COVID-19: Post Pandemic World Is your Business ready?

As I sit at my desk, contemplating inventing a product that would drown out the high pitched voice of my 8-year-old who frankly just doesn’t stop talking, a single word catches my eye and makes me reflect on this unique situation we all find ourselves engrossed with: Teamwork!

Every morning, as each Mazars employee begins their day by logging on, our corporate image which resonates the DNA of every Mazarian, greets us. One such characteristic of our “ONE TEAM” behavioral charter is that of teamwork.

Unconsciously I think about the courageous health workers working tirelessly to save lives, the ecosystem of essential services who enable making an unbearable situation bearable and a government that has shown cohesiveness to lead us, its people. Such teamwork has epitomised what synergy can achieve in the face of extreme adversity and it has bonded a nation when we needed it the most.

South Africa has received numerous accolades for how it has handled this pandemic – from acknowledgment from the World Health Organization; to the projection of the South African flag over the Matterhorn Mountains in the Swiss Alps as a symbol of solidarity; to the admiration of everyday South Africans of our charismatic President. What we have accomplished as a nation can be granulised into the simple concept of teamwork or in South African lingo – Ubuntu.

So what is the link between the simple concept of teamwork and a post Covid-19 world for South African businesses? Simple; it will be the difference between surviving or floundering.

While this crisis may have galvanised us against a common, faceless enemy, the economic hub of our country is in for turbulent times. South African businesses’ fight for survival is real, but it’s not a fight against the pandemic. The pandemic is merely a disrupter while the fight is for certainty, recovery and sustainability.  Businesses face uncertain futures and will have to build on relationships and teamwork if they are to survive. Those who panic and are only inwardly focused will not have learned from what nature has thrown our way.  

A survey conducted by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) has revealed that 42.2%  of the businesses surveyed indicated that they are not confident they have the financial resources to continue operating during the Covid-19 outbreak. Most of these businesses also believe that this pandemic will impact their business worse that the 2008/09 global financial crisis. Now is the time for these businesses, and others in a similar situation, to mobilise their community of leadership, staff and service providers to build a post-pandemic reality.

With the easing of lockdown restrictions, businesses should not be lulled into a false sense of comfort. While executives may rightfully be worrying about getting their staff back to work safely, procuring necessary supplies like sanitisers and masks, and controlling access to their workplace, they should not lose sight of a key goal – that of sustainability. Executives should be asking themselves some key questions:


  • Is my business model still relevant to ensure profitability?
  • Am I exploring opportunities in the midst of a crisis?
  • Have I done a proper cash gap analysis or cost reduction modelling?
  • Are my Business Continuity Plans robust enough to see me through this crisis or even another crisis during this one?
  • Lastly and maybe, more importantly, do I have a team with the necessary skills and expertise to do this right?

Only when you can affirm all of these have you fulfilled your shareholder mandate to act in the best interest of the company. Without doing so, you have simply not woken to the reality of living in a disruptive world, a world where the phrase business-as-usual seems almost anecdotal. This is a time we will all look back to for years to come and it will sink it that we were part of something that changed the world. Your ability to react now will determine whether you look back at this time with pride or regret.

We don’t have to look far to see how some organisations have reacted. Take Denel for example; an SOE whose forte lies in the defense industry but is assisting the country in its fight against the virus by producing medical ventilators.  While Denel’s actions in this instance are philanthropic, it serves as a good example that with the right strategic thinking and good teamwork your business of yesterday need not be your business of tomorrow.

Social contracts that we have built, not just internally but that includes trusted advisors, will need to be re-engineered as we establish a new social dynamic for working post-Covid-19.  At Mazars, we have already inculcated the virtues of teamwork. We are ready to help our clients ingrain this in their organisational culture and help you prepare your business for a post-pandemic world too. We’re in this together!


Author: Ishan Bhowani