Events that cause far-reaching changes on a global scale happen every few generations – but this time, it was different.
A virus caused immense irreversible damage to entire economies and communities; businesses were left reeling in its aftermath as social structure started to unravel in its wake.
But there was no looking back for us or any other businesses once Covid-19 unleashed its full impact.
It hasn't been easy to bounce back from it. Yet somehow, we managed. We're coping. We're surviving because that is what we do best.
Let's Start at The Beginning
December 2019 was considerably uneventful for everyone but China. The world knew that the novel coronavirus existed but paid no mind to it because, at the time, it only existed outside 'our bubble.' We were grossly unaware of the repercussions of this ignorance.
Come January 2020; Covid-19 was declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization as cases were detected in the United States.
Throughout March 2020, all anyone could talk about were confirmed cases worldwide as the United States led the world in prevalence of the pandemic. We had more reported cases than China, Italy, or any other country at the time.
To curb increasing Covid-19 cases, countries began implementing strict control over outdoor movement by initiating lockdowns. This meant many businesses had to face the reality of closing shop for good. While many companies went under that, others fought for every last breath by going completely virtual until further notice.
Industries crumbled as an entire ecosystem of demand and supply was wiped out because of governments' restrictions. Sports, entertainment, travel & tourism, and many more industries came to an abrupt halt, and the economy simply turned off.
This brought about the inevitable change in consumer behavior – fueled by a new kind of poverty and financial turmoil.
We Went Remote and Thrived Virtually
The work environment we were comfortable with is now a mere memory but whether it will remain changed forever depends on our coping strategy as a nation. We officially started working from home in March 2020, and the entire organization operated nimbly from the get-go. This demonstrates our abilities, values, and, more importantly, our work ethic. An appropriate representation of the fact that "the show must go on."
This pandemic has reminded us of the importance of integrity, collaboration, and good leadership. Despite working remotely, our teams continue to deliver and lead by example and live through these core values. We're better together, and we've proven that as a company time and time again.
Despite the economic downfall brought about by the pandemic, many businesses, like us, are making a conscious effort to keep things going. We aimed to encourage independence and accountability within our team and the ability to work on their own, make decisions, and take risks. We saw no point in dwelling on our losses and decided to focus our efforts on the now and the near future, things we had more control over.
To foster that controlled environment, we created small working groups around specific industry portals and subjects. Solid values and community-centered thinking were vital for us to navigate through these uncertain times.
By investing in the right technology, we were prepared for a situation like this all along as we had equipped our people with the right tools to succeed in a digitally-determinist landscape.
Technology is now our best friend, in ways like never before. It is an 'enabler.' Businesses everywhere are finding ways to reap the harvests of this trend to connect with their customer base. We made use of technology in every aspect of our new remote work life.
We monitored our competition, results, and daily assessments regularly to ensure that everything was running efficiently. Additionally, we had contingency plans ready if we needed to take the loss of earnings into account. However, we took a different route. We chose to focus on the immediate future instead.
If there's one thing that working during this pandemic has taught us, it is the fact that we cannot stay stagnant. Our responsibility is to develop more innovative ways to contribute to the global economy while simultaneously following the government's orders to stay indoors. This direction affords its own set of challenges but the kind that can be overcome.
We were able to come up with new ways to accelerate our growth.
Amid all the turmoil brought about by a global pandemic, you could see that some companies took a defensive approach. We chose differently. We thought going on the offense would be more beneficial because the market was heading in a more passive direction; we could take a proactive approach to take advantage of this scenario.
The Road Ahead
Our primary focus for 2021 is to grow; find new categories, new demographics, new geographies and expand existing ones.
We recognized the silver lining to this pandemic's dark cloud and chose a more positive approach.
In addition, according to the 2021 U.S. B2B E-COMMERCE MARKET REPORT, which came out in February 2021, sales on B2B e-commerce sites grew by 10% to $1.39 trillion and, combined with e-procurement sales, B2B e-commerce sales increased by 11.8% to $2.19 trillion.
Owing to our diversity, and the fact that we operate across multiple different verticals, including Finance, B2C, Gaming, and the B2B sector, we were able to hone in on opportunities that arose and continue to expand. In fact, we recently launched our new portal which we developed during the pandemic called Sonary. It is a premium, user-centric B2B comparison portal directed at SMBs.
We strive to continue delivering quality content and helping users on their online journey to finding products and services that suit their needs by providing them with the knowledge, key insights, and data to empower them to make informed purchasing decisions with confidence.