Businessmen must inform customers about need to be frugal
As financial crisis continues…
President of the Guyana Manufactures and Services Association (GMSA), Ramesh Dookhoo, says that in this time of economic crisis, businesses have a moral obligation to inform the consumers to be more prudent in their spending.
He was at the time delivering an address at a stakeholders’ forum on the impact of the global financial crisis on the agriculture and related sectors.
Dookhoo said that in a recession, purchases depend on consumers having disposable income, feeling confident and above all trusting the business and economy.
According to him, in every downturn there is uncertainty about what to do, where to go, how to handle the challenges and perhaps identify the opportunities.
He added that the GMSA believes that persons must turn their fears on the world economic crisis into thought.
“What we do over the next six months will determine how our businesses evolve out of whatever impacts Guyana by the crisis in the US and Europe.”
Dookhoo also stated that consumption patterns will emerge that will demand modifications to business models and product and service offerings.
“We must therefore ensure that these new offerings are driven by the new market demands. In other words, we must change what we are entrenched in doing to cater to the new dimensions in the market place.”
During a poor economic period, he added, consumers can set new priorities for spending and thus create new trends.
“While businesses panic and start to cut costs, reduce spending and shelve capital expenditure, before we do this you are urged to analyze carefully where your business stands in all of this.”
According to Dookhoo, these strategies, while simple and easy to employ, can create unfavourable long-term effects on a brand or on a sector if not carefully analyzed prior to implementation.
“We need to carefully study what is changing in the market place before we determine strategies as brands need the support twice as much in a crisis.”
Dookhoo also noted that according to the Go Invest website, there was a huge growth between 2003 and 2007 in Guyana.
“We exported to some important countries about $5.8B worth in 2003 and in 2007 that figure grew to $132B. In any such discourse as we are having today, similar to a company’s marketing strategy we need to determine which products to place where on the list of threats, treats, or postponables or expendables in the markets that we serve overseas.”
He added that categorizing these exports could only enhance the strategy to hold tightly all the markets in a time of crisis.
“It is now an opportune time to sell Guyana as an agro-business investment destination but we must start with our own agro-business initiatives and I believe there is some movement in this area.”