Small and medium-sized businesses will have to work together to survive – Mythili Kolluru

By Lincoln DePradine

Dr Mythili Kolluru

With a steep decline in world trade projected because of the Coronavirus, one strategic management and business expert is warning of an economic recession.

Dr Mythili Kolluru says the survival of small and medium-sized businesses, including owned and operated by Black entrepreneurs, will depend on them working together.

“You have to push each other. We don’t have a choice,’’ says Kolluru. “During these difficult times, we all need to pull together and share our ideas and that way we can move forward.’’

Kolluru, an assistant professor at the College of Banking and Financial Studies in Oman, was the main presenter at a May 21 webinar in a series on responses for “Outriding COVID-19’’.

The series of online presentations and panel discussions is hosted by Magate Wildhorse Consulting. Last Thursday’s webinar focused on trade, finance and investment.

“The thing that everybody should do now is internet-related businesses,’’ suggested Kolluru, whose PhD. is in strategic management and who has worked in corporate and higher educational institutions in India, the United States and the Middle East. “If the idea is good and it’s an answer to a problem, then it’s going to be a success.’’

Jamaican-Canadian Meegan Scott, founder and owner of Magate Wildhorse Consulting, agreed on the benefit of investing in an internet-related business.

“It will help to diversify the supply chain, which is what we need,’’ Scott said.

An investment of any kind, said Scott, should be based on “current, emergent and needs of businesses, customers, government and communities especially those that have been created or uncovered by COVID-19’’. 

Entrepreneurs, she added, “should also look to old industries with current relevance or bring them in to relevance.  They should also consider the environmental aspect of the pandemic and invest in sustainable industries, staying clear of brown economy or dirty industries, lest they find themselves with stranded assets or even in dying industries’’.

Kolluru noted that COVID-19 has impacted the “livelihoods of people across sectors and across the globe’’ and is pulling down the economies of countries.

“These disruptions that are coming because of COVID are going to be one of the deepest economic recessions that I think we will be seeing in our lifetime at least,’’ she said.

The Coronavirus has caused the death of some 350,000 people worldwide. Many of those who succumbed to the virus  were residents of long-term care facilities in Canada and the United States.

Kolluru, in addressing the “Outriding COVID-19’’ webinar, encouraged people to abide by social and physical distancing guidelines, saying it would help reduce the duration of pandemic and allow for the recovery of the world economy.

She warned that countries ought not adopt protectionist policies but, instead, should keep their markets open to international trade.

“Reverse globalization’’ is not going to work in the medium and long-term, Kolluru said.

“We have to still keep the markets open and we have to keep moving,’’ she said. “Another thing that we need to do is, we need to diversify our supply chains.’’