Having lost P78 million in revenue due to the Covid -19 pandemic, BotswanaPost expects to register a projected loss of P151 million by end of March next year.
Most of its cashflow comes from third-party contracts which were also adversely affected by the pandemic.
BotswanaPost chief executive officer (CEO) Cornelius Ramatlhakwane has said there are business interventions in place to mitigate the negative impact on their business.
Such interventions, he said, include reviewing the business model adding that technology is key in supporting government agenda. He spoke of expansion of channels through partnership with Choppies which has more than 90 stores.
In a bid to continue to diversify its portfolio, BotswanaPost has expanded its Smart Partnerships model which has seen the introduction of Choppies as an extension of the channel to offer PosoMoney, payments of Social Grants and other postal services.
“We are building ecosystem of services and payments and PosoCloud in partnership with BoFiNet and also there is PosoMoney for different payments,” said Ramatlhakwane.
The COVID-19 era has made it paramount the need to decongest post offices, especially during peak periods. The need to comply with the social distancing protocols and guidelines, and putting the health and safety of customers first, necessitated the rolling out of pay points for Social Grants to both Choppies and PosoMoney.
This will, with time, also see the introduction of a near-field communication (NFC) enabled VISA Card for pensioners and other Social Grants recipients. This move will enable other shops, from large retailers to small general dealers, to be able to benefit from this Government programme as purchases are also made at their stores.
He further spoke of utilizing transport network adding that mail started piling in January and that response was in April. He said international mail due to travel restrictions was affected and was received in bulk later.
Quizzed on plans post-COVID-19 period, Ramatlhakwane stated that there will be suspension roll out of new business strategy. He confirmed that there is an interim of 12 months strategy to observe market and consumer behavior. He added that there are changes in dynamic market. He spoke of revamping PosoMoney solution to pay wages and others, and also NFC card to work with PosoMoney.
“What is important is proactive response using laid down disaster management process help cushion impact,” he said.
He said of the new way of working means different way employee welfare needs to assess the cost benefit of the changes. He added that the pandemic has aligned BotswanaPost to fourth industrial revolution and e-commerce. Ramatlhakwane believes that more business diversification is needed to reduce reliance on agency services.