Written by on July 21, 2020

BEFORE the outbreak of Covid-19, most companies and individuals were a bit reluctant to enhance the use of digital platform which reduces human to human contact.

Most customers did not trust the use of the digital platforms-perhaps it could because of due to lack of infrastructure to support the system.

Zambia’s business players have now seen the importance of enhancing their digital platforms and making sure that their customers trust their systems.

Take for instance Lafarge Zambia plc which has successfully braved the current harsh economic business environment which has been caused by the outbreak of Covid-19.

Lafarge could be one of the few companies that are braving the pandemic as most of them are struggling to keep their businesses afloat.

Digitalisation is what has helped Lafarge Zambia to keep its business afloat during this pandemic era.

It is however important that the cement producer started working on their digital platform two years ago, before the outbreak of Covid-19.

The company has braved the soaring business environment as it is delivering about 1.2 million bags of cement on a monthly basis by leveraging on digital platform from its partners, Afri delivery, which is a food delivery company.

The company has partnered with Afri delivery to distribute cement for which 1.2 million bags are being sold on a monthly basis as the company services its retail clientele.

“As Lafarge Zambia, we are doing well, there were some digital initiatives that we started last year just to be proactive with our customers and through this whole tragedy, there has been a silver lining that we have kind of accelerated and put a lot more effort into some of technology solutions,” said Company Chief Executive Officer, Jimmy Khan.

Over the past few months, we have seen how digital technology helps in the fight against Covid-19.

Several recent blogs discussed how expanding digital services can help alleviate the impact of Covid-19 on the economy now and boost the growth later.

Countries with wider internet access and safer internet servers tend to have better infrastructure (such as energy and transport), stronger governance and human development to cope with pandemics.

This, however is not the case for Zambia which is still building its internet connectivity to make sure that it is stable and always available.

With the coming of the ‘New Normal’ stable internet connectivity has become imperative as most companies have taken the working from home initiative.

Customers are struggling to trust technology because even with digitised solutions, most will still want physical interface. This could be as a result of poor digital platform.

There are clear winners and losers emerging in the platform ecosystem amid the Covid-19 crisis. 

The sudden disruption of economic activity brought on by COVID-19 means that many companies have had to rethink their business strategies, with demand for face-to-face services, non-essential goods and leisure providers having been heavily curtailed. 

Subjective evidence suggests African businesses have already started pivoting towards the provision of essential goods and services, leveraging platform business model features.

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