UGANDANS ARE YOU AWAKE?
Let us appreciate and accept that COVID-19 is a measure of readiness for us a Nation and a People.
Our choices as a Nation or as a People, as You and I or as a Business Owner/ Entrepreneur need to be rethought and realigned to the new global order. The COVID -19 is and has been and continues to be a test of the strengthen of a Nation and its people. It has given us a yardstick of preparedness in all sectors of the economy. As a country we need to think of systems and operations that will serve and save our citizens at large. We need to recognize our mistakes; learn and adopt better ways of survival as Nation. We need a population that is responsively concerned, economical active and productive. A population that believes and sees a future in its leadership and has hope in the direction of the country. A population that will identify and promote leaders that are selfless and will condemn corruption and ask for public accountability.
As a people, our act and behavior in society will need to adapt to new norms and habits that will form; from now on and thereafter become part of our culture and social being. For those in business or new entrepreneurs, your ability to identify the society gaps and the ability to create solutions, services and products will build the economy and also hold its people in high esteem. Business leaders need to think of business investment that have a long-term focus, with appropriate succession plans; businesses that embrace over 75% of local input of resources and less dependent on foreign imports to sustain the chain of production. Our businesses and Leaders need to build confidence in consumers of products. The consumers need to believe and treasure their own produce and products. The time is right now that we all have to accept and appreciate need to “Buy and Build the Ugandan brand”. Consumers(citizens) need to be the eyes for the improvement our products and services. The mouthpiece that voices out the level of satisfaction and appreciation of its own people in the industry or in service of the nation.
Amidst the change in behaviors and new work norms guided by the standard operational procedures in making by Government. Workers, Laborer’s and Employees need to accept that our work ethic must change if we are to cope with the new world order of business. Micro-management or supervision will become part of history in business management. Employees will be required to demonstrate the relevance at all times. Employers are like to focus more on key outputs less on your presence at a workplace. For some job placement your ability to maintain a job for a month is going to be a thing of the past. Employers are likely to retain individuals who are highly effective with time management, self-driven, multi skills and good at deliverables. A number of companies are likely to adapt flexible working contracts, hourly pay, time slot employment, more of offsite engagements, Independent contractor arrangements and embracing of e-based operations and management systems.
It is time to accept and appreciate that certain behaviors in business are doing to be dropped; some business and service are going to disappear, new business and services are likely to emerge; people are going to lose jobs; priorities for survival are changing and going to determine level of expenditure; the government has to and must implement new standards of operations that will impact on the business processes and flow per sector. Revenues are going to be slow; the recovery of the economy and some services will take over 18 to 24 Months.
The Nation, You and Your business have to adopt smart ways of behavior and doing business. Your survival will dependent mainly on how positive you are about the current situation; your ability to acceptance the situation, rethink, react and take action for now and the future. We need to watch out for the following change predictions:–
- Social distancing is likely to become an operational norm for all aspects of life.
- Health Sensitive : Level of hygiene and observation of the preventative measures will become part of our laws (e.g. it will become normal and fashionable to wear a mask everywhere ; it will be a must to design and build houses with a water hand basin (sink) or tap at the entrance/ exit points, having auto temperature readers in all public transports , auto fumigation system in office building and all public places. E.t.c
- Working in Shopping Malls: Design of shopping Malls with unvented shopping stalls will have to change to allow for open air circulation. Businessmen and women operating in crowded shops may lose business as these places may be considered unsafe. E.g. “Kibuuko like shared counter shops” with over 7 occupants may be abolished
- Our current Open /crowded Wet markets: The Mode of operation in the these crowded market places in Kampala will change. We are likely to see many vendors losing stalls for social distancing. Traders suppling produce will opt for delivering groceries at aggregating stores that allow for online purchase or phone shopping or home based deliveries or pick of groceries using highly sophisticated delivery systems.
- Physical Office Space: As we adopt and get accustomed to working home and online; owners of rental building in town will have to rethink their use of property. Property managers we need rethink the costing for space. Pricing per square that led to many companies hiring people and then forcing the employees to share desks in office will longer be practical.
- Internet availability: Residential apartments and homes with fiber internet or high-speed internet will be highly marketable. The internet service providers will see up raise in the use of internet and the different services options. In the next 12 months a lot of people will be highly dependent on the internet of things.
- Delivery Address: Residential areas with clear road networks, Delivery address and Road names will be preferred to allow for deliveries and location identification.
- Online Strategy: Businesses without web or online presence will struggle as “P.O. BOX” or “Phone Based Directions” are going be replaced by GPS locators to link to you to your business and as well as your personal profile and business networks.
- Smart working: Government will have to develop and provide information and guidance for companies to adopt smarting online strategies; have companies adopt ERPs and CRMS, e- learning and support virtual payments.
- Virtual Meetings: State, Regional and Municipalities will have to perform their duties through ICT- enabled real- time virtual meetings instead of in – person meetings as part of their efforts to implement strict social distancing measures to slow the spread of new infections. We are to seen more investment in videoconferencing reduction in the need for workshops and seminars for both local and international meetings e.t.c
- Civil Service Engagements: We are likely to see stricter guidelines for work in place that mandate public officials to shift to remote work using the ICT infrastructure for the purposes of limiting the loss associated with infections. Having at least one third of the total workforce working in the physical building and the rest of the individuals accessing government resources or ministry through intranet remotely.
- Cyber Security: This is going to become a key service offer and standard requirement for companies, government and all individuals working remotely. Individuals will need to guard against risks of data breach, or ransomware through personal or public computers.
- Remote Educations: We are already seeing adaptation of e-learning via Television, Radio and Internet ; if this goes on for 12 months in the country , the new culture of learning will be adopted and government will enforce online learning to all ( centered teaching and learning guides. ) teachers and schools administrators need to cope and embraces to remain relevant. It likely to become a requirement for PAY TVs to provide real time educational programme in partnership with schools.
- Day Schooling: Students in the day specially those crossing towns and districts in crowded vans for prestigious education are like to suffer in the very near future; parents will have to adopt home schooling and create environments for e-learning at every cost. Ownership of computers and TV- Sets per family household shall increase. New business opportunities for the individuals who would like to rent digital devices for learners in homes that cannot afford computers will start.
- Telemedical Services: Health Workers working in private Clinics and Hospital will have to invest in telemedicine and also enable patient consultation on phone or use of apps. This approach will be more meaningful if numbers of those infected by coronavirus increase.
- Religious Worship: It is true that some churches with weak foundations are likely to disappear. Church leaders will need to develop better way of being in touch with their followers. Adaptation of channels of communication that can provide for real time interaction shall be key. Personal Commitment of the Pastor and his ability to maintain active networking and social support to the community will keep the community closer. We are likely to see more private worship in homes or pastor adopting approach of Christ to finding the faithful.
All in all, we need be active participants in the change not observers, you all have a role play.