As 2021 starts off with a new Covid-19 variant, which continues to sweep away many livelihoods across the world, at BotswanaPost this is an opportunity to expect high demand in its online agency services as consumers continue to adjust to the new normal.
Customers become even more wary about gathering in crowded public spaces for routine bill payments which they can now easily complete online with BotswanaPost, such as PosoMoney, Airtime and Electricity purchases, vehicle registration renewals, postal box payments amongst many other services.
However, moving forward into the 2020-2021 financial year, there are many reasons why the COVID-19 pandemic will place a heavy toll on postal operators worldwide for the foreseeable future.
Cornelius Ramatlhakwane of BotswanaPost is of the view that limited cross-border movement will extract deep economic sacrifices across sectors.
“We will witness even more of our domestic clients shifting towards electronic communications — and further away from traditional mail. Furthermore, social distancing measures designed to contain the spread of COVID-19 will continue to create difficult trading conditions and raise the cost of doing business in all conceivable ways. However, the crisis does present interesting opportunities for other areas of our business. We anticipate that our suite of online service delivery channels will become even more relevant,” he said.
With online shopping and the expectation for door-to-door deliveries in the minds of both households and businesses, Ramatlhakwane said BotswanaPost will further expect its Couriers and Logistics business to grow even further — cementing its already-formidable positioning in the market.
“The silver lining to the pandemic is that BotswanaPost service offerings are in harmony with the way customers’ needs are evolving. Relevance has never been more important than it is right now,” he added.
For the 2019/2020 financial year, the parastatal saw its total revenue grow by 10 percent — taking the organisation over P320 million for the first time. Much of this growth has been driven by the strong performance of its Couriers and Warehousing & Logistics services, which surpassed the expectations by delivering 90.5 percent percent year-on-year growth.
BotswanaPost has been able to deliver this growth despite significant organisational and environmental headwind such as staff salary adjustments amongst others, which has directly impacted the cost of sales and therefore its ability to reflect a profit this year. This significant increase in operational expenses grew by 37 percent.
In addition to the persistent threat of COVID-19, the global economy is operating in an environment now characterised by increased uncertainty in the form of trade disputes, abrupt tightening of global financial conditions, intensified climate risks and geopolitical tension.
With all this in mind, the World Bank late last year, 2020 had forecast a precarious global GDP shrinkage of at least 5.2 percent in 2020.
However, the January 2021 latest Global Economic Prospect pointed that, the collapse in global economic activity in 2020 is estimated to have been slightly less severe than previously projected, mainly due to shallower contractions in advanced economies and a more robust recovery in China. In contrast, disruptions to activity in the majority of other emerging market and developing economies were more acute than expected.