Only Resilient Businesses, Leaders Will Survive the Covid-19 Crisis – Niyi Yusuf

In this interview, Niyi Yusuf, Managing Partner of Verraki, shares insights with Frank Eleanya on the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on the Nigerian economy, the role of resilient businesses, and how business leaders can improve their resilience.


What exactly do you mean by Business Resilience?

Business resilience is the ability of an organization to quickly adapt to disruptions in a way to minimize losses and to maximize gains while sustaining its operations and safeguarding its people, assets, and overall brand equity. Resilience has four attributes. The first is that the business can withstand and quickly recover from shocks, setbacks, and crisis. The second is that the business can easily adapt to change. As circumstances change, the business itself is not left in a lurch. Thirdly the business can keep going even in the face of crisis, challenges, and adversity. And lastly, the resilient business can seize opportunities that avail themselves during the crisis, as there will be such opportunities even during bad times.


Resilient organizations have a positive mindset that sees opportunities for growth in a crisis. They adapt and evolve easily, and can make lemonade out of lemons, the proverbial squeezing water out of stone. For instance, Ruff n Tumble is a Nigerian apparel retailer that pivoted, ahead of others, from making kiddies clothes to meeting the increased demand for quality facemasks during the lockdown. In a swift move that ensured it would keep up production, keep its employees, and cover fixed costs, the company identified a market that did not exist before the pandemic and seized the opportunity to repurpose existing resources. Rather than being hopeless, admitting defeat, and complaining about the crisis, Ruff n Tumble identified opportunity via a demand for facemasks and quickly pivoted. That is an example of business resilience.

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