Taking too long? Close loading screen.
Connect with us

Business

With a dose of experience, intuition and resilience, Peruvian winemakers resist the pandemic and self-generate their income

Published

on

October 20, 2020 9 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The new reality that we have entered globally for six months due to the COVID-19 pandemic can be likened to a scenario where humans and organizations, like titans and unicorns , not only coexist in a different environment but also They struggle to excel and ensure their survival in the midst of an unstoppable digital transformation and an accelerating fourth industrial revolution.

However, in this context it also does the same to survive an apparently simple business model where a dose of experience, intuition and resilience predominates, which serve to learn from mistakes and to ensure business continuity, in the middle of closing or the transformation of countless establishments.

We are talking about the inevitable shopkeepers or winemakers, who have immense potential to explore so that they can empower themselves and professionalize themselves, since at the moment a large part of them work without major techniques and state-of-the-art tools that can allow them to become professional and more productive. section of the value chain in which they operate.

Despite the fact that the health emergency paralyzed almost all the economic and productive sectors of the country, the traditional wineries or neighborhood stores did not stop for an instant despite the limitations and social restrictions imposed since the beginning of the pandemic to prevent the spread of the virus.

The resilience of shopkeepers and winemakers have left us inspiring lessons to rethink the relationship between survival, thought and action in the midst of a pandemic, since these true “own account” have not only secured a means to self-generate income, but have also formed a great economic force in their respective countries.

The importance of this business model is reflected in various statistics from South American markets, which indicate that the sales of stores or warehouses may have declined significantly in the current situation, but together they make up a great economic force.

According to a study by the consulting firm Fundes , wineries or neighborhood stores represent 40% of grocery sales in Latin America, which makes them a great economic force.

The resilience of shopkeepers and winemakers have left us inspiring lessons to rethink the relationship between survival, thought and action in the midst of a pandemic / Image: Depositphotos.com

To “get up earlier”

The common denominator behind the stories of each winery is the need to self-generate its own economy, in addition to being part of a family inheritance or an opportunity to raise a family, as well as the strength to overcome obstacles and crises with limited resources and minimal support of traditional channels.

In the midst of the social restrictions imposed by the quarantine in Peru , mainly in phase 1, I had the opportunity to talk with several shopkeeper friends -from different geographical locations in Lima-, about their expectations regarding the continuation of their businesses and the adjustments to the supply chain that allow them to continue serving their customers.

Most of the interviewees indicated that they had not stopped since the beginning of the pandemic and their sales continued to maintain almost the same levels, with the difference that now it was necessary to “get up earlier” to go to look for merchandise, given that many production centers of consumer goods were operating at 30% of their capacity, which caused some delays in receiving their orders.

They were also forced to work fewer hours due to the limitations imposed by the health emergency and the “curfew” at night.

In addition, they refer that they feel “privileged and grateful” because despite the sanitary restrictions imposed, they could continue working supplying the population with basic necessities, while other economic activities were paralyzed or are slowly being reactivated, not to mention that in many cases they were forced to close.

The common denominator behind the stories of each winery is the need to self-generate its own economy / Image: Depositphotos.com

Search for “best prices”

Although it is true that all of them are clients of large suppliers of mass consumption brands, those who deliver merchandise in their stores, continue to consider that it is better to go to the wholesale centers to find better prices and have a significant stock of part of their products. In this search, the maxim that they always keep in mind is “you have to know how to buy”, and also “know how to sell”.

One of the resources used to mitigate the impact of declines in sales was selling stationery, bazaar, and cleaning supplies. In addition, a great strength in these times is having a repowering and trained “delivery” that complies with the required health protocols.

The pandemic and quarantine do not seem to have left Peruvian winemakers in panic or anxiety. It was and is the opportunity to demonstrate resilience and put into practice the lessons learned from personal, family or national crises, since Peru lived through years of violence and economic crisis. Likewise, they should and must demonstrate that they are not conformists, that they have quick adaptability, that there is no time for regrets and that, based on reality, achievable goals should be set.

In recent years many of them went through great challenges and abrupt falls, which made them stagger and test the direction of the ship that they had underway.

It has also been difficult for many of them to go from manual to electronic billing systems and stock control with QR code, contactless payment methods, electronic wallets and apps to use their wholesale orders that are very helpful, but they are working in the process of adaptation while others have migrated to changes that are imposed as necessary to remain in force.

Goals achieved

A good part of the Peruvian winemakers have gone from being a small shop to a “minimarket” with success stories that have demanded between 10 and 30 years. This has allowed them to build their own home or buy an apartment and live better, as well as provide their children with a better education, access to private health, not having over-indebtedness, among other achievements that show their personal improvement, as a result of their entrepreneurship.

The strategy that they have implemented for this transformation is to offer a sale for convenience and value-added service, where the client can pay more, having as compensation the immediacy, proximity and solutions.

Thus, they remain the option for people of all generations who want to satisfy an immediate need by resorting to the closest winery to their home, or in other cases ordering through social networks or a phone call.

Added to this is also offering specialized or highly segmented products that are chosen based on the consumer knowledge of their customers. Something that may be easier to know, as the phrase “A good cuber eye” says, and without having an integrated CRM program.

As a corollary, it is appropriate to point out that if shopkeepers had more impulse to progress, access to training with educational quality programs on Marketing, Trade Marketing, Visual Mershandising, Canvas, Design Thinking , Lean Startup , Accounting, Administration, among others, we could talk about a whole power to be developed so that it contributes to economic growth and development according to current times.

This development would have to be agile, dynamic, interactive and be put into practice with traceability .

These traditional businesses have always faced the risk of disappearing as a result of innovation and investments by powerful economic groups. Perhaps today is the opportunity for them to envision and strengthen strategic alliances and businesses that consolidate them as lasting business models, as well as traditional and familiar ones.

Source

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business

The Trump campaign celebrated a growth record that Democrats downplayed.

Published

on

The White House celebrated economic growth numbers for the third quarter released on Thursday, even as Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s presidential campaign sought to throw cold water on the report — the last major data release leading up to the Nov. 3 election — and warned that the economic recovery was losing steam.

The economy grew at a record pace last quarter, but the upswing was a partial bounce-back after an enormous decline and left the economy smaller than it was before the pandemic. The White House took no notice of those glum caveats.

“This record economic growth is absolute validation of President Trump’s policies, which create jobs and opportunities for Americans in every corner of the country,” Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign said in a statement, highlighting a rebound of 33.1 percent at an annualized rate. Mr. Trump heralded the data on Twitter, posting that he was “so glad” that the number had come out before Election Day.

The annualized rate that the White House emphasized extrapolates growth numbers as if the current pace held up for a year, and risks overstating big swings. Because the economy’s growth has been so volatile amid the pandemic, economists have urged focusing on quarterly numbers.

Those showed a 7.4 percent gain in the third quarter. That rebound, by far the biggest since reliable statistics began after World War II, still leaves the economy short of its pre-pandemic levels. The pace of recovery has also slowed, and now coronavirus cases are rising again across much of the United States, raising the prospect of further pullback.

“The recovery is stalling out, thanks to Trump’s refusal to have a serious plan to deal with Covid or to pass a new economic relief plan for workers, small businesses and communities,” Mr. Biden’s campaign said in a release ahead of Thursday’s report. The rebound was widely expected, and the campaign characterized it as “a partial return from a catastrophic hit.”

Economists have warned that the recovery could face serious roadblocks ahead. Temporary measures meant to shore up households and businesses — including unemployment insurance supplements and forgivable loans — have run dry. Swaths of the service sector remain shut down as the virus continues to spread, and job losses that were temporary are increasingly turning permanent.

“With coronavirus infections hitting a record high in recent days and any additional fiscal stimulus unlikely to arrive until, at the earliest, the start of next year, further progress will be much slower,” Paul Ashworth, chief United States economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a note following the report.

Source

Continue Reading

Business

Black and Hispanic workers, especially women, lag in the U.S. economic recovery.

Published

on

The surge in economic output in the third quarter set a record, but the recovery isn’t reaching everyone.

Economists have long warned that aggregate statistics like gross domestic product can obscure important differences beneath the surface. In the aftermath of the last recession, for example, G.D.P. returned to its previous level in early 2011, even as poverty rates remained high and the unemployment rate for Black Americans was above 15 percent.

Aggregate statistics could be even more misleading during the current crisis. The job losses in the initial months of the pandemic disproportionately struck low-wage service workers, many of them Black and Hispanic women. Service-sector jobs have been slow to return, while school closings are keeping many parents, especially mothers, from returning to work. Nearly half a million Hispanic women have left the labor force over the last three months.

“If we’re thinking that the economy is recovering completely and uniformly, that is simply not the case,” said Michelle Holder, an economist at John Jay College in New York. “This rebound is unevenly distributed along racial and gender lines.”

The G.D.P. report released Thursday doesn’t break down the data by race, sex or income. But other sources make the disparities clear. A pair of studies by researchers at the Urban Institute released this week found that Black and Hispanic adults were more likely to have lost jobs or income since March, and were twice as likely as white adults to experience food insecurity in September.

The financial impact of the pandemic hit many of the families that were least able to afford it, even as white-collar workers were largely spared, said Michael Karpman, an Urban Institute researcher and one of the studies’ authors.

“A lot of people who were already in a precarious position before the pandemic are now in worse shape, whereas people who were better off have generally been faring better financially,” he said.

Federal relief programs, such as expanded unemployment benefits, helped offset the damage for many families in the first months of the pandemic. But those programs have mostly ended, and talks to revive them have stalled in Washington. With virus cases surging in much of the country, Mr. Karpman warned, the economic toll could increase.

“There could be a lot more hardship coming up this winter if there’s not more relief from Congress, with the impact falling disproportionately on Black and Hispanic workers and their families,” he said.

Source

Continue Reading

Business

Ant Challenged Beijing and Prospered. Now It Toes the Line.

Published

on

As Jack Ma of Alibaba helped turn China into the world’s biggest e-commerce market over the past two decades, he was also vowing to pull off a more audacious transformation.

“If the banks don’t change, we’ll change the banks,” he said in 2008, decrying how hard it was for small businesses in China to borrow from government-run lenders.

“The financial industry needs disrupters,” he told People’s Daily, the official Communist Party newspaper, a few years later. His goal, he said, was to make banks and other state-owned enterprises “feel unwell.”

The scope of Mr. Ma’s success is becoming clearer. The vehicle for his financial-technology ambitions, an Alibaba spinoff called Ant Group, is preparing for the largest initial public offering on record. Ant is set to raise $34 billion by selling its shares to the public in Hong Kong and Shanghai, according to stock exchange documents released on Monday. After the listing, Ant would be worth around $310 billion, much more than many global banks.

The company is going public not as a scrappy upstart, but as a leviathan deeply dependent on the good will of the government Mr. Ma once relished prodding.

More than 730 million people use Ant’s Alipay app every month to pay for lunch, invest their savings and shop on credit. Yet Alipay’s size and importance have made it an inevitable target for China’s regulators, which have already brought its business to heel in certain areas.

These days, Ant talks mostly about creating partnerships with big banks, not disrupting or supplanting them. Several government-owned funds and institutions are Ant shareholders and stand to profit handsomely from the public offering.

The question now is how much higher Ant can fly without provoking the Chinese authorities into clipping its wings further.

Excitable investors see Ant as a buzzy internet innovator. The risk is that it becomes more like a heavily regulated “financial digital utility,” said Fraser Howie, the co-author of “Red Capitalism: The Fragile Financial Foundation of China’s Extraordinary Rise.”

“Utility stocks, as far as I remember, were not the ones to be seen as the most exciting,” Mr. Howie said.

Ant declined to comment, citing the quiet period demanded by regulators before its share sale.

The company has played give-and-take with Beijing for years. As smartphone payments became ubiquitous in China, Ant found itself managing huge piles of money in Alipay users’ virtual wallets. The central bank made it park those funds in special accounts where they would earn minimal interest.

After people piled into an easy-to-use investment fund inside Alipay, the government forced the fund to shed risk and lower returns. Regulators curbed a plan to use Alipay data as the basis for a credit-scoring system akin to Americans’ FICO scores.

China’s Supreme Court this summer capped interest rates for consumer loans, though it was unclear how the ceiling would apply to Ant. The central bank is preparing a new virtual currency that could compete against Alipay and another digital wallet, the messaging app WeChat, as an everyday payment tool.

Ant has learned ways of keeping the authorities on its side. Mr. Ma once boasted at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, about never taking money from the Chinese government. Today, funds associated with China’s social security system, its sovereign wealth fund, a state-owned life insurance company and the national postal carrier hold stakes in Ant. The I.P.O. is likely to increase the value of their holdings considerably.

“That’s how the state gets its payoff,” Mr. Howie said. With Ant, he said, “the line between state-owned enterprise and private enterprise is highly, highly blurred.”

China, in less than two generations, went from having a state-planned financial system to being at the global vanguard of internet finance, with trillions of dollars in transactions being made on mobile devices each year. Alipay had a lot to do with it.

Alibaba created the service in the early 2000s to hold payments for online purchases in escrow. Its broader usefulness quickly became clear in a country that mostly missed out on the credit card era. Features were added and users piled in. It became impossible for regulators and banks not to see the app as a threat.

ImageAnt Group’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China.
Credit…Alex Plavevski/EPA, via Shutterstock

A big test came when Ant began making an offer to Alipay users: Park your money in a section of the app called Yu’ebao, which means “leftover treasure,” and we will pay you more than the low rates fixed by the government at banks.

People could invest as much or as little as they wanted, making them feel like they were putting their pocket change to use. Yu’ebao was a hit, becoming one of the world’s largest money market funds.

The banks were terrified. One commentator for a state broadcaster called the fund a “vampire” and a “parasite.”

Still, “all the main regulators remained unanimous in saying that this was a positive thing for the Chinese financial system,” said Martin Chorzempa, a research fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.

“If you can’t actually reform the banks,” Mr. Chorzempa said, “you can inject more competition.”

But then came worries about shadowy, unregulated corners of finance and the dangers they posed to the wider economy. Today, Chinese regulators are tightening supervision of financial holding companies, Ant included. Beijing has kept close watch on the financial instruments that small lenders create out of their consumer loans and sell to investors. Such securities help Ant fund some of its lending. But they also amplify the blowup if too many of those loans aren’t repaid.

“Those kinds of derivative products are something the government is really concerned about,” said Tian X. Hou, founder of the research firm TH Data Capital. Given Ant’s size, she said, “the government should be concerned.”

The broader worry for China is about growing levels of household debt. Beijing wants to cultivate a consumer economy, but excessive borrowing could eventually weigh on people’s spending power. The names of two of Alipay’s popular credit functions, Huabei and Jiebei, are jaunty invitations to spend and borrow.

Huang Ling, 22, started using Huabei when she was in high school. At the time, she didn’t qualify for a credit card. With Huabei’s help, she bought a drone, a scooter, a laptop and more.

The credit line made her feel rich. It also made her realize that if she actually wanted to be rich, she had to get busy.

“Living beyond my means forced me to work harder,” Ms. Huang said.

First, she opened a clothing shop in her hometown, Nanchang, in southeastern China. Then she started an advertising company in the inland metropolis of Chongqing. When the business needed cash, she borrowed from Jiebei.

Online shopping became a way to soothe daily anxieties, and Ms. Huang sometimes racked up thousands of dollars in Huabei bills, which only made her even more anxious. When the pandemic slammed her business, she started falling behind on her payments. That cast her into a deep depression.

Finally, early this month, with her parents’ help, she paid off her debts and closed her Huabei and Jiebei accounts. She felt “elated,” she said.

China’s recent troubles with freewheeling online loan platforms have put the government under pressure to protect ordinary borrowers.

Ant is helped by the fact that its business lines up with many of the Chinese leadership’s priorities: encouraging entrepreneurship and financial inclusion, and expanding the middle class. This year, the company helped the eastern city of Hangzhou, where it is based, set up an early version of the government’s app-based system for dictating coronavirus quarantines.

Such coziness is bound to raise hackles overseas. In Washington, Chinese tech companies that are seen as close to the government are radioactive.

In January 2017, Eric Jing, then Ant’s chief executive, said the company aimed to be serving two billion users worldwide within a decade. Shortly after, Ant announced that it was acquiring the money transfer company MoneyGram to increase its U.S. footprint. By the following January, the deal was dead, thwarted by data security concerns.

More recently, top officials in the Trump administration have discussed whether to place Ant Group on the so-called entity list, which prohibits foreign companies from purchasing American products. Officials from the State Department have suggested that an interagency committee, which also includes officials from the departments of defense, commerce and energy, review Ant for the potential entity listing, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Ant does not talk much anymore about expanding in the United States.

Ana Swanson contributed reporting.

Source

Continue Reading

Trending