The COVID-19 pandemic has affected over 128+ million people around the world, resulting in more than 2.81 million deaths (Worldometer March 31, 2021). The increase in COVID-19 cases worldwide has changed how we live and work, and Cambodia is no exception.
According to the recent UNIDO Cambodia Private Sector survey, the impact on revenue is evident in medium-sized enterprises and employment in the tourism and garment industries reported the highest number of layoffs. And all enterprises are expected severely affected, the pandemic has caused a number of challenges but the most significant ones that surveyed enterprises faced are:
COVID-19 Pandemic is the greatest crisis of the century; it’s now prolonged over a year already and can’t predict when it would be gone. We believe all crisis arrived it’s always will be finish, it’s about safety of people and the role of leadership in this crisis time to help people. It’s about how can the business leader help their people through this crisis – how to protect people health & safety? How people are working now? And pro-actions are required – how we exit from this crisis time to the new normal?
There is still significant uncertainty for 2021 – though outlook, it is now more positive compared early this year in terms of availabilities of vaccine & vaccination campaign in Cambodia. Below are the key points for business leaders to be focused on:
1. HR, Compensation & benefits
2. The need for transformation
Refocusing attention – 99% of companies are embarking on transformation. But you need to know, there are the challenges in the transformation process such workforce capability, ability to finance change and of understanding the need for transformation, and Apathy and change resistance.
3. Restructuring to Drive Change
98% of execs are planning organizational design change this year. Predicting the future is tough, with economic and political uncertainty and technological advances.
4. Other responsive actions
5. The support from Cambodian Government
Due to the ongoing pandemic, preventive measures put in place by the government has continued to negatively impact the business operations. However, some enterprises were compensated to some extents with the support packages offered by the government under eligible criteria as set by the government. Evidence has shown that government intervention offered so far to MSMEs is unprecedented. Among all the government’s measures, reductions of rent and taxes for SMEs and the extension of loan terms are the main measures that enterprises would want to have continued. And the followings are cited as most helpful measures:
[Ref. UNIDO Cambodia Private Sector survey, 2021]