Globally, the Covid-19 pandemic is impacting businesses and South Africa is no exception. Now, companies need not only look at how they keep employees safe, but also how they remain operational to prevent the South African economy from becoming the first local fatality of the virus.

This is according to Mishaan Ratan, co-founder of on-demand rental platform Rentoza , who unpacks how the Covid-19 crisis is calling upon South African businessowners to think differently about the survival of their companies and ability to continue contributing to the country’s economy:

“For some, like retailers – which will be among the hardest hit, judging by worldwide trends – this may mean having to move their operations online. The challenge, however, is that not all retailers have this functionality in place – particularly smaller businesses. I would advise those companies to de-risk their businesses by exploring mutually-beneficial partnerships with other platforms that are already equipped with these capabilities.

“At Rentoza, for example, we team up with retailers of electronics, appliances and baby goods to give them a plug-and-play service that allows them to access the online marketplace. We also offer a logistics and distribution team to get the products to consumers within 36 hours.

“Additionally, should retailers decide to go the rental route, it means they have a renewable revenue stream, especially with imports of stock being affected by Covid-19 for the foreseeable future.

Renting also offers a potential revenue opportunity for businesses that have closed temporarily or might still need to. With the hospitality and eventing sectors already having several casualties, one of the ways that these businessowners can make their existing business assets like laptops, smartphones and appliances work for them is through renting these out. These items could be utilised by other businesses that are able to adopt remote working models to keep their companies afloat.

Not only will the lending businesses be able to get their assets back up and running once the virus is contained and normality restored but, in the interim, they will have peace of mind knowing that these items are insured from breakage or loss.

“South African businesses are understandably experiencing much fear, uncertainty and doubt right now, but by thinking unconventionally, they have opportunities to create tangible value for their businesses and the economy,” concludes Ratan.