Indisputably, COVID-19 has brought about tremendous negative impact for people and economies worldwide. But it has also generated new opportunities and ways of doing things during the pandemic.
People’s way of life has been disrupted, but many have found ways to adapt to changes, and these changes will most probably continue even after the pandemic is over. Working from home may become a norm, and office space will be reduced. Virtual meetings have become so widely used and proven effective that business travel will likely be reduced even when the pandemic is behind us. Internet purchases have become a need rather than a habit, saving time from commuting to and from retail stores, and bringing along collateral environmental benefits. There are more.
Externally, we are not distancing from our business partners and stakeholders due to the restricted travel measures – contrary to that, we have conducted more virtual meetings with these people, which are productive and effective. We have also been successfully closing deals over virtual signing arrangements.
Internally, most of the management team has been grounded for an entire year, but they have found relatively more time to carry out in-depth reviews of the operations of their responsible areas. Those reviews have brought about positive results. The whole group’s spare parts inventory has undergone a thorough and in-depth review, and it has been identified that we can collectively save 25-30% of our current inventory levels, with a significant positive impact to our business. There are other similar initiatives being raised and executed.
Despite the fact that our business and profitability are affected by the pandemic, we have laid the seeds for future success.
On a negative note, we have heard sad news about a few of our dear colleagues who had passed away due to complications from COVID-19. I wish to represent the group to send our deepest condolences to their families and closest friends. Our related business units have rendered the necessary and gratuitous assistance to help their families to get through the difficulties.
2021 will be challenging as there will be uncertainties. I believe we have learned how to handle the situation and to bring the business forward. I have no doubt we will continue to grow and become more resilient to future challenges.
With this, I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of my colleagues, business partners and customers for their support during these extraordinary times. I wish you all a good holiday season, with time to refresh and recharge, for a reinvigorated new year ahead.
Group Managing Director