Risk-Conscious Culture Helps Business

A tow truck belonging to Chand’s Towing Services ferries a car in a RO-RO vessel as part of its service.

Despite five (5) months of reduced demand for services, Nadi-based Chand’s Towing Services has remained open for business for its loyal customers and to ensure no staff is laid off.

Chand’s Towing Services has held the “award-winning 24-hour towing service” brand name in Nadi for over five years.

The business caters for cartage of brand new vehicles, towing breakdown or accident vehicles, HIAB services, and provides cherry picker services.

Business owner, 26-year-old Shivneel Chand, said that significant business has been lost with the closure or reduced hours of operation of tourist tours and rental car companies.

“Majority of our customers are those who were operating resort-based tours and rental car businesses in and around Nadi but are now either non-operational or on reduced hours,” said Chand.

“This had a substantial impact on my business but we have not lost our brand name. Despite the curfew, we are still available 24-hours for the Fiji Police Force,” said Chand.

Speaking about the impact the pandemic had on his business, Chand said that although business has been slow, he has found means to remain open for his other segment of the customer base.

“Reduced hours and reduced pay for the team has not even had a slightest change in our customer service,” he said. “Customer service remains our first priority even during the crisis,” said Chand.

Chand’s message to other business owners is “do not lose hope. We will get through this”. He said that entrepreneurs should use this opportunity to prepare for business continuity.

“Look at preparedness for their business from all perspectives and prepare for any unforeseen circumstances such as this unprecedented pandemic,” said Chand.

“This would also be the time to think outside the box and think about business recovery. I have had to identify and cut down on unnecessary expenses to remain open for business,” he said.

“Once everything normalizes, I urge other business owners to put in the extra hours needed to cover the loss sustained during this period,” he said.

Chand’s Towing Services had scooped the Best Risk Managed Award at the Fiji Development Bank’s National SME Awards in 2017.

Acting Chief Executive Officer, Saiyad Hussain, said that the business has lived up to its award by displaying its resilience amidst the COVID19 pandemic.

“Under the Best Risk Managed Award, this business was recognized for championing risk
management by employing mechanisms that put safety first for the business, the customers and the community it serves.

“Since then Mr. Chand has been able to implement business continuity mechanisms as well. Even though it did not have a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) documented and in place, the business has been risk-conscious and that helped the owner find means of keeping the business afloat,” said Hussain.

Business continuity planning is about prevention and recovery from potential threats to a business.

“The process involves identifying potential risks that can affect business operations, adopting risk management strategies to minimize service disruptions and mobilizing resources to return to ‘business as usual’ in the quickest possible time post-disaster,” said Hussain.
He said that because Chand had been accustomed to a risk-conscious culture, as part of the nature of his business, it was easier for him to identify mitigation strategies during this period.

As a young entrepreneur, he is setting a good example for his peers, added Hussain.
“We are profiling SMEs that have shown disaster resilience in the hope that other businesses will get inspiration from them and follow in their footsteps,” he said.

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Source: Fiji Development Bank

Contact Chand’s Towing Services M: 9644687 E: chandshivneel9@gmail.com

This article was published in The Fiji Times on 24 September 2020 titled “Towing Service provider Pulls Through”.