Walter Soriano, CEO of USG Security, shares expert insights into tackling COVID-19 business challenges

Mr Soriano believes that the current pandemic is not unlike the 2008 financial crisis in many ways. While reasons for the financial collapse vary significantly (the 2008 crisis was caused by a depreciation in the subprime mortgage market in the US, while this one is created by a global pandemic), companies and manufacturers felt massive drops in revenue, as the consumer’s buying power dropped, and mayhem in global markets followed.

He recalls how businesses and individuals turned up to him for advice during the 2008 financial crisis, which he attributes to USG Security Limited’s long-standing reputation as a leading service provider in the field of security. Because USG is a trusted factor, says Soriano, its clients turned to the company for other services in times of trouble.

While talking about the coronavirus crisis, Mr Soriano mentioned that USG Security has devised a unique doctrine of crisis management after handling many different cases over its many years of activity in the field. This doctrine enables the company to design tailor-made solutions for its diverse clientele. “When you manage a crisis, you must take into consideration a much wider scope of thinking, not just a single isolated factor. In the case of COVID-19, total isolation might take care of one aspect of the pandemic, but what are the side effects? Our roads are dangerous, but we don’t stop people from driving them, we try to improve safety”, Walter Soriano adds while explaining his doctrine.

Walter Soriano defines crisis as a situation when “an individual or an entity suddenly confronts such circumstance that they don’t know what to do”. In his opinion, crises are complex problems and therefore, require complex solutions. The first step in addressing such complex issues is to assess the magnitude of the problem. Naturally, we need to investigate at length, exhaustively, and go into the details before we can diagnose the problem. Only then, we can understand it. Solutions to such problems must match the reality of the individual case and be tailor-made. Most importantly, Soriano says: “In most industries, COVID-19 has created such a disruption that every future project, activity, and revenue forecasted by a business will be canceled or delayed. Companies will need to deal with multiple claims from suppliers or contractors and solve problems they never created.”

USG Security Limited’s CEO made a strong statement, saying that the coronavirus pandemic proves that that neither the free market nor governments can foresee every future crisis or have pre-planned emergency bailout plans for every scenario. That is why every individual should become a leader and play their role in tackling such crises.

His most important advice to businesses is to be wary of a chaotic, disproportionate reaction and carry on with applicable solutions. He also thinks businesses should keep cool and not get hysterical and lose control. “Use your common sense to try and decide which measures are unavoidable and strictly necessary and which ones are not. Try to adopt a realistic plan according to your circumstances, and not something which ends up being unsustainable. Be cautious and don’t undertake big commitments at this point, when the markets and currencies are unstable”, Soriano concludes.

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