GSMA THRIVE CHINA 2020: Experts from the operator and other industries flagged the changes and lessons the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic brought across various business areas, highlighting the importance of connectivity, efficiency and diversity following the outbreak.
Bharti Airtel India and South Asia chief Gopal Vittal (pictured, bottom right) said the pandemic resulted in “a real obsession with greater value”, with the company identifying bundled offers as a means of delivering this while maintaining ARPU levels.
Heightened fears about going out or being in a close proximity to others resulted in Airtel increasing its online presence and building a channel for contactless home deliveries.
It also increased its focus on improving the efficiency of its consumer and employee engagement.
Vittal explained customers had begun to appreciate operators “have a very powerful role to play”, hailing its resilience during a spike in network usage when it quickly put together “a solid response plan” based on its experience of handling “volatility, uncertainty and ambiguity”.
Yoriko Goto, chair of the board of Deloitte Japan (pictured, top right), said the outbreak had “opened the door” to opportunities for people who found it difficult to travel, or work in different locations for extensive periods of time.
She noted such shifts could prove “the defining moment for us in the journey to gender equality”, by delivering greater flexibility for women in the workforce, though argued issues of diversity and inclusion could not be left to one side following the pandemic and must remain central to business strategies and decision-making processes.
Rachmat Kaimuddin, CEO of Indonesia-based e-commerce platform Bukalapak (pictured, bottom left), believes the pandemic will result in permanent behavioural changes.
“One of the key lessons we learned here at least is that some sort of flexibility is very critical in the business. Having omnichannel presence now seems to be more important than ever”, he said.
Kaimuddin emphasised the importance of telecoms infrastructure in enabling operations to be accessed, particularly for those in the commerce sector.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back