With the Self-Sufficiency Slogan, We Have Closed Our Way into International Markets
Our economy is in crisis and many businesses face challenges and seek solutions. Nasser Pashapour Nikoo, the CEO of the dnaunion group attended a news conference under the theme of “Exploring Business Opportunities in the Recent Economic Crisis,” which was held with the participation of various media outlets recently.
Addressing the conference, he said our economy is in critical condition but the crisis is not permanent and will end. The important thing is how businesses would come out of this situation. He added: “Under these conditions, businesses are divided into different groups. Some businesses are quite frustrated and see themselves sunk in a crisis or try to merge with stronger businesses. Here are some examples such as the merger of Tage with Henkel Pakvash and … In the meantime, a group is also looking an opportunity to fish in troubled water but such brands are not sustainable and would join other areas after the crisis. Yet another group of businesses is thinking of remedies and they are constantly reviewing various options. These businesses will not only come out of the crisis, but will also grow afterwards. The latter businesses have an understanding of market fluctuations, their rivals, and consumers. They have employed the strategy of offensive instead of defense.
Unification: The Most Important Factor in the Face of Crisis
Pashapour Nikoo further added: “Businesses that think of unity in a crisis choose the right path. They consider exports as a source of revenue and are constantly looking for a stable market. Also product development is another strategy that ensures the success of a business. Brand promotion is another factor that businesses must pay attention to because, after the crisis and the return of foreign businesses, Iranian businesses are overtaken by their strong branding. Meanwhile, the crisis is the best time to prepare business infrastructure. Under these conditions, competition is low and market demand is high. So crisis is not just a threat and if we take a fundamental look we will see it offers some good opportunities as well: Opportunities that come from experiencing and examining previous crises: An experience that helps you progress.
Such a trend led many of the world’s most powerful countries to begin exporting their goods as war soldiers: Soldiers who penetrate into the lives of Iranians and each house hosts several soldiers. Now, if our country looked at businesses as soldiers, they would no longer be allowed to do business only internally, and would also require businesses to operate abroad. Therefore, the self-sufficiency strategy is not responding at the time of crisis and we should turn to exports. On the other hand, Iranian brands do not have the advantage to be exported.
Confidence Building at Times of Crisis
Gerhard Barcus, Certius CEO and member of dnaunion group board of directors was another lecturer who spoke about the condition of the banks during the crisis. He said the most important factor that banks should take into account during the crisis is the issue of building trust. They can only attract people’s money through this factor. On the other hand, they have to go to electronic banking because of the cost reduction. This will also be beneficial for banking customers. This is while they are shifting toward short-term strategies that are more likely to come to fruition. Companies need to implement a more regular strategy during the crisis. They have to compete for power. If a company is not in a competitive and comparative environment, it would not see any need for progress.
Motivation to Compete in Open Economic Environment
“When the borders of a country are closed, there will be no incentive to compete among businesses,” Barcus added. In such a situation, attention to the production of valuable products is more important than paying attention to the price of product supply. Of course, the values created in Iranian products are not values that the Iranian consumer wants to spend on them. The values created by external brands are not related to quality, they spend time on packaging, how to sell, market, and … This is while foreign brands can add to their values during the crisis.
Businesses also have three types of responses during the crisis. Some of them are worried about preparing their primary materials. The second group is happy about the sanctions because they think they will sell their products more easily under the crisis. This group should know that customer demand is changing and they should not be happy with the situation. The third group is thinking of growing their business. Such businesses are thinking of gaining experience and strengthening their infrastructure and are demanding their own brand. For example, the olive oil produced by Spain was packaged and marketed by Italy. In that situation, Italy would benefit most from it. In order to overcome this problem, Spain decided to do its own branding and packaging and resolved the problem.
Branding in Times of Crisis
Mohammad Mousavi, director of Eshareh Company, said the lack of attention to branding has caused many of the small businesses in Iran to disappear after the crisis. Such post-crisis businesses are not a good option for investment either. Businesses that prioritize branding are not only confronted with the crisis, but also survive after the crisis. Making a strong brand in times of crisis is extremely important. It’s also important to build brands that foreign competitors have not entered. Some areas, like detergents, provide a strong brand building environment for businesses. Keep in mind that foreign exporters at times of crisis also strengthen their goods after the crisis.
However, the crisis has just begun and many businesses are watching their work space. They are planning to take part in the crisis. Since the issue of Iran’s withdrawal from the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) has come to fruition, the issue of the crisis has also been highlighted. Since then, three months have passed and our businesses are not so agile to be able to quickly plan and run. For the time being, they are preparing for their raw materials and currencies. So judging business performance during the crisis is a little bit early. They have not yet evaluated the situation and should be thinking about planning. They need to be careful, when the crisis ends, other competitors will not take their place in the market. The poor performance of our businesses in previous crises has led to no change in the status of Iranian pistachio, saffron or carpet products. Brands should be cautious in time of crisis.