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Power Letters 2021: Khaled Soliman, CEO, Jashanmal Group

Power Letters 2021: Khaled Soliman, CEO, Jashanmal Group

The year 2020 will go down in history as a year of change, a year of the enduring and resilient human spirit

The year 2020 will go down in history as a remarkable year. While most people will recall it as the year of challenges, it is in fact, a year of the true human spirit – a year when the world came together to face an unprecedented global public health crisis that forced people to stay away from their near and dear ones in order to remain safe!

People have had to celebrate occasions and festivities in isolation; for some unfortunate ones, the goodbyes were unmet.

Coming to think of it, most of our generation has never seen anything of this scale before. For some of us, Covid-19 provided a break and allowed us to take some time and reflect back on a number of things in both our personal and professional aspects of life. As a result, a lot of us have had to re-address and adjust our short term and long term goals accordingly.

For businesses, there have been many lessons to be learnt. Functioning remotely has become a new normal with various segments of the businesses being more virtually connected now than ever before in person. The pandemic has accelerated the growth of e-commerce, contactless purchases, service and digital payment platforms. We are now more agile and confident in contactless and virtual interaction across all areas of service and business.

In our retail sector, we are witnessing a sea change as businesses are shifting from physical to digital. Most businesses are upgrading their online presence to incorporate e-commerce or bringing their portal in line with the requirements of the large e-commerce service providers. A boost in online sale has compensated retailers partly for the decline in physical sale.

Now that the consumers have tasted the benefits of online purchase – both price competitiveness and the benefits of getting products delivered at home, will those consumers go back to the physical window-shopping mode? The answer is both yes and no.

Most of the upwardly mobile consumers might continue on the digital shopping path, others will continue to like the human interaction and the beauty of shopping experience. So, while many retailers might rush to close stores, the scope for physical retail will continue to be there.

Retail, at the end of the day, is about experience – interaction with people, bargain, selecting from display and purchasing directly from the store will continue.

At Jashanmal Group, we have an omnichannel strategy and approach for our customers. Like most other retailers, we have also seen and felt the shift towards digital sale or e-commerce at the cost of physical retail activities. However, we feel shops are there to stay and will continue to serve the consumers.

The year 2020 will go down in history as a year of change, a year of the enduring and resilient human spirit – patience, fighting a faceless enemy, cooperation, endurance, bravery and overcoming fear, among others. It has also been a year of accelerated digitalisation!

How we overcome the adversities caused by the pandemic are visibly yet to be seen as the mammoth task of mass vaccinations yet lies in front of governments and global authorities.

If I must say, it wasn’t a good or a bad year, it was just a peculiar year!

Here’s hoping for a brighter and joyous 2021.

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