Singapore Businesses that Pivoted During the Pandemic

It goes without saying that Covid-19 has changed the way we live and interact and has permanently altered the business landscape. In this post, we share three stories of different Singapore businesses that pivoted strategically during the pandemic to survive and, in the process, set themselves up to thrive in the post-pandemic market.

One thing is for sure: Covid-19 has accelerated digital transformation for many industries and businesses. Whether it is moving business processes, operations, or internal communication online, traditionally offline businesses had to scramble and pivot to ensure business continuity.

Marketing, lead generation, and customer acquisition have not been spared, too. Traditional marketing methods of face-to-face meetings, live events and outdoor media were no longer possible with people working from home or staying indoors due to social distancing measures. Digital marketing and online lead generation were the tools that businesses have come to embrace, whether they were prepared or not.

Regardless of how a business transformed, the right strategy is essential to guide a business through challenging times and to grow a business in a favourable market.

Here are three Singapore companies that evolved and adapted during the pandemic and positioned themselves to capitalise on their pivots to succeed in the post-pandemic market.

EduSportSingapore, Sports Event Company (B2B)

EduSportSingapore is a sports event company that repositioned itself strategically to focus on a key market to differentiate itself from the competition.

Prior to the pandemic, the company was providing sports event organising services for corporate events and schools. The “circuit breaker” resulted in sports activities to be halted and contracted sports events to be postponed or cancelled.

EduSportSingapore took the opportunity to improve its brand position in the market and core marketing capabilities. It strategically repositioned itself to cater exclusively to the school market with a focus on “certified school sports events & programmes“.

This move tapped on the company’s specialised experience and expertise, and differentiated itself from competitors who served the general market as they did before.

As the market opened up, EduSportSingapore modified its sports games offerings to cater to new social distancing and safety requirements. This combined with their hyper-focused position and targeted inbound and outbound marketing efforts resulted in a 250% increase in website traffic and a huge surge in leads.

Zouk, Entertainment Nightspot (B2C)

Zouk is a well-known popular music-driven nightclub that reimagined its space to diversify its business and pivoted due to the restrictions placed at the beginning of the “circuit breaker”.

In Singapore, during its temporary closure to the public, “Zoom Zouk” parties for corporations were offered. They also streamed DJ sets and delivered drinks to complete the experience.

Zouk rented out their space to be a live streaming venue with Lazada and hosted monthly e-commerce bazaars. The 31,000-feet complex was also repurposed to host dine-in eateries, fitness programs, and DJ classes throughout the lockdown.

These initiatives allowed Zouk to optimize its space and stay as a fixture of nightlife when others were forced to shut down.

Zouk’s CEO, Andrew Li, said that the response to the initiatives has been fantastic and expects the same moving forward. As part of their post-pandemic strategy, the nightclub complex will be moving forward with a restaurant, spin studio, and cinema.

While the pivot is not likely to fully replace lost revenue from regular operations, the company made strategic choices that ensured they remained relevant during the lockdown and also created multiple revenue streams that can be leveraged in the post-pandemic market.

Fiready, Fire Safety Company (B2B)

Fiready is a fire safety company that repositioned itself to a life-saving company.

The certified fire servicing contractor focuses on protecting Singapore SMEs from the risk of fire with their range of fire extinguishers and related services.

When the pandemic and lockdown hit, the company anticipated that many of its clients could not operate, resulting in a negative impact on business. So, the management made the strategic decision to diversify its business by offering disinfecting solutions and self-disinfecting coatings. It also expanded to distributing automated external defibrillators.

As highlighted by the director, Mak Ka Weng, Fiready took the opportunity to reposition itself from a fire safety firm to a “life-saving company”.

This pivot paid off as the company emerged unscathed when sales from its main business in fire servicing dropped 50% during the April 2020 circuit breaker. Overall, revenue has increased by 20% since pre-Covid days.

How to Survive & Thrive in the Post-Pandemic Market

EduSportSingapore, Zouk and Fiready have demonstrated that it is possible to strategically pivot during challenging times when there is creativity, foresight and good management.

If you need some ideas, we shared five ways Singapore companies can grow in the post-pandemic market in a previous blog post.

We have also released our “Strategy Toolkit for the Post-Pandemic Market” to the public – for the first time ever!

Discover the strategy tools and frameworks that only five-figure paying consulting clients get to see. This toolkit will only be available for 30 days, so don’t miss out.

Download it now below:

J C Sum

J C Sum is a certified management consultant (TR 43:2015), an American Marketing Association Professional Certified Marketer (PCM®) in marketing management as well as a certified digital marketing strategist (SSG-WSQ accredited) with 12 years of experience specializing in search engine optimization, content marketing, and analytics. J C holds a Bachelor of Arts from National University of Singapore and is the author of "Evolve, Adapt or Collapse". He has been featured on The Straits Times, Business Times, Channel News Asia, The Edge Singapore, CNA938, and Money FM 89.3.