By JAMES A. LOYOLA
Ayala Corporation, the country’s oldest conglomerate, is preparing its various businesses for what it expects will be the “new normal” when operations resume in the second half, when the COVID-19 pandemic will hopefully be more manageable.
During the firm’s livestreamed annual stockholders’ meeting, Ayala Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala said, “Now that we are preparing for a transition to our ‘new normal,’ – a post-enhanced community quarantine – we are shifting to a proactive and solutions-oriented approach to the challenges we now face.”
He noted that, “There is no existing playbook for this kind of situation. However, we had reset our planning cycle into three short-term phases to address the current situation and how to move forward with our business in a post-COVID environment.”
Zobel said they are now preparing for the re-entry of the workforce once quarantine has been lifted or modified and “our business units have ensured that we are well prepared to re-engage safely and effectively in this new environment.”
“Within two months after the lockdown is lifted, we will closely monitor consumer behavior, market, industry and regulatory shifts, supply chain situations, and how the overall economy will restart,” he added.
Zobel noted significant increase in the usage of our digital channels during the ECQ, particularly the BPI online platform and GCash. “We envision this level of adoption to continue even after the ECQ,” he said.
In the second half of the year, “After we have gathered enough knowledge of the new economic situation, the final phase of our approach will involve going back to the drawing board to develop our group’s longer-term business plan.”
Zobel said that, “During this period, we have to be able to provide answers to questions on how to adjust to a ‘new normal’ for our employees, customers, and overall operations and financial sustain-ability given shifts that would take place from this crisis.”