A MONTH and a half or so after golf clubs reopened in the Covid-19 era, TeeUp spoke to Anil “Sanjay” Kumar of VK (Golf) Enterprise on what he thought about the current situation and what the future might hold – with a specific viewpoint from “stand alone” retailers.
The golf business director of a family business that was started back in 1986, touched on several other issues and said, generally, that he was confident things would get better for the industry.
Following are excerpts of the interview:
Q: With Covid-19 still relevant despite the relaxing of some restrictions, how do you see the golf retail sector, especially for the smaller operators here in Malaysia?
A: It’s in an uplifting mode towards a positive direction. Expect a further surge in overall golf retail once the borders are opened for global commuters.
The other key advantages for the small operators is less overhead liabilities in staff and operational costs, and better liquidity in continuous purchases and retail.
Q: And, in particular, what sort of impact has Covid-19 had on your own business?
A: A total overhaul on the new norms landscape of golf retail and supply via e-commerce and a curb-less delivery from the standard norms of onsite business to customer retail. A new cost, a new business methodology and a change in golf business operational management.
Q: What have you done specifically to keep your business going – moving towards e-business maybe?
A: We have maintained the e-business portal of our offline store since 2015, being the first of golf’s “small operators” to break into in the e-digital era on Peninsular Malaysia. It has provided us a great platform to move forward (before now) and prepared us well for the future.
Q: With things still quite grim – how long do you think it might take before we see a decent recovery?
A: Since we are dealing with an enemy behind the lines, invisible to the naked eye and can hit or target anyone, anytime anywhere, and with no vaccine in sight, an exact dateline is difficult to pin down. The world medical arena of scientists and doctors are still struggling despite putting in their best efforts and that is really why a precise timeline of recovery is as unpredictable as far as we can see it.
Q: What is your view of the stimulus packages unveiled by government and how effective have these been in your view?
A: They’ve been good packages and come with various benefits for the different business segments and Malaysian society as a whole. For the sports and golf industries in particular the stimulus packages are yet to be blended in by our government and we expect it would be sooner so as to save jobs and companies.
Q: Is there anything you might want to add here?
A: During this critical period, one has to reinvent strategic business directions with external advice, getting involved with Covid-19 webinars on e-digital, etc, and gain a better practical knowledge in resuming one’s income instead of hoping for a miracle recovery.
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