The Coronavirus, which first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December, has infected more than 110,000 people in at least 110 countries and territories globally, according to the World Health Organization.
The virus outbreak has become one of the biggest threats to the global economy and financial markets. Major institutions and banks have cut their forecasts for the global economy. Meanwhile, fears of the coronavirus impact on the global economy have rocked markets worldwide. The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic will be felt far beyond the immediate impact of the virus and the economic effect is definitely going to be prolonged.
Besides this, another question arises? How many small and medium-sized enterprises will sustain in this severe condition? Life has been slow and we all are going to face the impact of the crisis for a long time, even if the pandemic is controlled as the economy is halted already. However, health should be a major concern as the virus don’t give us a second chance.
All the Nepalese people have agreed upon the government’s decision of lockdown. Entrepreneurs in our country also have agreed to this situation. However, we interviewed a few entrepreneurs to hear what they have to say.
Mr.Sixit Bhatta, CEO of Tootle said a lockdown is a time we can invest in preparing plans that can be carried out to enhance business in the future. Besides working with the team practicing work from home, he said that he has been involved in exercising and reading.
The CEO of The Factory Team, Mr. Ahmed Dulla says –“ In my individual capacity, we have agreed to the lockdown as a necessity to break the chain but also arrangements have to be kept in mind especially those who do not have access to food and other survival necessities. My company will be together with my members in this situation and we will not have any layoff nor any salary deducted. These are the test of times to be one and pray that things get better. We will continue with our team works and also stay united.”
Mr. Niraj Kafle, Co-Founder of Offering Happiness says- “We are now working from home digitally and virtually. We never know how much this consequence will get prolonged. However, we have been utilizing this time taking customer’s review, analyzing customers, developing business ideas, research works and also been taking regular updates.
Ms. Ayusi KC, Founder of Khalisisi shared that her team is working remotely on matters that can be worked out from home and they are already planning for how they can execute their plans once the dust settles.
Mr. Darpan Pudasaini, CEO at DroNepal says- “With the news of the casualties of COVID-19 ever-increasing, out first instinct was to call upon a team meeting with everyone and creating an action plan on how we could proceed in different scenarios. As a result, we created policies on how we could keep everyone safe while at the same time ensuring that they would be able to continue their works in the office as long as new cases were not seen in Nepal. A few days later, we acted upon anticipations of a surge of corona cases and immediately switched to remote based working even prior to the lockdown. We have now been coordinating online with the freedom for everyone to work at their own pace and time of choosing. Furthermore, I personally have been trying to coordinate with people from different backgrounds through online platforms in volunteering small tasks that could ease in the lockdown situation, mostly in linking demand and supply of PPEs, centralizing data on health facilities required and such. Also, I have been working on translating a few videos related to corona awareness to Nepali in order to educate a large mass of Nepalese who do not understand English. Collectively, we are also trying to brainstorm and design technology-based solutions that could ease the situation through Facebook groups and video meeting platforms. As entrepreneurs, we all get an internal call to tend to the problems around us, and that’s what I am seeing my fellow entrepreneurs and leaders doing which is really inspiring. So to all the fellow entrepreneurs, Please stay safe and continue breaking the chain of spread with the isolation as first priority; and with the time and resources you have, please keep thinking and working on whatever way you can possibly help other people.
The CEO and Co-Founder at Foodmario, Mr. Rohit Tiwari says- “I have been occupied with planning how to restart operations of Foodmario as the lockdown is closed. Been involved in #Musicaloutbreak a project to make sure people stay back home while musicians play from home. We will have a Skype meeting with the Foodmario team soon, to assure we are on the same page. It’s a difficult time for start-ups, hoping the government has something to keep the start-ups and small businesses afloat.
Whatever the causalities are, these entrepreneurs are determined to work, which is indeed an inspiration.