Published: 19:20, November 3, 2020 | Updated: 12:36, June 5, 2023
Entrepreneurial spirit soars amid COVID-19 pandemic
By Thomas Miller

In this undated photo, billionaire Mai Vu Minh (left) meets with Milorad Dodik, president of Bosnia and Herzegovina (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

“Even though COVID-19 pandemic caused a lot of difficulties and loss to enterprises, it promoted high entrepreneurial spirit, allowing enterprises to overcome the global lockdown and helping millions of workers overcome the unemployment crisis. It’s time we realize the value and positives of enterprises during the pandemic,” said Mai Vu Minh, billionaire and chairman of SAPA Thale Group.

Mai Vu Minh shared the story of Yum China, a famous master franchise in China. Acquiring exclusive franchises from KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands in China, this company announced its first quarter profit within a decrease of 24 percent in revenue compared to the same period in 2019. However, this is still an impressive figure as the company's operating profit reached US$97 million.

To overcome COVID-19, enterprises should start making themselves familiar with using advanced tools for business management towards digital transformation

On Jan 23, Wuhan was locked down in a move to contain the virus, and many other provinces at the peak of the outbreak also imposed strict curbs and the lockdown only gradually eased from the end of March. Due to the impact of the pandemic, 35 percent of Yum China stores were closed by mid-February. However, by the end of April, almost all stores resumed their operations. 

A report by Yum China stated that in January, the majority of revenue was generated in the first three weeks of the month. Revenue then decreased dramatically before increasing again thanks in part to take-away activities. Take-away sales nearly doubled over the same period in 2019. It is believed that Yum China achieved such results by effective cost control and improving labor efficiency for delivery services.

“Achieving good results in this special circumstance is a convincing proof of a flexible, resilient business model and demonstrates a high entrepreneurial spirit," said Mai Vu Minh.

Uber has also contributed to promoting this kind of take-away services. To avoid being sidelined in the ride-hailing market, this ride-hailing service company pioneered and has been implementing a series of policies to suit the current circumstances. 

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In addition to a belt-tightening policy, Uber redirected its investments to grasp opportunities emerging after the pandemic, including increasing market share in delivery services and investing in bicycle rental services to limit the use of public vehicles.

“Following new directions to overcome the serious impacts of COVID-19 pandemic shows that Uber has a very high entrepreneurial spirit," Mai Vu Minh. 

Total bookings in the ride-hailing segment decreased by five percent year-on-year. However, thanks to Uber Eats food delivery segment, Uber's overall profit increased to US$3.5 billion, an increase of 14 percent year-on-year and slightly higher than the forecast by Wall Street experts.

Currently, in addition to its losses, the San Francisco-based company is showing some signs of recovery, such as a gradual increase in bookings for ride-hailing service with an increase by 8 percent compared to the first 3 months of this year. Meanwhile, Uber Eats delivery service achieved an increase in profits by more than 53 percent as more and more people did not go to restaurants as often as before to avoid viral infections.

Mai Vu Minh has also realized this entrepreneurial spirit among enterprises of Bosnia-Herzegovina - a country currently facing many challenges. Therefore, SAPA Thale and the South Eastern European national government promoted the bilateral investment cooperation program to this country in 2019. Currently, post-program activities are being implemented effectively despite the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

From the improvisation ability of enterprises with a high entrepreneurial spirit, it is clear that, to overcome COVID-19, enterprises should start making themselves familiar with using advanced tools for business management towards digital transformation. 

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Moreover, there is an essential need for mutual support between enterprises to recover damages, such as introducing programs, linked and mutual product packages to help enterprises quickly recover their human resources as well as restructure their production and business processes.

“Enterprises with high entrepreneurial spirit always see the light in the most difficult times. Thanks to these enterprises, the unemployment rate decreases, the economies of the countries are improved and human life becomes better,” Mai Vu Minh added.

(Source: STH)