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Weathering a tornado of change

THIS WEEK'S TOPIC: How is your organisation gearing up for the impact and challenges, if the Covid-19 pandemic should last a year or longer?

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Sebastian Mueller, Chief Operating Officer & Co-Founder, MING Labs.

THIS WEEK'S TOPIC: How is your organisation gearing up for the impact and challenges, if the Covid-19 pandemic should last a year or longer?

Sebastian Mueller
Chief Operating Officer & Co-Founder
MING Labs

The present situation, dire as it is, is also a springboard for innovation. Necessity is the mother of invention - and constraints lead to innovative solutions. Businesses should look beyond cost-cutting and into establishing new offerings. Existing assets can be for new purposes. Changing needs require adapted services.

We need to start thinking about a post-pandemic world and imagine what will have changed. Many topics long on the agenda are suddenly advancing quickly. From local sourcing to teleworking and more circular thinking. What opportunities does this crisis hold for innovation?


Loh Boon Chye
Chief Executive Officer
Singapore Exchange (SGX)

Beyond our immediate focus on the health and well-being of our employees, we are working with stakeholders across the financial community to ensure that our marketplace remains robust, uninterrupted and accessible. With Covid-19, news and information move rapidly - investors must be given the opportunity to react with confidence and manage their portfolio risks efficiently. As a key part of Singapore's financial market infrastructure, it is important that we reinforce the nation's position and relevance as a global financial hub, particularly if the current situation is prolonged. We have always stood by this belief: market stress is temporary, but resilience and trust in an orderly and high-quality market will stand the test of time.


Philip Yuen
CEO, Deloitte Southeast Asia and
Chairman, Deloitte Singapore

Times like this put resilience to the test. Clarity of thinking, communications and decision-making comes to the fore, and leadership from both the heart and head will help us persevere through this crisis. Our advice to our clients, and to ourselves, is to firstly operate with a clear mandate and be empowered to make swift decisions. This cascades to strategies involving talent support and the strengthening of digital capabilities - making effective plans to keep our people and clients safe.

It is important to maintain business continuity and financing as top priority, not only to meet short-term obligations, but also to soften the blows of the anticipated potential disruptions in the months ahead. We must also stay engaged with our clients and the wider business ecosystem to support one another through the storm, and to seek out opportunities to improve models and processes when the sky clears.


Victor Mills
Chief Executive
Singapore International Chamber of Commerce

In our 183-year history, we and our member companies have weathered many storms together. Covid-19 is a Force 5 hurricane. Our focus is on survival: ours and our members'. We are redoubling efforts to remind our members we are here to help. To help represent their concerns and wish-lists to government for Singapore's second stimulus package. To keep evolving and learning from the disruption caused by Covid-19 which amounts to a tornado of change. To transform and renew so that when this storm passes, as it will, we and our members will be smarter and more relevant than ever.


Max Loh
Managing Partner for Singapore and Brunei
EY

We have always had a strong culture of flexible working, enabled by technology and a trust-based environment. This has allowed us to be nimble in addressing workforce planning and business continuity with the current Covid-19 disruption. Clients are experiencing business pressures, and we need to be listening to their concerns and asking how we can add value to them - be it navigating the challenges or seizing any emerging opportunities - particularly in areas like supply chain resilience, workforce management, business transformation, and strategy and operations. Importantly, we are also placing a greater emphasis on building a culture of empathy and support for our people because in a people-oriented business like ours, emotional resilience is what will keep our teams strong and forging ahead as one.


Azman Jaafar
Managing Partner
RHTLaw Asia LLP

To ride out and survive this pandemic, we have to plan extensively and re-orientate our existing strategies to take the bull by the horns.

The new normal will require us to reorganise our teams and offices across Asia to ensure effectiveness and continuity during periods of disruption. We will have to rely heavily on technology to augment our daily routine. Collaborative technology will take centre-stage in this exercise. Client-related strategies will have to be tweaked. How we undertake business development will have to be re-engineered. Interactive webinars and learning management platforms will replace talks and seminars.

Our strategies must build resilience and we need to develop leaders adept at operating well in a volatile, complex, uncertain and ambiguous environment.


Yeoh Oon Jin
Executive Chairman
PwC Singapore

During trying times like these, we are balancing the need to focus on caring for the health and wellbeing of our people with key business needs like operational readiness and client service excellence. Due to the constant change, we have focused on enriching our data and using data analytics tools to plan and make decisions, supported by streamlined lean decision-making processes. We are further accelerating digital transformation and driving cultural change on the new ways of working, both within ourselves and with our clients. We continue to focus on increased communication, agile HR policies, crowdsourcing and creative alternatives to maintain staff engagement and to give back to society. In serving our clients, one key role is to provide knowledge and expertise to help clients navigate challenges and make the right key decisions. As such, we have further stepped up sharing of best practices and also leveraged on our global network to help clients keep abreast of in-country development affecting their global operations.


Bazul Ashhab
Partner, Head of Dispute Resolution
Oon & Bazul LLP

Being clear and transparent in our communication to staff and clients is critical as we gear up for the extended presence of Covid-19. Our business continuity plan (BCP) has been tested and efficiently put into place. Our technology infrastructure enables staff to work remotely and have virtual meetings, with the required protocols in place to ensure confidentiality of documents and emails. We remain committed to assist our clients in this turbulent time, and have also promised our staff that their livelihoods will be protected. We will continue to demonstrate that there is no absence of leadership. I am confident that Singapore will tide through this difficult period.


Richard Warburton
President
British Chamber of Commerce Singapore

The British Chamber of Commerce Singapore remains committed to supporting the business community in Singapore through these challenging times. Connectivity, communication and collaboration is at the heart of the Chamber's proposition to members and we have already successfully implemented new ways of engaging with our member companies and the wider community to ensure we deliver on our promise to members. The Chamber team, Board and Business Committees are continuing to explore new ways of providing value to our members and this will be an ongoing initiative whilst the pandemic continues. Being responsive to the evolving needs of our members is also key during these uncertain times.

We have had to continue to think creatively and differently about generating great content and delivering value for the business ecosystem. Our Trade Services team is also exploring alternative ways of how we can maintain our support for and promote Singapore as a great place for UK companies to set up local operations. We are engaging with our members, our partners and the UK and Singapore governments to keep this activity at the forefront of what we do to support the economy here in Singapore as best as we can.


Gary Harvey
Chief Executive Officer
St James's Place Wealth Management Singapore

As a wealth manager that prides itself on face-to-face and personalised advice, creating a socially responsible environment for our community is critical. Businesses have to think about how to better adapt while ensuring that they can communicate well. This means using technology to effectively facilitate communications, client interactions and business support. This means reviewing standards and governance measures to ensure the wellbeing of employees, partners and clients.

Most importantly, it means being more understanding of the circumstances that many of us are in and collaborating with our clients to find a good balance between wellbeing and progress. We cannot persist in a permanent state of crisis and the Singapore government has taken prompt actions which will help us get back to business as soon as this period passes. By working together now, we can pull through the difficult times, help our clients keep sight of their long-term objectives and be stronger for it.


Ronnie Lee
Country General Manager
Lenovo Singapore

Now and in the longer term, Lenovo's emphasis remains on the health and safety of our people and customers. We actually introduced the option for flexible or remote working arrangements some time ago, with little impact to the business. We could do this in part because we can leverage our own unique technology solutions like portable laptops and smart hubs for Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) infrastructure, and in part because our Diversity and Inclusion approach requires that we offer our people the ability to be flexible and responsive to adapt to different circumstances.

Therefore, looking at timelines over a year or more, our focus will be to translate this expertise into supporting customers, many of whom are just now starting to expand their own flexible working programmes. This may include providing ''As a Service'' offerings, or support and access to the tools of intelligent technology. We will also continue to actively exchange best practices between markets to ensure our business continues to run efficiently, and support for our customers is maintained.


Vincent Magnenat
Limited Partner and CEO for Asia
Lombard Odier

The reality is we're facing a threat that is not limited to organisational, national nor geographic boundaries. At Lombard Odier, we have 224 years of experience in facing periods of uncertainty and are well-prepared to face this current challenge.

We have outstanding telecommunication tools - meaning teams stay highly connected and business continues seamlessly despite being in split operational mode since February. Staff morale is still high and we're doing as much as we can to keep it that way.

We talk as frequently with clients but topics are obviously not necessarily investments-centred - and that's fine. Our relationships with our clients have always been multi-dimensional and still are.

Strategically speaking, Lombard Odier's risk-based approach to investments is designed to provide downside protection as well as upside potential in turbulent times, regardless of market conditions. This is fundamental to our ability to protect and enhance our clients' assets over the long term during good weather and bad weather.


Ana Dhoraisingam
Chief Executive Officer, Singapore
PineBridge Investments

The Covid-19 crisis has triggered a financial crisis that has now surpassed even what we saw in 2008. Our responsibilities to our employees and clients have been at the forefront of our minds. To ensure the health and safety of our employees, PineBridge has adopted a policy of global flexible working arrangements, and our early preparedness in remote-working utilities has made this a seamless experience. Ensuring that we keep our clients proactively updated on their portfolios has been a key priority. To this end, our investment and client service teams have been working around the clock to engage with our clients through webinars and conference calls and ensuring they receive timely updates on portfolios. Our greatest assets are our employees and our clients, and no matter how long this Covid-19 crisis lasts, PineBridge stands ready and united to provide calm and stewardship.


Jayaprakash Jagateesan
Chief Executive Officer
RHT Fintech Holdings

In times of financial stress, many organisations will be looking at trimming expenses including professional services. The challenge is to adapt to the immediate needs of our clients and ensure our services remain relevant and essential to guide them through challenging times. Prudent spending and maintaining financial discipline will also be key.

We need to emerge stronger from this crisis. In order to do so, we must not lose sight of long-term goals which are centred on upskilling our capabilities and developing innovative new solutions for the future. Some resources will need to be set aside despite the current challenges in order to build growth engines and thrive in the future when the dust settles.


Joanne Wong
Vice President, Asia Pacific and Japan
LogRhythm

With the escalation of Covid-19 pandemic, LogRhythm has quickly prioritised the well-being of its employees globally by issuing a mandatory work-from-home policy. The move was coupled by other strict measures like elimination of all non-essential travel, and activation of a detailed Business Continuity Plan that will allow LogRhythm to continue delivering on its customer promise via a virtual model.

As work-from-home arrangements have become the go-to preventative measure for companies, as a cyber security company, we've been more active educating our clients especially about the potential risks that might originate from network access of employees while out of office. This is even more important as we hear of cybercriminals exploiting the vulnerable, and using Covid-19 itself to launch malicious attacks against individuals and organisations.


Seck Wai Kwong
Chief Executive Officer
Eastspring Investments

As the Covid-19 outbreak continues, ensuring the well-being of our colleagues is of paramount importance - as is putting measures in place to ensure there is minimal interruption to normal business activities. To date, we have implemented split-team working and restricted travel and face-to-face meetings, ensuring we continue to provide high-level investment services to our clients.

Eastspring is an Asia-based asset management company with offices in 11 markets. We leverage this strong network and local knowledge to support our investment decisions and now, in this crisis, we are leveraging this network to support each other: whether it is sending masks to our colleagues in countries with a shortage, backing up each other in our business operations, or sharing our experiences and best practices to weather this extraordinary time.

As we face these current challenges, we are focused on supporting our people, our community, and investing our clients' assets responsibly and for the long-term.


Chia Ngiang Hong
President
Real Estate Developers' Association of Singapore (REDAS)

The wider Covid-19 spreads, the longer it will last and this will certainly wreak havoc on financial markets and economies. For businesses, we need to be agile, adaptive and nimble in such a volatile and uncertain environment and plan for various possible scenarios including that of the novel coronavirus becoming part of our bio-environment. We also need to understand how markets, societies and businesses will respond and adapt to the changes in the longer term and how this will likely affect demand for our products and services, impact our customers and suppliers, labour markets and profitability of various business units. Such understanding will allow us to restructure and reposition our businesses accordingly to remain viable and resilient, and help guard against productivity and supply disruptions. Another key aspect amidst such a climate of heightened volatility and risk is to review and manage financial and cash flow positions closely and prudently to ensure sustainability with adequate buffers against unforeseen contingencies.


Svend Janssen
Head of Asia
Western Union Business Solutions

Western Union has a robust business continuity programme in place, and we are taking all the appropriate actions to ensure the stability of our operations around the world. With remote working measures for many of our clients in place, business activities are increasingly turning to online channels. We continue to invest in our business solutions to ensure that our online communication and trading tools remain dependable. Enterprises operating internationally must now re-evaluate their risk exposure and management strategies to cope with global supply chain disruption. More than ever, we are seeing increased client demand for input on how to navigate the current market volatility. A key to weathering this global pandemic is having robust hedging tools to give businesses the assurance and predictability they seek in these turbulent times.


Takehiko Ryu
Managing Director
Panasonic Asia Pacific Pte Ltd

As a global corporation, Panasonic will first need to understand the full extent of the Covid-19 outbreak's impact on our business by implementing proactive business tracking and forecasting. This insight will enable us to address and mitigate any issues resulting from this pandemic on an ongoing basis. It is clear that business agility and resiliency, as well as comprehensive contingency strategies, will be critical in facing the uncertainty of the coming months. While we expect that Covid-19 will change how we do business, we will continue preparing for the next stage of the crisis and any potential disruption, while maintaining a safe and productive working environment for all our employees.


Derek Wang
General Manager
Alibaba Cloud in Singapore

Global adversities often result in fundamental changes in the behavior of both businesses and consumers. We believe the Covid-19 pandemic will accelerate the changes in how we work as an organisation and how we engage with consumers in the long run. The key is to bring both the organisation and the business online through technology. For Alibaba Cloud, we have the benefit of having ready technology tools to continue operating with minimal impact. For example, our collaboration platform DingTalk is enabling millions of employees and students under quarantine to continue working or learning remotely, and we have prepared a plug-and-play solution for retailers to launch an e-commerce presence in just five days. The immediate demands from Covid-19 will affect bottom lines, but the efficiencies we discovered are here to stay.


Tony Lim
Head of Singapore
IG Group

Our experience from helping traders weather several economic storms in the past 45 years has guided us toward proactively implementing technology to stay at the forefront and maintain business continuity.

Technology has allowed us to prioritise our employees' wellbeing to work from home remotely. We believe that with a strong team, only then can we focus better on our clients and ensure that we can deliver the same consistent quality of service.

With volatility that could last the year or longer, our digital communications and risk management tools ensure that we can continue to help traders manage their risks across asset classes and advise on adopting timely measures like guaranteed stops and knock-outs during major market fluctuations.


Bernadette Cho
General Manager (Singapore)
Entrepreneur First

Since February, we have taken multiple steps to future-proof ourselves and our community, from making the difficult decision to cancel our Investor Day, to running remote team-building for our founders. At the forefront of our decision making is the need to be responsible, compassionate global citizens. Novel crises require novel responses: our team has responded by taking content streams online, having Venture Partners deliver coaching virtually as well as hosting more than 50 office hours with the local and global investing community via teleconference.

Our founders have responded with grit and courage - they are intelligent outliers by nature, and have adapted quickly to uncertain circumstances. For instance, they continue to close pilots with multiple MNCs across the region, and propose innovative solutions, from material science innovation, to the expansion of the possibilities of digital media. We also take courage from some outstanding businesses (Apple, Microsoft, Stripe to name a few!) that were founded in uncertain times, and persevered to scale unimagined summits.


Elisa Mallis
Managing Director and Vice President, Asia-Pacific
Center for Creative Leadership

Covid-19 is a humanitarian crisis of global scale and impact. As leaders, we are navigating uncharted territory and I believe we must put our people and clients first. Leading with kindness in a distressing time can be felt through the measures implemented to safeguard, and support people's physical and emotional well-being. CCL is bringing its best together globally to quickly adjust our products to be relevant, and meet our client needs with Virtual Leadership Development programmes. Finally, we must take swift and concerted global action so that we can come out of this crisis stronger, and better positioned for future success.


Peter Zaman
Office Managing Partner
Reed Smith

As one office that is part of a single global partnership, we benefit from an international network that allows us to draw strength and support from each other. Just as some of our overseas offices in the US and Europe are learning to cope with the impact of Covid-19 for the first time, our offices in Asia are able to share their experiences of the past three months.

Access and investment in technology have never been more important. We're fortunate in today's age to have full remote access to our database and servers. We're able to conduct meetings via Skype to keep on top of matters and ensure our clients know we are available during this period. Ensuring our staff stay motivated and mentally healthy is also a priority for us, especially if our BCPs have to continue for extended periods of time. As a firm, we have support lines for our staff and a management team that is easily accessible.


Tan Mui Huat
President and CEO, Asia
International SOS

Covid-19 is unprecedented in its global impact and likely duration. However, International SOS has had over 35 years of experience in helping organisations manage large-scale crises that affect the health, security, and wellbeing of their workforce. We are continually leveraging technology and expanding our global footprint to ensure that our clients have 24/7 access to advice and assistance from our network of medical and security professionals. Similarly, we are investing in extensive teleconsultation and telehealth solutions that will enable our clients and their employees to get instant access to medical care and emotional support.

In gearing up for the long haul, safeguarding the health, security, and wellbeing of employees remains essential. In supporting our clients in developing their pandemic plans, providing staff with regular, timely and credible information was critical to reassuring employees that their safety is of the utmost priority.

In this new norm and telecommuting environment, we are continually re-tooling ourselves to operate more efficiently and to enhance staff's physical and mental well-being through technology, equipment, virtual training, teleconsultation and access to emotional support. We are constantly reviewing policies and processes, especially after trigger events, and we have also developed clear, identifiable escalation/de-escalation triggers and associated protective actions for activating the business continuity plan and returning to work respectively.


Stephen Mak
Vice President, Enterprise Sales, Asia and Japan
BlackBerry

Covid-19 has accelerated remote working requirements for millions of organisations globally. No longer a mere bonus, highly functional and secure remote working infrastructures are suddenly an absolute imperative for organisations to maintain business continuity, while keeping staff safe. For BlackBerry's own mobile workforce, everyone has their part to play in these unprecedented times. While helping our customers do the same, including offering free 60-day work-from-home licensing for BlackBerry Desktop, we are actively using our own technologies to alert and keep employees updated, securely share files on-the-go, establish seamless, secure, and robust home working environments, leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to prevent and detect cyberthreats before they happen.

For all its benefits, remote working exposes businesses to increased risk. Reports of Covid-19 related phishing and malware campaigns are increasingly widespread. Providing a faster, safer channel for remote workers to access their files must be paired with a prevention-first approach to cyberthreats. Securing apps, devices and firewalls is no longer enough.

Regardless of the pandemic, the way we work is forever changed. We must always take a zero-trust approach to security in order to maintain complete trust in data and our mobile workforce.


James Yi
Managing Director, SE Asia & Korea
APCO Worldwide

While authorities work to ''flatten the curve'', this is the time for businesses to look ahead of it and prepare for what's next - including a global recession. As a global consultancy, APCO Worldwide understands that in the next year our mandate to provide guidance for key decision makers to be agile and ready for challenges in this rapidly evolving space will only escalate.

To prepare, we are powering up our scenario planning tools across sectors and markets and sharing key initial learnings and data regarding stakeholder behaviour across our global network. In these uncertain times, transparent and clear sharing of information across siloes will be of utmost importance, so we are preparing to be that bridge as businesses, governments and society adapt to a new normal.


Edmund Lee
Managing Director Singapore
TMF Group

The novel coronavirus outbreak remains a very volatile situation. Most mature multinational organisations have BCPs that have already been activated or are soon to be. But a true test of these plans is when organisations need to simultaneously activate their BCPs across multiple jurisdictions for a prolonged timeframe.

While TMF Group is undertaking many practical actions, our response is underpinned by a transparent and accountable leadership that remains agile and flexible. Our BCP represents a starting point that we are continuously modifying to adjust to the new normal. This is supported by building in the necessary communication feedback loops, across all points of our business, in order to gain the latest information and act decisively.

To paraphrase Charles Darwin, it's not the strongest, smartest or even those with the best plans that survive, but rather, those that are most adaptable to change.


Colin Brookes
SVP, Sales & Services, Asia Pacific & Japan
Citrix

Covid-19 is impacting people and organisations around the world, so our top priority remains the health and safety of our employees, customers, partners, and communities. I sincerely hope the crisis will not last a year or longer, but Citrix works tirelessly to keep both our own organisation uninterrupted and our customers' operations running throughout this global crisis, however long it may last. This is easier for us than others - as a leader in digital workspace solutions, secure remote working is in our blood. At this difficult time, Citrix has extended its resources and offerings and is helping existing and new customers to rapidly scale their solutions and provide remote services to their workforces.


Ronak Shah
CEO Singapore | Asia
QBE Singapore

In addition to activating our own business continuity plans, insurers need to be ready to help businesses overcome this global pandemic. Covid-19 has shown businesses the importance of having sound contingency plans and risk management approaches in place to ensure survival during difficult times. Our team is working around the clock to help our customers manage these new and unfamiliar risks, while exercising flexibility across our product portfolio to ensure we don't add to their burden. By each playing our role, we collectively increase our fighting chance against the virus while readying ourselves for any unforeseen events that could strike again in the future.


Tomas O'Farrell
Co-founder
Workana

The safety of our team is always a top priority. We feel confident that we can withstand a sustained pandemic as we refrained from experiencing disruptions to our business and turned to remote working completely and instantly. As a freelancer marketplace, we, as a company, have been preparing and training for remote working, and we were able to do so with the proper use of collaborative communication tools as well as project management, processes, strategy, and technology. As companies ask employees to work remotely and reconsider long-term working arrangements, and when organisations are waking up to the advantages of freelance work, we are committed to supporting their contingency plans to keep their businesses operational during this time.


Jeffery Tan
Group General Counsel
Jardine Cycle & Carriage Ltd

It is important to recognise that Covid-19 is unique. From its simultaneous global impact to the evolving and new challenges arising on a daily, if not hourly, basis, where one country's actions have knock-on effects that elicit corresponding responses which feed back into a new round of actions - all while the virus delivers its constant attack with no regard for boundaries.

The sensible approach is to aim for survival of this ''Covid-19 hurricane'', test our assumptions to ensure they are valid and make courageous decisions founded on business and economic factors; and the preservation of financial (and mental) well-being and relationships with our customers, suppliers and employees. After all, when the storm finally passes, these are the individuals who will help rebuild our businesses.


Maren Schweizer
Director
Schweizer World Pte Ltd

The priority is ensuring immediate health and safety. In parallel, we are adjusting the emergency scenario based on our downturn playbook, as we are facing a global societal shock, too. Procedures, non-negotiables, and levers that we developed and agreed in advance, remain our framework. Following a set emergency procedures playbook has proven to be valuable to ensure consistency, speed, and decisiveness.

I also believe in the importance of aiming for speed over elegance. Perfect is the enemy of good during crises. Own the narrative by telling what you know and admitting what you don't among your employees, your customers, and your ecosystem. Amid the crisis, our company's purpose remains steadfast. It's never negotiable.


Sudhir Agarwal
Chief Executive Officer
Everise

As a people-first, technology-enabled experience company, we have expanded the capacity of our successful Home-Based Agent solution, which will enable up to 50 per cent of our workforce to continue delivering great customer experiences from their home. In the short term, we are prioritising people on a need basis. Over the long term, we are looking at further increasing our work-at-home capacity, along with working with local governments on viable solutions. This is a rapidly evolving and unprecedented scenario that we find ourselves in, and I appreciate the continued trust and support of our people and partners to get through it together.


John Chen
Vice President, Asia
CH Robinson

Given the evolving Covid-19 situation, CH Robinson has implemented risk-minimising measures for our clients and employees. We are also staying in close contact with our contract carriers and discussing continuity plans in the event logistics routes need to be adjusted due to transportation or travel disruptions. These include helping customers plan their production schedules around the virus, and helping to designate backup sourcing options as countries press pause on incoming and outgoing shipments. This is not the first - nor the last - event to disrupt global supply chains, and we believe that the dynamic nature of logistics requires a proactive and collaborative approach with our clients to keep their businesses running.


Vikas Nahata
Co-Founder and Executive Chairman
Validus Capital

Over the last few weeks we have rapidly adjusted how we work and ensured that we practise social responsibility to minimise the spread of the virus. As our business continues to adjust to life in the age of Covid-19, these measures are fast becoming our new normal, including safety precautions, working remotely and reducing meetings and travel.

We must flatten the curve and assist the government in stopping the spread immediately.

As the economic fallout from Covid-19 hits, many SMEs will face immense cashflow challenges. Validus is well-placed to support SMEs and their increased financing needs during this outbreak. Through our Corporate Financing Programme and a S$50 million SME financing package, we also ensure that growth opportunities remain available for SMEs working with large corporates who are partners in our ecosystem.


Tony Lombardo
Chief Executive Officer
Lendlease Asia

Safety is our top priority and we have taken measures to protect our staff, customers and stakeholders. With the possibility of a prolonged period of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have a multi-pronged strategy to prepare us for different scenarios to ensure we have the liquidity to cover our operations over the next 12 months.

Having been a Singapore resident for close to four years now, I am thankful for and reassured by the whole-of-government approach here to managing the current crisis effectively. Having foresight and clarity of purpose are vital in times of crises and Singaporeans ought to be proud of the strong leadership demonstrated.


Gavin Lock
Chief Operating Officer
Senjo Group

Keeping our people - both at Senjo Group and our portfolio companies - safe is our first priority. We're aligning with the government's advice: a work-from-home policy has been implemented, we're avoiding international travel and relying on teleworking and video conferencing to stay connected.

Business-wise, Covid-19 has definitely had a negative impact, especially on the e-commerce sectors of travel, hospitality, ticketing and sports industries that we focus on. We're keeping a tight rein on cost management and will follow up on opportunities for government aid should that be available. We are a significant employer and want to be prepared for the worst-case scenario.


Pierre-Jean Châlon
Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific
Poly

While the outbreak has brought conversations around remote working to the fore, it's a practice that's always been there, and has been ingrained in every one of us at Poly since day one. Equipped and trained with the right collaboration technologies, remote working is second nature to us, thereby ensuring that there's no productivity loss during times of crisis, like the present.

At the end of the day, for businesses to tide over this difficult period, we firmly believe that organisations need to empower their employees with the right culture and technologies to enable them to continue doing their best work, no matter where they are.


Jay Ng
Managing Director
STACS

For every crisis, there are opportunities. The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the financial industry significantly. Trading in bonds, derivatives and securities have been negatively impacted.

When World Health Organization confirmed that the virus can remain on bank notes for several days, banks in China and South Korea disinfected them. This pandemic phenomenon has increased focus on the future of money and digital interactions. Clearly, technology like the deployment of AI and blockchain will be adopted more extensively. As one of Singapore's leading fintech development companies, STACS sees more opportunities for us to transform the securities life cycle of financial institutions using our blockchain technology. It saves them time, money, resources and even enhances security - the right bolster for companies facing this current crisis.


Jeeta Bandopadhyay
Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer
Tookitaki

People are core to Tookitaki's business and growth. Given the current situation, our employees are working from home across locations with stringent security and privacy controls in place. At Tookitaki, our engagement with clients and partners continues to be stronger than ever, albeit via virtual means rather than face-to-face.

It is business-as-usual at Tookitaki as money-laundering criminals never sleep. To address the current situation, we have adopted robust virtual collaboration spaces for seamless communication and secure access to business data, so that we continue to actively support our clients in ring-fencing their compliance processes.


Gibu Matthew
VP and GM, Asia Pacific
Zoho Corporation

Our organisation was able to transition about 8,000 employees based across the globe to work from home.

The amount of digitalisation that we have incorporated into our day-to-day processes using Zoho's collaboration and productivity tools has enabled our teams to continue with their customer interactions, supporting them as well as generating new transactions while working remotely.

Being a cloud technology company makes us more capable of building all the software that we need to run the business, and this kind of digitalisation is also helping our customers maximise the potentials of cloud computing in their day-to-day processes.

Additionally, to support businesses during this crisis, we have also introduced free tools to help them work even in a remote environment.


Eng Thiam Choon
Chief Executive Officer
Tiger Brokers Singapore

As an online broker in the fintech industry, Tiger Brokers' technological solutions and operational processes allow a flexible, robust and sustainable work environment for our employees. We started our Business Continuity Plan sometime in February and have rolled out tools such as IP phone systems, video conferencing and mobile chat systems which enable our employees to complete their work tasks at home efficiently. We have achieved cost savings in such arrangements and our business performance will improve as our manpower and resources are optimised to achieve a higher rate of productivity.


Ho Kuen Loon
Group CEO
Fullerton Health

Despite Covid-19, Fullerton Health continues to provide seamless access to healthcare for the 10 million lives we serve across nine countries.

We ensure those who need care can access over 12,000 medical providers across the globe. Having experienced Sars and other epidemics, our leadership has always had in place a Business Continuity Plan. Logistics to avail adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) to over 6,500 staff in the region, enforcement of national regulation and enhanced practices for infection control have all kicked in. All departments across the region have moved into gear to function in this new norm. We see ourselves as community pillars to provide calm and assurance.

As such, we have provided over 200 nurses in Australia to support the national 24/7 Covid-19 hotline. In Singapore, we dedicated half our fleet of ambulances to support national efforts. In China, at their time of need, we donated protective equipment to facilities in Hubei.


Laletha Nithiyanandan
Managing Director
Behavioural Consulting Group

Covid-19 is going to test businesses in terms of resilience and sustainability. As a business, we have been moving some of our work online and reducing travel for sometime now in order to reduce our carbon footprint. We facilitate live workshops and forums online and this is working well for us. There is still a lot of uncertainty and projects have been put on hold in view of a poor business climate overall. This year we are focusing on helping our clients grow their business and adding value to clients because if they grow, we grow.


Soong Chuan Sheng
General Manager
Klook Southeast Asia

The tourism industry as a whole has been greatly impacted by the current situation and we do foresee a longer-term impact. We are taking this time to sharpen operations, build efficiencies and strengthen relationships to capture recovery when it comes around.

For instance, we are working closely with various national tourism organisations and merchants to develop their offerings to suit demand once it returns. Additionally, we are focused on the growth of our employees during this period - developing learning improvement programmes in order to enhance and strengthen their core competencies. As a global company, our recovery strategy is phased according to improvements in each market; we remain ready to spur demand and connect travellers when the time is right.


Jessie Xia
Managing Director, Southeast Asia
ThoughtWorks

Our focus remains our people's health and safety, supporting our clients, and helping to slow the community spread. In view of this, we have adopted many of the government recommendations to allow remote working. On our client projects, we've talked to our clients about how to continue remotely. Not all clients are set up for that, so we are working with them to pass on our experiences knowledge with doing this. To support this, we have created an internal knowledge hub on remote working, and have published a Remote Work Playbook.

A crisis like this puts stress on the policies and systems of an organisation. If an organisation holds too firmly to its regular controls, it limits the effectiveness of its response to a novel situation. Being agile and having the ability to continuously adapt to the changing circumstances is critical to business continuity.


Serkan Cetin
Technical Director, APJ
One Identity

Like almost every company in this unprecedented time, One Identity is changing the way we work. We've been supporting a remote workforce globally, including Singapore - hence, the transition was less disruptive than it could have been. In times like these, it's important to focus on people, using methods and technologies to bring the team together virtually.

Closer collaboration, adhoc check-in calls and video conferencing tools can help in driving personal engagement with the teams. Due to the sensitivity of our businesses, we've been using enhanced security solutions and processes for quite some time, including password management and specifically multi-factor authentication to secure remote access of our employees.

As a result, we could make the shift to a complete remote workforce for business continuity easier and without disruptions of our services to our clients.


Axel Berkling
Executive Vice President, Asia-Pacific
KONE Corporation

At KONE, our top priority is the health and wellbeing of our employees and customers. We have implemented measures to ensure business continuity and maximum levels of productivity. Split operations are in place where each team alternates between working in the office and working from home, every week.

As part of our measures to practice social distancing, we have restricted physical contact between members of both teams. Furthermore, we have the infrastructure in place to ensure seamless telecommuting with both internal and external stakeholders.


Andie Rees
Managing Partner - South East Asia
Odgers Berndtson

The Covid-19 pandemic is a ''Black Swan'' event as the global financial crisis in 2008 was. However, this time around the impact has many more dimensions and far-reaching consequences. Supply chains have been disrupted, remote working has become the norm, online retail is gaining even faster traction with social distancing, and transparent communication is seen as something imperative from leaders. These changes may be here for the long haul. Hence organisations need to rethink their entire systems, processes, labour and importantly, leadership.

Our recent Leadership Confidence Index (which was developed by Harvard Business Review Analytics Services) showed that leaders must prioritise the attraction, retention and development of leadership and implement programmes that cultivate the right behaviours and attributes needed to succeed through continuous change. We are reviewing our systems and processes including upskilling and training our employees, looking for ways to implement more online initiatives for our clients, and carrying out more creative ideas and plans.


Mario Singh
CEO
Fullerton Markets

On March 12, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong gave his second national address on the Covid-19 outbreak and mentioned that we need to be prepared for the situation to continue for a year or more.

We have three BCP initiatives that we have implemented during this period. Firstly, we have segregated our teams and made arrangements for our colleagues to work from home to minimise physical contact with each other. Secondly, we have deferred all non-essential travel. This includes postponing regional meetings and cancelling appearances in conferences and keynotes. Lastly, we have moved all essential physical meet-ups to online meetings instead.

This crucial period, while challenging, is a real test for business sustainability all across the world. If businesses do experience a protracted lull, now would be the time to experiment with new business models or upgrade existing methods. All throughFor centuries, what has pushed the human race forward has been, and always will be, our indomitable spirit. We must stand together and stay vigilant.


Allan Tan
Managing Partner
Ying Communications

A tiny micro-organism has completely disrupted decades-held beliefs as to what work means. In such an environment, our guiding priorities are: to keep employees and families safe, and to serve clients to the utmost of our ability. In the new normal of social distancing, work-from-home - combined with Zoom meetings, Microsoft Teams and Box storage - helps us achieve both. In anticipation of an extended outbreak, we've repurposed our services to deliver digital-and-social-media-first strategies to help clients sustain their brands and generate leads. For employees, we're coming up with new ideas - like virtual birthday celebrations and #ShareYourWFHgear moments - to keep the team engaged, and minimise social isolation. Survivors will be those who can keep an open mind as to what ''work'' actually means - for themselves, and for their clients.


Aaron Lee
Chief Executive Officer
Gabkotech Innovations

Prevention is better than cure. At this critical juncture, we encourage and practise social distancing and remote working, and step up personal hygiene at the workplace. As a local SME, we gain from the use of mobile and sensor technologies to automate workflow and processes, as well as healthcare and security measures such as temperature-taking and surveillance, so as to minimise human contact while ensuring productivity and business continuity in the long run. With the help of technology, we are able to monitor the situation closely and remain nimble in responding to fast-changing requirements and challenges. We can all do our part in containing the spread of the virus, by first being socially conscious and responsible for our own actions.


Terry Smagh
SVP and GM, Asia Pacific & Japan
BlackLine

We believe that agility will be key to the success of organisations in the new normal. Adoption of technologies like automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning will play a significant role in helping companies further unlock productivity, improve the bottom line and focus on innovation. At BlackLine, we are working closely with our customers to help them modernise the finance and accounting function, to enable greater operational effectiveness and agility. Our cloud-based solution automates and controls the entire financial close process and lets the finance team focus on being a true partner to the business - driving higher quality strategy and better business decisions.


Benjamin Tan
Vice President
Ultimaker APAC

At Ultimaker, we believe that technology is a force for good. To ensure business continuity, we turn to tools like webinars, e-conferences and e-trainings for open communications. During this period, we'll conduct more online training with partners, so that we stand ready to seize opportunities when the outbreak's over.

Amid such uncertain times, distributed manufacturing like 3D printing has brought great benefit to global value chains. Instead of manufacturing an item and shipping it to a warehouse, the digital file can be sent to be 3D-printed on-site instead. This process has enabled supply chains to remain open and fluid.


David Gurlé
Founder and CEO
Symphony Communication Services LLC

As Covid-19 has spread to Europe and the United States from its initial epicentre in Asia, Symphony has been supporting the world's top financial institutions - as they have activated Business Continuity Plans and split operations (including remote and working from home scenarios) - with a secure and compliant platform and community that's second to none. Our technology is enabling firm-to-firm collaboration, internal interactions, meetings, mobile use, and uninterrupted communication to our customers' business ecosystem in a moment of crisis.

On our side, Symphony is fully prepared to support our customers if the Covid-19 pandemic continues for a sustained period of time. We defined and exercised our Business Continuity Management and Disaster Recovery programme. By design, our technology operations already include multiple resiliency, disaster recovery capabilities, and global coverage for multiple time zones. All our providers - including hosting providers - have also taken steps to ensure uninterrupted operation. We are prepared to keep our customers up and running if remote work, as demonstrated during the coronavirus pandemic, turns into the new normal. Simultaneously, our own collaboration technology is currently enabling 90 per cent of our staff to work remotely for a prolonged period of time.


Michelle Dickinson
Head of School
One World International School

As an international school with a diverse global community, One World International School (OWIS) has been taking necessary precautions such as twice daily temperature checks and travel declarations for all staff, students and visitors to the campus, and limiting the number of parents and visitors on campus. We have also minimised large group and communal activities including morning assemblies, events and school performances, which are now filmed and broadcasted to students.

Should the need arise, our teachers and students are fully prepared and well-equipped for online learning via existing online learning tools and our learning management platforms, and we are confident that meaningful learning will still take place.


Ng Tian Chong
SVP and MD, Greater Asia
HP Inc

The wellbeing of our employees, customers, partners and communities that we serve is our top priority. Our teams are mobile-ready and have the flexibility to be productive wherever they are working. We are encouraging them to work remotely and further optimising their experience by giving them the tools they need from notebook PCs and peripherals to collaborative software. Covid-19 has forced businesses to rethink the way they operate and to some extent, accelerated the speed at which businesses prepare for the future of work, which will be underpinned by flexibility and mobility. Technology alone is not enough to usher in the future of work - we need to create holistic strategies from policies to tools to ensure a sustained competitive advantage.


Paul Hadjy
CEO and Co-Founder
Horangi

At Horangi, we're focused on securing businesses and helping them innovate without fear. It is paramount that we set up productive remote work technology and processes to stay in close collaboration with our employees and customers. Organising optional activities like remote workouts and creating virtual lobbies with Discord are ways for us to make the best of the situation. To adapt to the shortage of in-person events, we have leveraged online avenues like webinars to support our marketing efforts. In the event the pandemic stretches and leads to a prolonged global slowdown, we need to stay prudent and spend wisely.


Andrew Chan
Founder and CEO
ACI HR Solutions (ACI)

As a recruitment company specialising in the travel and hospitality sector, Covid-19 has undoubtedly impacted our business with major clients choosing to put hiring activities on hold. However, having a management team that experienced the Global Financial Crisis over a decade ago, we have a working model in place that enables us to hunker down and weather through storms. During this period, we have taken the opportunity to work on projects we may not have had the capacity to take on during busier times such as launching a new website, enhancing our digital footprint and streamlining some workflow processes.


Eryk Lee
Chief Executive Officer
AAM Advisory

Our clients and employees come first in every decision that we make during this crisis. Making proactive rather than reactive decisions are critical in such situations. Our government has done a marvellous job in this respect. At AAM Advisory, we anticipated very early on that there would be a high volume of queries and actions from clients. We took decisive actions to strengthen our IT capability and security, purchased laptops and streamlined our processes to make sure we can meet clients' demands when our Business Continuity Plan is activated. Panic will not get us anywhere so we prepare our clients and are ourselves fully prepared. When the crisis subsides and the market recovers(and they will), we will emerge stronger and so will our clients.


Edwin Koh
Director, Southeast Asia
Limelight Networks

The Covid-19 outbreak has kicked off the world's biggest work-from-home exercise. As part of effective business emergency preparedness to cushion the impact on day-to-day operations, business leaders must evaluate the capacity of their technology resources and infrastructure to support web-conferencing and video streaming - the new norm today to minimise disruption and ensure business continuity. Now that demand is swelling for secure video-centric applications where low latency must be achievable at scale, Limelight Networks is focusing its efforts on expanding our network capacity and infrastructure at the edge to better address our customers' needs for high-quality connection with their stakeholders.


Edward Senju
Regional CEO
Sansan Global Pte Ltd

Covid-19 is proving to be a Black Swan event that has brought with it extraordinary socio-economic and business challenges, some of which we have yet to face. To ensure business continuity at Sansan, we have implemented short-term measures and are also working on long-term plans to tackle the broader challenges posed by Covid-19.

As a provider of a cloud-based contact management CRM service, our key focus will be on product and business operation upgrades in the year to come. At the same time, we have been ideating on how can we support our customers amid this global crisis. Our product enables us to serve customers by bringing their remote employees or business executives together on a platform to build new people connections, in a time when social distancing is a must.

We have cancelled all our mass offline events for now and going digital to engage our customers and the technology community, largely through webinars. Our biggest innovation event in Japan, the Sansan Innovation Project 2020, will now be conducted online. Technology and effective internal communication have been our survival cards to keep the business going in the current situation, and we shall monitor the developments closely as we plan for the future. We expect that Covid-19 shall accelerate business model change and innovations in technology. Businesses that fail to do so risk getting disrupted.


George Lee
VP, Asia Pacific & Japan
RSA

As organisations embrace remote working, they must also be ready to manage the digital risks that come with it. Like many organisations, we have built a strong cybersecurity framework to tackle the increased vulnerabilities posed by the expected rise in use of devices and cloud services to access company systems from various locations. A robust cybersecurity framework can increase visibility across three key areas: the identities that are accessing company systems, resources they have access to, and activities they engage in. With the proliferation of Internet of things (IoT) and upcoming deployment of 5G, this strong foundation will better facilitate identity, access, and activity management. It will help minimise security risks without the authentication process slowing users down as remote working becomes commonplace.


Saikrishnan Ranganathan
CEO & Co-Founder
SensorFlow

A segment of our customers is from the tourism and hospitality industry and during these turbulent times, SensorFlow is working stronger than ever with our customers to help minimise their energy expenses. We are discounting the revenue we take during this period and that's because our business model lets us do this; we take only a portion of the savings that we achieve for our customers and nothing more. Internally, we have also introduced work-from-home options for our employees to ensure business continuity.


Leonard Cheong
Managing Director
AdNovum Singapore Pte Ltd

The Covid-19 outbreak has evolved globally and will likely continue beyond 2020. Employees have been segregated into two teams working in office or telecommute on alternate weeks or work from home if they choose to. Overseas travel is also discouraged, as the health and safety of our employees and social responsibility remains our top priority.

AdNovum is also gearing up to help businesses, as many will transform digitally to stay relevant during this period, by keeping the data secured and resilient via protecting consumer identities, ensuring prompt payments and complying with regulatory requirements.


Kartik Krishnamurthy
Managing Director, Asia
Cornerstone OnDemand

Cornerstone OnDemand is the world leader in digital learning technology. As a business we have implemented a robust work-from-home programme globally and have seen a 100 per cent rise in productivity across all teams. We have ensured every employee has access to all the best collaboration tools. All our meetings are virtual, with video, so we can see our colleagues. We have also started doing virtual ''social times'' - coffee or late afternoon beers on Friday - so people can talk about things beyond work

For our clients we have just launched a free public learning where you can access essential training anytime and anywhere. We believe learning and development should never stop especially in such challenging times.


David Hope
Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific & Japan
ForgeRock

At ForgeRock our priority focus during this challenging Covid-19 pandemic is on the health and welfare of our global employees as well as in continuing to provide uninterrupted world-class support to the ForgeRock customer community.

As a company, ForgeRock has implemented a global work-from-home policy and is continuing to operate as normally as possible using the virtual and online business tools available to all employees. The impact overall in terms of internal productivity has been minimal to date, as a large portion of the global ForgeRock workforce already operates remotely or from mobile offices. An interesting side note is that one of the business-related consequences of the global pandemic is that demand for online channels has risen significantly. As an example, one of our global financial customers shared with us how in the current climate their foot traffic had decreased by 50 per cent but digital access to their services has increased by almost 300 per cent in a short period of time. This increase in digital online demand places a greater need for scalable and robust Identity and Access Management solutions which is a core infrastructure requirement critical to a successful and seamless digital customer and employee experience. In this regard, it has been paramount to stay customer-focused and provide seamless backup and support as ForgeRock customers deal with their online challenges associated with spikes in demand and the need for increased security during this period internally and externally so as to be able in turn best serve the needs of their own customers and employees.

Locally Singapore is one of ForgeRock's global customer support hubs. ForgeRock has been fortunate to operate in a country that is seen as best in class globally at dealing with Covid-19 and its associated impact. As communication, advice and directives related to how everyone needs to operate in the current environment have been regular, clear and unambiguous the Singapore team was able to adapt quickly to deal with the impact and challenges.


Summer Choo
Country Director
ADA Singapore

In these uncertain times, finding stability is the key to maintaining regular business operations. We have always leveraged digital collaboration tools - something that is to our advantage now. On top of usual Business Continuity Planning practices, we have also made concessions for team members with dependents or difficult commutes. For our clients, we continue to be available virtually and have begun providing regular updates and data-driven insights and strategies. By leveraging our data capabilities to monitor and understand consumers' behavioural changes, we hope to help them weather these tough times and handle challenges, mitigate fears, and establish their brand stance.


Lukas Raska
Chief Operating Officer
ESET

As more organisations mandate a work-from-home policy, it is imperative for everyone to stay accessible and connected to ensure business continuity. However, working from home brings about new cybersecurity challenges in digital environments that may not be as secure as the office. As a global cybersecurity solutions provider, ESET aims to continue to develop solutions that keep users safe from emerging malware, no matter where they are working from. Globally we remain fully accessible to our customers, and our researchers will continue to monitor and update the relevant teams of any new solutions and emerging threats.


Naveen Menon,
President, ASEAN,
Cisco

Cisco is focused on providing our people and communities the support they need to practise social distancing and keep safe. Like many other companies, we have implemented mandatory work-from-home policies across all locations. As a company that has always had a culture of flexible working, our transition to fully remote work came with fewer challenges. The business continuity of our customers and partners is a priority for us too. Working with industry partners and associations such as Info-communications Media Development Authority in Singapore, we have been offering free Webex video conferencing and security solutions to enable business continuity and productivity. We are committed to doing the right thing for the business - and also ourselves - and will continue to do our part to keep communities safe, connected and secure.


Mike Ong
Vice President
BIGO Technology

BIGO Technology has introduced various measures such as flexible working hours, mandatory work-from-home arrangements, virtual meetings and deferment of non-essential travel to ensure long-term business continuity.

The nature of our business is online - we provide live streaming services through Bigo Live and instant messaging on our Imo app. Both platforms provide our users with the means to connect with each other and minimise disruption in their everyday life. We remain committed to providing high quality and seamless connectivity for our users through our AI-powered technology and in-house data infrastructure. With both office and business resilience in mind, we believe that BIGO will tide through the pandemic smoothly.


Jean Thomas
Chief Marketing Officer
Pomelo Fashion

Technology plays a crucial role in our omnichannel retail strategy. In this time of uncertainty, brands can gear up and think of innovative ways to meaningfully engage the community. We are ramping up our digital efforts by leveraging investments in online innovation as well as tapping on immersive tech such as in-app livestream and shoppable features to continue delivering the best consumer experience, while remaining safe. Through this, we hope to instil a sense of normalcy where our customers can continue immersing in the fashion experience from home.

With our community's well-being as top priority, measures to ensure cleanliness and hygiene have also been put in place at our physical stores, and business continuity plans have also been implemented.


Mitch Young
Senior Vice President, APJ
ServiceNow

The escalating novel coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact are set to unleash unpredictable changes and disrupt workplaces across the globe. In order for organisations to continue to operate efficiently, work must flow freely between companies and their employees; local agencies and their citizens; hospitals and first responders; airlines and passengers; schools and students.

To help organisations better navigate the Covid-19 crisis, ServiceNow recently announced four new community apps to help government agencies and enterprises manage complex emergency response workflows. These applications enable emergency outreach, self-reporting and exposure management to help organisations better manage the situation.


Jagdish Mahapatra
Managing Director, Asia
CrowdStrike

Covid-19 is forcing organisations to embrace a sustained remote workstyle to minimise infection risks and ensure business continuity. With directives for employees to work from home, maintaining cybersecurity during this ''office exodus'' presents a significant challenge.

Employees at home may use personal devices, which tend to have poor cyber hygiene, to carry out business functions if they do not have a business-supplied device. Sensitive business data may be accessed through home Wi-Fi networks without the security controls used in offices. During this period, we are also susceptible to coronavirus-themed phishing attacks and scam campaigns.

Having previously supported our own dispersed workforce, CrowdStrike is lending our institutional knowledge of enabling a remote workforce at scale, to help organisations rapidly and securely transition their staff from office to home.


Christina Teo
Executive Director
SAPI

The Singapore Association of Pharmaceutical Industries (SAPI) comprises 36 global biopharmaceutical companies with a vision to make innovative medicines accessible to patients in Singapore through a strong, sustainable and valued partnership with government and key healthcare stakeholders.

The Covid-19 pandemic presents unprecedented obstacles of global proportions. SAPI members are prepared to tackle the challenges ahead by leveraging our expertise, resources and capabilities to identify science-based solutions and treatments. At this important juncture, SAPI looks to reaffirm and protect its key priorities. SAPI values the welfare of the more than 10,000 employees in terms of worker safety and job security. We are closely following Ministry of Health guidelines in the workplace and continually adopt prudent and safe practices like split teams and work-from-home arrangements to safeguard our personnel. To ensure job sustainability, SAPI is enhancing training and exploring innovative solutions for job retention and recovery.

Our goal remains to ensure that patients have access to the innovative medicines they need. SAPI also recognises the enormous stake it has in maintaining a steady supply of medical supplies and healthy trajectory for the Singapore economy. SAPI members will continue to coordinate with relevant government agencies to ensure, to the best of our ability, that commitments to public healthcare institutions continue to be met during these times.


Gillian Tee
Co-Founder & CEO
Homage

We receive regular advisories on care continuity directly from the Ministry of Health and promptly implement the required safety measures in order to deliver safe care to families in need within our communities.

One key response effort has been to define the appropriate restrictions and protocols on caregiving and deployment of care professionals based on recurring daily declarations of recent health, travel and contact history of as well as symptoms experienced by all families and our care professionals we work with.

Importantly, we also build in internal capability to enable fast response to the need to adapt our protocols as Covid-19's impact evolves. For example, we have updated our technology platform to block and prevent care delivery should the required restrictions and escalation criteria be violated or a notice go unacknowledged. Adopting technology as a risk mitigation tool is key towards ensuring ongoing compliance and precaution in our care delivery's end-to-end process.

Beyond that, it is important to implement customisations in accordance to each care setting for our acute and communicate care organisational partners. We plan ahead for business continuity which extends to internal staff, where remote/split-team working is now the new norm to mitigate risk.


Justin Chow
Head of Business Development
Cumberland

The Covid-19 pandemic is an unprecedented event that may continue to introduce novel risks to the marketplace. It is our job to understand, mitigate and manage those risks while ensuring business continuity.

As a liquidity provider, we are well-positioned to maintain business operations for several key reasons. First, we operate as part of DRW, a global trading organisation with over 25 years of experience and 1000 employees. Second, the crypto trading market is decentralised and global, resulting in a reduced risk to operational stability. Finally, Cumberland runs a 24/7 desk across geographies, which has given us proven experience in daily handoffs and collaboration while maintaining a dispersed presence worldwide.


Dora Hoan
CEO
Best World International Ltd

The first priority in our crisis planning is to establish a split-team working arrangement to ensure business continuity and minimise risk. We believe that business transformation is the ultimate preparation for any future challenge, and our organisation has always been committed to developing online business operations. For us, the Chinese market was hit during the first quarter, with the South East Asia market expected to be the next most affected. Many of our events have been suspended during this critical period.

As a product-oriented company, we have thoroughly re-evaluated our supply chain. We work with suppliers across different countries, and we used to maintain stock levels of three to six months' needs. We are certain that our business and inventory levels are viable for the first half of the year. We are in the process of planning for the second half, preparing even for worst-case scenarios should there be no improvement in the pandemic situation.


David Leong
Managing Director
PeopleWorldwide Consulting Pte Ltd

Unprecedented and unexpected, Covid-19 is a blue-moon event that has totally gripped the entire world. Never have countries simultaneously shut down and restricted movement of people in tandem across the world. When such a halt of movement of people, capital, goods and services happens, the economies across the world are disrupted and brought to a standstill.

Organisations and companies must plan a buffer for the long dry winter of inactivity. For PeopleWorldwide, discretionary expenditures must be cut, and wages are to be recalibrated to remove the variable wage component. Travels will cease. This a a real case of ''brace, brace, brace'' emergency landing for us. Our business depends on the movement of people for jobs, and entire HR supply chains are disrupted with broken links.


Lim Soon Hock
Managing Director
PLAN-B ICAG

All businesses are indeed operating now in extremely trying times. When we were about to get used to the volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) world and thought that we had it under control, the Covid-19 outbreak has catapulted volatility to a new high, with heightened fluidity and uncertainties, almost on a daily basis. That has made it extremely difficult for companies, especially SMEs, to navigate the troubled waters and stay afloat. Unfortunately it has become a real test of a company's resilience to withstand the shock and disruption to the status quo.

In the companies that I am involved in, we have assumed the worst-case scenario - that is, zero sales and revenues - to ensure we have the cashflow to keep the business going. It is our number one challenge, which we continue to review regularly, in response to new developments arising from the pandemic. We explored many options for funding, to be fully prepared, should the need arises. Our number one consideration is keeping jobs for all our employees. For one company with good accumulated reserves, the Group CEO reiterated to all staff that he does not intend to break the firm's enviable record of not retrenching employees or cutting salaries since it started 42 years ago and having survived past economic crises.

All the companies have implemented BCPs. The good news is that all our employees are co-operating fully, having understood the need to work with inconveniences and less on-site support, and working harder than pre-Covid-19. It is very heartening to know that during tough times, the tough gets going, including adjusting to telecommuting and complying with government guidelines to stay healthy and to contain the contagion.

SG United is performing at its best. Singapore is the envy of many countries. Much of the credit must surely go to our government for taking the strong lead, and responding swiftly and decisively to adverse developments to support all businesses, especially SMEs, as seen in the recent response to Malaysia's Movement Control Order.


Ng Yi Ming
Managing Partner
Tribe Accelerator

These are unprecedented times and to combat Covid-19, we must all act together and look out for each other. Given the situation, firstly it is a social and business imperative for companies to have a crisis response team, and take suitable measures to ensure employee safety, business continuity, and effective communication.

Secondly, we may need to rework our business approach and operations. At Tribe Accelerator, boosting collaboration within the technology and blockchain community is a key business objective for us. To drive synergies amongst corporates and startups, we host regular networking events, partner summits, industry masterclasses, and workshops. These have proven to be a massive force behind blockchain projects delivering real-world benefits. Given the current situation, we shall be going remote for a lot of these activities. To continue enabling and mentoring the startup founders of our next cohort, we plan to host Digital Mentor Hours and investor meetings over video conferencing. Depending on how the Covid-19 situation evolves, we might take our industry masterclasses and workshops online going forward. We shall double our efforts to engage the technology and blockchain community through OpenNodes, an online ecosystem platform backed by IMDA. We find ourselves in the middle of an extraordinary worldwide crisis, but we would do what it takes to not let this impact the opportunities for the terrific founders, who are a part of our Tribe.

Moreover, in light of this pandemic, there cannot be a greater pressing need for us to accelerate blockchain's application within food supply chains, digital healthcare, and contactless payments infrastructure. We have already seen a few countries employ blockchain to better tackle the crisis we are in. In Hubei province, for example, healthcare workers are receiving much-needed donations of face masks, medical equipment, and cash through a blockchain-based donation tracking platform, Shanzhong.

In 2020 and beyond, we shall put a concerted effort behind leveraging digital platforms for business and push the pedal on driving mainstream adoption of blockchain technology for social good.


Jacob Puthenparambil
Partner
REDHILL Communications

In our six years of operations we have managed to grow through positive business cycles and by proving our value to clients. We hope to stay the course in the face of Covid-19 by managing our expenses - especially non-essential travel and expansionary plans such as new office moves - while doubling down on working with clients to ensure cashflow mechanisms that are fair to all.

We are committed to providing the same quality of service to our clients through these challenging times, and are working closely with our global teams to give us enhanced agility to provide uninterrupted service. We have also activated a business continuity plan that includes alternative work arrangements for our staff to ensure their welfare.


Kunalan Chakravarthy
Chief Executive
Priority Consultants Group

As a regional communications consulting firm with staff in 11 cities, we are especially vulnerable as the Covid-19 situation escalates. Our leadership has worked out some worst/best case scenarios and plans, and are today actively communicating these within the organisation. This is to ensure that all of us know what we need to do to remain healthy, secure and successful.

Delivering outstanding service to our clients cannot be done without our people. Our people and their health is paramount. To that end initiatives including remote working, soft skills training and measuring outcomes, as well as ensuring our people know what success looks like, are critical to success.

We expect the economic and psychological damage of Covid-19 to go beyond the first half of 2020. We are preparing our people in every way we can to ensure that they are equipped with the skills and the mental fortitude to ride the storm and continue our focus on growing themselves and our business.


Henry Tan
Group CEO
Nexia TS Group

The Covid-19 pandemic is not something we would have experienced due to the scale of its impact and the response that countries have had to make. So if this were to last a year or more, we need to continue to operate with this new norm, including the necessary restrictions and inconvenience. We have been gearing up for a year now for the ability to work remotely and this has now come in very useful. The teams are connected remotely via Ms Teams and VPN to the company network. With travel restrictions, we are working with our international affiliates to get work done. We're now going into the second month of our Business Continuity Plan and are getting more used to it; we recently introduced a new line of service to help our clients implement BCP, in addition to other areas of concern like risk management and cybersecurity services. We also watch our cost and cashflow carefully to ensure we continue to keep jobs.


Annie Yap
CEO
AYP Group

With AYP's regional presence in multiple ASEAN countries, we are naturally more susceptible to the impacts of global issues. With that in mind, strategically, we have always placed heavy emphasis on the need for Business Continuity Plans. To illustrate, by using cloud-based systems instead of on-premise ones, the detriments of a complete lockdown are averted and our business and HR processes will run smoothly if we are mandated to work remotely. Our team has always been lean, and we take this opportunity to upskill our employees so that they are equipped to stay with us for a long haul. The impacts of the outbreak will cut deeply and be far-reaching: nonetheless, there might still be a silver lining amidst this crisis.


Malina Platon
Managing Director, ASEAN
UiPath

UiPath has already developed a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) 'Healthcheck' robot that automates the collection, organisation and reporting of employee health reports. Many markets that we work in require employees working from home to provide regular health updates including temperature checks. This creates significant amounts of data that need to be processed, which our RPA robot does. It is used in South Korea, China and Singapore by both us and many of our customers and partners.

Over the longer term, we will continue to develop automation solutions that allow businesses to successfully implement their Business Contingency Plans. We have set up an Automation Hub that collates automation ideas and allows others to use them free of charge. This includes many ideas on how to ensure processes are not disrupted thanks to the virus and helps enable employees to work from home while repetitive, rules-based tasks are automated. Automation technologies are as important as ever as work processes become disjointed, increasing the potential for mistakes to be made. If you can automate some of these processes you reduce the risk of errors and increase the capacity and capability of employees to continue to work from home.