Experts enlighten AU community on how to survive Covid-19

Filed on October 28, 2020

Agility, efficiency, productivity, soft skills and technology are keywords for students, professionals, and organisations to stand out during the Covid-19 pandemic. This has been affirmed by UAE top executive business women leaders hosted by Ajman University (AU) as part of the "Chancellor's Distinguished Lecture Series".

The virtual session, titled How to stand out during the pandemic, featured different sectors' views and challenges during the pandemic and how each leader confronted them. The panel was moderated by Lynn Chouman, News Editor at Linkedin, saw the online presence of Karim Seghir, Ph.D, AU Chancellor, three prominent speakers, and a big number students, alumni and professionals.

Dr Dalya Al Muthanna, President and CEO of GE Gulf, said the business has adopted a plan of three main components to work through the Covid-19 pandemic - embracing reality, redefining winning, and focusing on execution.

"We needed to accept and adapt to the situation," she said. "Ensuring the safety of our people has always been a top priority for us, and we must do so while maintaining business operations with the least disruption possible."

Dr Al Muthanna emphasised the need to listen to and work with their customers, especially during this period. "It is very important for every organisation to stay close to its customers, understand their needs, address their issues, and turn every challenge into an opportunity to do better."

Efficiency is a very important aspect for all customers, she pointed out. "Everyone is focused on how to optimise the use of their resources, and how to be more efficient with both their assets and their operations to maximise value."

Abeer AlShaali, CEO at Gulf Craft, said agility is the keyword in the ongoing battle with Covid-19. "The more agile with workforce, regulations and reactions you are, the more efficient and helpful you will be.

"There were different priorities based on the requirements, starting with safety, meeting deadlines, and productivity. We have been hit with a major disruption; let's flip it and use it to our advantage," she said.

Advising, AlShaali said it's better for students and young professionals to be talented in certain skill than a generic one. "It's fine to study business, but one needs to specialise in finance, accounting or marketing, to name a few."

Rola Abu Manneh, CEO at Standard Chartered Bank, UAE, believes in a hybrid approach to better battle the pandemic. "We have turned more customers to our digital platform to better attend to their needs," she said. "It is also so important to remain flexible."

Manneh also added that the past few months were a preview of the future. "To remain competitive in the future, any organisation needs to make use of the new technologies we have, with a focus on talent as a priority. Students need to be have soft skills required, be resilient, remain connected, keep learning, and put in their best effort."

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