked that path before.

They did it wrong because it cannot be done

You may have heard this around you:” Trust us, no one is doing this!”

It is important to differentiate between people, trying to execute similar ideas and failing at it, while the timing and market are not just feasible for the product and service.

Consider the scenario, of an entrepreneur, in the solar energy market, who required that, solar panels become sufficiently cheap, to allow strings of ventures open opportunities and more lucrative.

As a business owner, just note that, not many people got it right, initially. You should, also, note that, some things are, just not achievable, no matter how much you try.

Have strong beliefs; be flexible anyways

Having a conviction for what you strongly belief in, is good, as an entrepreneur, however, it is good to be open to possibilities and realisation that, all, or, some of your treasured beliefs, might just be wrong.

You do not have to go down with the ship, by ignorantly, holding on, to your views, which might end up, eventually, being wrong.

Be prepared to make a shift in position, based on outright, facts that surpasses your conviction.

Do not build a business, affected by, or, around current situations, for the long haul

Understand the factors that can affect your business because you would prefer that, many of the parameters, may be out of your control.

When you have a business that is, constantly affected by changes in the economy, or, politics, then, such a business is not, quite sustainable.

Do not be a victim of the present circumstance.

This pandemic is, making people to ask questions, such as; how do we survive? How do we avoid being a victim the next time another pandemic, probably, hits?

Be flexible and build goodwill, with stakeholders, to stand tall, in times of this COVID-19 pandemic.


Featured Image: parismou.org