Philip Ikeazor, Director/Principal Consultant, Tideway Advisory Limited has postulated six critical success factors for businesses after COVID-19 at the University of Buckingham Alumni Association (Nigeria Chapter) virtual webinar series with topic “Effects of Covid-19 on Business Operations”.
Ikeazor who former Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria’s foremost lender, Keystone Bank Limited says as many businesses are seeking to evaluate how their operations need to adapt to the world that will emerge following the climax of the novel Coronavirus pandemic and beyond. “Operating environment and shocks whether global or local will remain a recurring factor,” he said.
The six critical success factors for businesses post-COVID-19 include Risk management capabilities, Supply chain, Long-term view or Through-Cycle Strategy, Remote-working, Building digital capacity and Corporate agility.
According to him, risk management approaches must be seen from an enterprise-wide perspective with the capacity to absorb uncertainty, fine-tune key risk indicators and incorporate the lessons learnt from the pandemic into the operating model.
“Vulnerabilities will continue to exist in the operating environment and shocks whether global or local will remain a recurring factor. Organisations that have a proactive and structured approach to risk management will always stay ahead of the curve as the next crisis emerges,” Ikeazor said.
He says a shift in business strategy is necessary especially in supply-chain. Reconfiguration of the old supply chain model from offshoring/onshoring to multi-shoring and near-shoring because of risks associated with single sourcing and distance constraints. “The need for more flexible and shorter supply chains cannot be emphasized enough stemming from the lessons of the pandemic. The argument for localizing supply chains,” the Tideway Director affirmed.
Another critical success factor for business after Covid-19 is the adoption of a through-cycle mindset that focuses on the long-term after reassessing a company’s competitive advantage while shoring up the balance sheet and capacity in the short term will be decisive in capturing significant value and out-perform peers post-COVID 19.
He declared that businesses generally will not remain the same after the pandemic and the new normal is remote working which would lead to cost optimisation for businesses. “Remote working is value-enhancing options before employers, the notion of sleeping at the office is obsolete,’ he noted.
Ikeazor noted investment in digital capabilities is critical for businesses at this point in time and beyond the Coronavirus pandemic
“Healthcare is a classic case. In the UK, less than 1% of medication consultations in 2019. Under the lockdown, 100% of consultations are occurring remotely,” he said
According to him, there is already a big shift to digital and online channels by banks. “Online banking rose by 90% during the crisis in the UK. Electronic bills payment in Nigeria rose by 36.6% during the lockdown. “Car manufacturers in Asia have developed virtual showrooms,” he noted.
Ikeazor added that Corporate Agility is one of the critical success factors for businesses post-COVID-19. “Stability and scale should be combined with speed and flexibility. A combination of structural stability, cultural stability and dynamic capabilities or fluidity of changes to strategy in order to respond to fast-changing operating environment translates to enterprise agility,” the Business Strategist added.
The Guest Speaker at the webinar series is Professor James Tooley, Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the University of Buckingham, other Speakers are Fola Akande, General Counsel, Mondelez International, Cadbury Nigeria Plc and Abimbola Ogunbanjo, President of the National Council of The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Philip has over thirty years experience in the financial sector largely in Corporate and Investment Banking, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Fellow Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria as well as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria.