Muscat, Oman: Speaking on Socio-economic impact of COVID-19, Pankaj Khimji, Director, Khimji Ramdas Group recently shared his views through a webinar hosted by Oman Economic Review (OER) in association with Business Live Middle East (BLME). Featuring a group of economy experts and renowned entrepreneurs, the session titled ‘Tackling Economic Disruption and Business Risk’ focused on underlining the economic impact of COVID-19 on the public and private sectors within the Sultanate. The participants included His Highness Dr. Adham Turki Al Said, Managing Partner, The Firm for Business and Economic Consulting; Majid bin Sultan Al Toky, Chairman, Dhofar Insurance Company and Stephen R. Thomas, CEO, Renaissance Services.
Quoting IMFs world economic outlook data, Mayank Singh, moderator of the OER-BLME Webinar said “The global growth will fall by -3.0%, and a 9 trillion dollar cumulative output loss to the global GDP over 2020-21. This is equal to the combined GDP of Japan and Germany,” he added.
Explaining the magnitude of the situation, Pankaj Khimji outlined a strategy towards safeguarding business interests in Oman. He said, “ Cash flow will be one of the major business challenges moving forward, with ramifications felt across the job market and real estate sectors. He added, “SMEs should be allowed to take timely loans to sustain their operations, with deferred payment options. This will improve liquidity in the market.”
The interactive session also discussed the impact on businesses of all sizes and the challenges within a market including the economic and geographical lockdowns. Hoping to generate a solution driven approach to the crisis, another vital dialogue was on how to re-boot the economy once open and how each business must responsibly operate to share and absorb the burden of the lockdown.
On the subject of going forward to stay afloat, Pankaj Khimji added, “The aftermath of this pandemic requires business owners to think with a new perspective and a novel approach towards customers to rebuild the economy. Measures need to be taken to allay the fears of customers that will in turn allow certain washed-out sectors such as tourism to come alive again. He also highlighted the need to build up food security, so future imports can be balanced.”
The session deliberated on the current employment situation and business continuity and on how to build a synergy within the public and private sectors to ensure minimum loss of human capital. Another significant topic was the decline of prices within the Oil & Gas sector and how diversification from oil income is of extreme necessity.”
The webinar ended with a Q&A session along with a positive note by the panelists talking about cohesiveness and consolidation between the private sector business conglomerates to take the economy forward. Over the last 150 years, The Khimji Ramdas Group has solidified its position in the nation as a responsible corporate citizen that operates with ingenuity and contributes positively towards the social, structural and economic arenas within the Sultanate.