The COVID-19 pandemic has been an eye-opener for many businesses bringing normal ways of doing business to become abnormal.
Flip back to the lockdown period that saw many Nigerians resort to doing business and working from home. Deals were signed; businesses and transactions were carried out successfully without physical contact or even handshakes.
The pandemic came with its disruption and now, the new way of doing business is through virtual business. It is cost effective, gives room for more creativity, and reduces office bureaucracy.
These were the thoughts of Chief Creative Officer, IOmedia.ng, Israel Obatunde, while speaking on the need for businesses to scale up the use of technology in Lagos recently.
Obatunde said: “COVID-19 has opened our eyes to see the reality in doing business in an unusual way. Our normal has turned to abnormal. Our abnormal now is more cost effective than the usual normal.
“And to top it all, you can actually work anywhere at any time and still deliver optimal business results,” he said. According to him, as much as COVID-19 hit some businesses hard, some others made more profits even in the heat of the pandemic.
Sighting example of Electric car pioneer company, Obatunde said Tesla, amid the lockdown in July 2020, hit its stride. The sales of the company, owned by billionaire, Elon Musk, held up well, with growth in China and other overseas markets offsetting the loss in the United States.
According to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria gained 2.5 million subscribers during the lockdown in April 2020. Also, in Q2 2020, Internet users hit 7.5 million, taking the total number of data users in Nigeria to 143.3 million as of June 2020.
Telecos financial reports during these periods showed growth although the numbers were said not to be impressive, compared to revenues from previous quarters. Obatunde said despite this, the advertising industry took the lockdown in its stride.
He mentioned that his firm is one of the creative businesses that latched on to the benefits of working virtually which has provided seamless opportunities for the business to work with professionals with unique expertise in marketing communication around the world, hence the need to leverage technology in advertising.
“Advertising agencies in Nigeria were among the first industries to realise that you can work from home or anywhere. This is because clients could get their deliverables while people worked from home. This was even faster.
“This is why we want to take up the challenge and make brands continue to see the opportunities in working with a virtual business, and get productivity with no loss,” Obatunde added. His media hub runs virtually with a rich portfolio and the enthusiasm to grow businesses from point A to B.