Business Management Consultant, Adedipupo Osinloye shared his expert view on the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on businesses in South Africa, He noted that no one could have accurately predicted the date and time the world will be hit by a pandemic, therefore for everyone, Covid-19 came as a shock. However, he stated that pandemics are not new and that in South Africa, history has it that there have been five economy crippling and devastating diseases between 1713 and today including smallpox, bubonic plague, “Spanish influenza,” and polio. He further pointed out that businesses are therefore not new to risks including pandemics or epidemics; yet, most businesses did not anticipate being hit by anything like this most devastating virus, and had made no plans for such.
He posited that Covid-19 is not just a virus but a revealer; a revealer of the ailing state of risk management in many businesses in South Africa and lack of coping capacity of such businesses, ‘this lack of coping capacity is the real problem not the pandemic’ he said.
According to Adedipupo, the pandemic’s impact was global, touching almost every aspect of modern life, upending public health systems, the global economy, travel, supply chains, community, and social ties and how all these factions work synergistically. He noted that unemployment has risen, and the global economy shrank by 4.4% in 2020, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates. The vast majority of nations around the world entered into recessions, having experienced negative GDP growths.
Adedipupo said developing countries like south Africa have suffered more disproportionately due to the socio-economic fallouts from during the pandemic. He noted that for south Africa, it amounted to a reversal of prophecy of economic recovery by the Africa Development Bank from an estimated 0.7 percent in 2019 to 2.1 percent in 2020, the region’s largest economy has however experienced slow down following the outbreak of COVID-19 with about 7% decline.
He expressed the point that Wealthier nations could afford to institute the crippling lockdowns and restrictions necessary at times to arrest the community spread of the virus, and to support their populations, so, they could stay home in an effort to limit the rising catastrophe. He noted that many developing countries however were often forced to rely on a mishmash of truncated measures to limit the fallouts on populations already living in poverty or who relied on daily work for subsistence. He said if businesses prepared for bad times and managed their risk appropriately; the impact would not be as hard as it currently is.
Making reference to his book: Uncommon Strategies for the 21st Century Business, where he advised entrepreneurs to identify, analyse and treat these risks in whatever form they come, l preparing and planning for uncertain, chaotic, rainy seasons and moments when progress will be forcefully slow, he stated that the failure or success of a business is determined by the ability of businesses to assess and manage their risk adequately.