Covid19. The pandemic which changed the world and forces us to adjust the various facets of our own lives.
As we cautiously emerge from what appeared to be the nadir of the first wave, we scramble to resume a semblance of what normalcy used to be. For many of us, our businesses and lifestyles are affected. For me, one salient lesson I learnt is that the internet world will never be hit by any pandemic like physical shopfronts and shopping malls were. Hundreds of businesses shut down under the harsh implementation of crowd-control government measures put in place to combat the pandemic. Without the crowd, there is of course no, or drastically reduced revenues.
I hail from a rather traditional industry where customers like to call my office, or walk in and pick up what they like, paying cash as they collect their goods. Dealers would place their orders, and we would ship their goods to them. These methods were tried and tested, commonly used by businesses in our industry, and methods of transaction which we have taken for granted over the years.
I went back and forth, considering the merits, risks and downsides of shifting the main platform of the HORIZON business online, and finally decided to hop on the e-store bandwagon. While we will still work with dealers in crucial market regions, we are now opening up our e-store to the world with competitive pricing, to encourage customers to shop when safely ensconced at home or from wherever they are. We will ship the goods direct from our factories or warehouse direct to the customers, shortening the supply chain for them and minimizing their contact with others physically. To sweeten the process and to encourage others to buy online, we are offering conditional free shipping to our customers. We understand that the e-store concept is an approach which works well for consumer products, but with the right conditions and enticements, I believe that this is something which can work for any industry too. As change is coerced upon us, adaptations and adjustments must take precedence for business and livelihood to continue. Being able to purchase directly from a brand manufacturer is a benefit of our business model which our customers can consider. We want the world to be able to access the products they require while keeping safe wherever they are. We want them to enjoy competitive pricing when they choose to deal with us, and we want a gimmick-free experience, made repeatable by good quality products, good pricing and above all, sincere and dedicated service.
As the virtual shopping trend increases globally, and escalated exponentially by restrictions of social interactions brought on by this pandemic, I will go further to state that it is a necessity of responsible business owners to play their part, regardless of the industry they are in. Yes this is not yet a mainstream trend in the industry I am in, but I am a strong proponent of evolution, adaptation and change, especially in the face of crisis. I am a risk taker who believes firmly that effort and dedication to a meaningful cause will pay off eventually. Covid19 has caused undeniable catastrophic suffering to our world, but it is also a harbinger of change, and opportunity for us to be stronger, more efficient and more resourceful. The ability of us human beings to adapt and survive is nothing short of miraculous. It is my wish that as each of us undergoes our own trial of fire in this turbulent period, we continue to evolve, strengthen and grow. We will not be defeated if we do not allow defeat. The greater the problem we face, the more resilient we should be. We stand with you in solidarity always.