Are you one of those UAE startups with the ability to get the most out of your limited resources? Like many others in your field, you too may be well affected by the sweeping lockdowns and restrictions that COVID 19 pandemic has created. While the pandemic is happening, many startup founders are fretting to stay afloat and to keep their staff onboard. If you take the right steps, your company can get ahead of it. You may be technically well-equipped but might lack financial stability. It's time to adapt to the change very quickly. Here are some quick recovery guidelines for you to easily recover from the crisis. The world needs innovative and creative companies now more than ever.
Affordable Vs. Unaffordable
If you're an established UAE startup business and you can afford to withstand the economic slowdown, it’s high time you joined your peers in helping the governments to combat the unprecedented conditions which can easily lead to a damaging recession.
While if you are one of those early-stage startups struggling to make the ends meet or the pandemic crisis has hit you hard, there is still room for giving back to society as various funds are being offered for startups to work on solutions as a response to the emergency situation.
Make use of Various UAE Business Relief Packages and Offers
Six Dubai banks (Emirates NBD, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates Islamic, Mashreq and Commercial Bank of Dubai) and Three Abu Dhabi Banks have announced various support packages and business relief initiatives for its individual customers and cardholders, small business customers, trading clients, customers with existing and new finance facilities, business banking customers, and many more. To learn more about any of the listed measures, please visit the nearest branch of your bank or its digital banking platform.
If you're a client with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), there are a series of fiscal easing initiatives starting from April 1. While the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) has launched Support Measures for Registered Businesses to Counter the Impact of COVID-19. A package of economic incentives for AFZ, China Mall, and its affiliates have also issued by H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of Ajman Free Zone (AFZ).
To cope with the impact, the Ambassador, an employee experience application, has opened its free MyBenefits platform in order to help teams save money through discounts and perks, such as 15% off on food deliveries with CareemNOW, AED 30 off home disinfection with JustMop, one free wash and fold bag with Washmen, and many more.
Similarly, Virtuzone- a company formation specialist, Zbooni, a connected chat commerce app for UAE merchants, Online coaching company Bessern, The Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa), DeliverDXB- a platform listing local restaurants and Abu Dhabi-headquartered Bayzat, a technology company providing HR, payroll, and insurance solutions, have come up special offers for SME's to combat and navigate through this worst situation. You may visit their websites for more details on the offers.
Invest your ideas in good deeds for lead generation
It is up to you whether you want to utilize these relief packages or offers. While you're at it think about some innovative ideas which will help with lead generation and getting people to know about your company and your expertise. The effort you can invest in these good deeds now will likely circle round and help your business in a good way. Think about it.
Connect with the startup community in the UAE
Many of the UAE tech and startup communities are serving as role models to the country since breakup started.
Now is the time to strengthen your ties with startups more than ever and collectively undertake initiatives in support of crisis management. Just take Yovzav for example, a UAE-based construction technology startup, offering its Yovza advanced account, an integrated solution that connects businesses within the construction industry, to engineering consultants for one year with no charge. Construction contractors can avail a 50% discount when subscribing to a one-year package. The Yovza advanced account enables taking control of construction projects remotely with minimal human interaction.
Similarly, there are many ways to help in the quick and smart development and implementation of the necessary measures. So, get as involved as you can and encourage others in your community to do so as well.
Host free online webinars, podcasts or Q&A sessions
As the situation goes uncertain for long, many event organisers are shifting their conferences online. Be part of this bandwagon and go live – whether it’s alone, with your team or maybe with professionals from other startups. The online event, webinar, podcast, YouTube video, Q&A, do whatever you want, but make sure to give advice based on your expertise and help people to stay motivated.
Plan for Skill Enhancements
When a crisis like COVID 19 creates a standstill situation for a fast-moving business landscape in the UAE, it calls organizations and their people to adapt to changing circumstances rapidly, and to always be learning. People learn best when they have to learn. Applying what’s learned to real-world situations strengthens one’s focus and determination to learn. Corporate training, will do the job of skill enhancement to fill in the gaps if any.
Offer your advice on remote working
As a startup company, you may be probably very well acquainted with the concept of ‘working from home’. Due to the current demanding situation, millions of people have for the first time started working remotely. The newly-created situation has given thousands of managers no other choice but to lead their teams online, completely unprepared. You could lend a helping hand, either putting together your tips in a blog, LinkedIn post, webinar, or even encourage people to get in touch.
Offer consultations to SMEs on New Business Models
Not being able to go out or to the workplace has brought up the need for many business processes to be automated. It has resulted in many SMEs seeking new methods and business models. As a new-gen startup, you could help out these SMEs in setting up online shops, running marketing campaigns, to AI-driven automation, to IoT data collection, or give advice on the required IT tools.
Here you have many choices. Taking the right decision always depends on you. But, remember, this is the moment we all have to step up and create a real social impact. Setting a positive example will encourage other startups to take action too, and, by working together we will more quickly adapt to our uncertain future.
Sharafudhin Mangalad is the managing director of a chain of educational institutions in the UAE. With more than 10 years of experience in the education industry, he successfully runs Edoxi Training Institute in Dubai and Time Training Center Abu Dhabi.
He is a strategist and a leader able to steer the company to the most profitable direction while also implementing its vision, mission and long term goals. He always makes sure that his business continues to grow by identifying, developing and implementing the new strategies. He leads his team in alignment with the company's vision and values while preparing and implementing comprehensive business plans to facilitate achievement.