One of Malta’s foremost businessmen, Louis A. Farrugia, has encouraged small enterprises to try and retain their employees even if they are currently struggling to afford them as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
The Chairman at Simonds Farsons Cisk Plc and Trident Estates Plc has said firms should seek out the applicable Government schemes to cushion the blow and, in the meantime, invest time and energy in “planning what you will do after the lockdown is over” and “see what business you can develop during this period” reminding entrepreneurs that “the world is not going to stop after this is over but it will be a different world”.
As a result, “you may well have to change the nature of your business,” he said. Indeed, entrepreneurship, for the business mogul, is, by its very definition, “an activity that opens opportunities for profit and workload. Necessity is the mother of invention and, in time of need, people in invent solutions.”
Louis A. Farrugia has decades of experience at the helm of some of Malta’s most respected and stable companies, becoming Managing Director of Farsons Group in 1980 and going on to steer the company for the next 40 years. He has also occupied the role of Chairman for Multigas, Liquigas, Farrugia Investment Groups, and the Malta Tourism Authority, also stepping in as Non-Executive Chairman of Air Malta and President for The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise & Industry.
“I chair the boards of a number of varied businesses from manufacturing to imports to services and property development. As you can imagine, each one presents their own issues as a result of the lockdown measures,” he said.
The key to managing the crisis, he has found is “not to panic and to work with the senior management of each organization by supporting them and by allowing them to come up with mitigation measures”, he explained. Moreover, this had to go hand-in-hand with “lobbying the authorities by transmitting ideas and concerns how each business is going to be affected,” he outlined.
He said that valuable business lessons can already be learnt from the crisis. “One big lesson we should all learn form CODIV-19 is that we should always think of possible downturns in business when planning ventures. However, I have to admit that very few people saw this coming!,” he concluded.