A national lockdown and the economic shockwaves created by a global pandemic are unprecedented in their own rights. This is especially true for a country like South Africa that was already walking several social, economic and political tightropes simultaneously before COVID-19 came along. It says a great deal that the country losing its last investment-grade credit rating last week barely registered on the national psyche – such are the times we live in!
Attempting to start, build and grow a company is a daunting challenge no matter what, but to do so in the time of corona has been an incredibly unique but rewarding one, and one we are not taking for granted. We have no doubt that the lessons we learn and the milestones we achieve during this period will, in one way or another, stand us in excellent stead for the future – the list of superstar companies founded during the financial crisis of 2008/09, widely circulated last week, drilled home to us exactly what kind of opportunities await those companies that are able to successfully navigate these heavily constrained times.
We are in the very fortunate position of still being able to operate as a team, pursue our mission and service our customers, who now more than ever need creative solutions to ensure they are able to endure these crazy times and prosper in the future. This provides us with the opportunity to think creatively, break convention, experiment and innovate in ways we might not have even dreamed of a few weeks ago. Indeed, we as a team are currently pursuing (and truly grappling with) two huge and potentially game-changing partnerships for us that we certainly wouldn’t have thought of ourselves before they were presented to us, and both completely driven by the exceptional circumstances caused by COVID-19. It’s created a huge amount of debate and discussion amongst the team, trying to work out the solution that creates the best outcomes for us and our customers. All I can say is, we’re very fortunate that these are the kinds of discussions we’re having at this time!
Another positive outcome of this lockdown situation is having the resources and the opportunity to continue learning, building our skillsets and knowledge, and ensuring that we remain sharp and current. There are always things we can do to improve ourselves, whether by learning new technical skills through a vast array of online resources, or having the opportunity to attend excellent free programmes like GrindstoneXL’s FMGR series, an invaluable way for startups like us to learn from some of the best people in the business on how to succeed in difficult times.
We can’t wait to see how the next few weeks and months pan out, and will continue to use every opportunity we can to learn, grow and serve our customers to the best of our ability.