Jon Prideaux, Chief Executive Officer
19 March 2020 – We are in trying times. In addition to the global health crisis, the coronavirus is wreaking havoc in the business world. Many sectors and industries are in life or death struggles as they try to cope with a cashflow crisis caused by fractured supply chains and plunging demand.
Amidst all this chaos Boku, through a combination of good luck and good design, finds itself in a strong position. Boku’s partners, users and suppliers can be reassured that we will be able to continue to deliver uninterrupted service.
Uninterrupted Supply Chains
Boku’s services are consumed and distributed digitally; we are resistant to physical supply chain disruption. Our merchants from the digital ecosystem share the same characteristics allowing them to operate without interruption and to scale as the market demands.
Changes in Consumer Behavior & Demand
Some industries are dependent on close and physical interaction with their customers. For others, their business model involves large groups of people gathering in the same place. Sectors such as airlines, entertainment, hotels, tourism, and restaurants are all threatened by the restrictions put in place to control the pandemic.
In contrast, Boku products are generally consumed in the home. As we show in this related blog, “Coronavirus: Changing Behaviour As People Confined to Their Homes” when Governments’ safety mandates promoting social distancing put more people at home, they play more games, use more streaming services and download more apps. All of this generates demand for our products.
Global Digital Workforce
Boku has a geographically diverse workforce is well used to working remotely. For many folks, home is already their normal place of work; for others it’s something that they already do occasionally. We already use video conferencing tools and work with processes that allow two people on different continents to work on a project for a customer in a third. The change to a fully work from home operation for Boku is a matter of degree not type. Our employees can be closer to their families and prioritise their health, whilst ensuring that we continue to deliver for our merchants and partners.
Sales and Business Development
Although we can cope, the weak link in the chain is our counterparties: can they also manage? While we can conduct most of our prospect and customer interactions virtually, the unforeseen cancelations of physical in person meetings and trade shows will probably affect the top of our pipeline. Despite this, we are optimizing our strategy by shifting away from face-to-face gatherings in the interim and prioritising digital sales and marketing engagements. And so far, we’re mostly finding that although they’re remote, people still want to do business with us.
There will be a time when we can look back at the COVID-19 pandemic and take stock of its impact. For now, it’s too soon to tell. We know not how long it will last nor how it will end, but at least for Boku, its employees, customers and suppliers we are able to say with confidence that we are well positioned to weather the storm