COVID-19 crisis: Risk aversion and resilience key

Varghese Kallukaran

The COVID-19 pandemic has added a new dimension to a volatile economy and those organizations who were getting by on ‘just fine’, are suddenly feeling the pinch of an abrupt crisis management requirement. If they are to survive these coming months they must first prepare for the consequences of the upcoming weeks or even days.

Companies need to focus on three essential aspects to mitigate risks associated with the COVID -19 crisis, all of which can be expedited given the unstable nature of the situation. The risk aversion aspects are catered to by scenario planning, business continuity planning, and digital transformation.

Scenario planning is what generates plausible situations that help companies reflect on how the decisions they make will crystallise in the future. Active scenario planning considers all the ups and downs, the twists and turns, what may or may not happen and how the macro and micro business environment can change over time. This will help them prepare for the worst-case scenario, prioritize their products and services, effectively manage their capital and resources and be progressive by reducing idle time.

Following this up with a bulletproof business continuity plan that can turn the tables on the dictating nature of the current pandemic is quintessential. Once companies are prepared for the uncertain, everything else becomes easier to gauge. A good business continuity plan ensures that the needs of all the stakeholders are considered.

Next, we should introduce a higher degree of digital transformation or tech transformation. This is where corporations should try to integrate a digital aspect to all processes within their company and change the way they deliver value to their clients. This can be in the form of remote access, process automation and online collaboration platforms allowing your workforce and clients to be engaged in assignments without having to face physical boundaries.

As far as resilience building is concerned, a solid process re-engineering exercise will help map out the existing processes within the various departments of an organisation. Follow this up with an elaborate gap analysis and accordingly optimize the procedures. Finally, implement this resilient and durable business model using the existing resources of the organisation.

Similarly, companies can also mitigate risk by reaching out to business solution providers, thereby outsourcing many of their auxiliary activities and thus reducing their costs and handing over the responsibilities to experts. Only once companies have mitigated the COVID-19 risks can they safely proceed towards identifying new opportunities and ventures.

[The author is Senior Manager for Strategic Consulting at Crowe. Email:]


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