My 6 lessons from ‘Corona’

Do you suppose the quest for this alignment could be why some believe that some pharmaceutical giant can wantonly release a deadly virus just to trigger sales of their vaccine?

Here are three of six lessons I gleaned this year. I’ll share the other three next Thursday.

“Corona ilikuja tuache maringo”

I stole this quote from Jimmy, the young man whose company manages our website. He said this in reference to a job I was referring him to, and whose pay was below what he would have otherwise accepted. After a brief push and pull he exclaimed in acceptance, “Ah! Sawa. Corona ilikuja tuache maringo.” (OK. Corona came to keep us grounded.)Meaning, in this ‘Corona economy’, as KCB Bank Chief Executive Officer Joshua Oigara put it, “(It’s) a year or survival not thriving.” “And survival Kageche,” a friend that runs a logistics firm shared, “has meant I take jobs where I get only Kes. 5,000 per container. Before Corona, anything below Kes. 50,000 was not worth my time!” True. “Corona ilikuja tuache maringo”

“Usiseme hakuna pesa, sema wewe hauna.”

This statement had been trending before Corona, but it fully sunk in during it. Directly translated it means, “Don’t say there’s no money, say you don’t have.” While many survived, others thrived. Another pal that runs a pharmacy tells me it was his best year yet! And no, he wasn’t magically awarded a tender for innocently walking past a government building. He steers clear off such. He tells me that panic purchases, stocking up on sanitizers and soaps and other choice items saw his sales propel.  Truly, in every cloud is a silver lining.

Sales happens quickly when demand and supply are aligned

Before Corona, even technology-led listed companies dragged their feet about adapting to online AGMs (Annual General Meetings). Even three years of pitching to them bore no fruit, I am told. Suddenly, this year the cosmos aligned; the demand side now demanded supply of the service!  Do you suppose the quest for this alignment could be why some believe that some unethical anti-virus making companies create the very viruses they claim to fight? Or, some (sinful, greedy) pharmaceutical giant can wantonly release a deadly virus just to trigger sales of their vaccine? Irrespective though, the pandemic has taught us that the most effective way of selling a new or misunderstood product is to create a demand for it first.

This is not new, however; insurance agents do it every day. They first paint a grim future (creating demand) and then voila!, supply the solution . “All you have to do is sign here,” they finish.  Personally, alignment happened for me with Zoom. I first heard about the now popular online meetings platform two years ago from a team I was leading to conduct interviews across East Africa. They told me of this Zoom platform but I didn’t think much of it; it even looked complicated. In any case, all I wanted was recordings of the interview which I got. Then came Corona, and I became a ‘Zoom expert’ overnight.

 It is Christmas Day tomorrow; whatever Christmas means to you, enjoy. 

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