The world had barely emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic when the Russia-Ukraine war began to send shockwaves around the globe. This conflict has not only created a humanitarian crisis, it has also affected the availability and cost of essential goods and materials like food, fertiliser and fuel. What can business leaders do to future-proof their organisations and mitigate the risks posed by global disasters? Lithon Group CEO Adriaan Grobler shares insights into the strategies Lithon has in place to ensure the business continues to thrive in times of crisis.
Business leaders must be discerning when it comes to the barrage of information available during these types of crises, says Grobler. “It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the news cycle and competing narratives, but it’s important to filter this information and translate it to your specific environment in order to make strategic business decisions,” he says.
It’s vital to identify the main risks to your business and to mitigate them, says Grobler. “When Covid-19 hit in 2020, we had already flagged cash flow as our primary risk and taken steps to ensure we could pay our people and continue to operate. This meant pursuing projects that would improve cash flow, vetting clients stringently, and taking on less risk for client projects – a strategy we’ve continued to follow as the impact of the war is felt around the world.”
While crisis events have obvious negative impacts, they can also create opportunities, says Grobler. For Lithon, this has meant shifting its business model from working solely on client projects to initiating its own projects, including through its new Venture Engineering division. It has also meant looking beyond Namibia’s borders to the vast opportunities available in Africa. “Lithon has decades of experience in infrastructure – energy, water, agriculture, and mining – and we believe there’s tremendous opportunity in private sector initiatives throughout the continent,” says Grobler.
Businesses must stay innovative and agile so they can weather storms when they come, says Grobler. And the Lithon team has continued to refine its business strategy and systems to better serve its clients and maximise opportunities. “We’re putting the right people in the right positions and upskilling our teams to free up key players to focus on our strategic objectives,” says Grobler. The business has also expanded in the past several years to offer clients a 360-degree solution – from analysing feasibility and assisting with deal structure through to the execution and construction of the final project.
In tough times, it’s important to remember your core purpose, says Grobler, who founded Lithon 20 years ago with the aim of making a significant and positive impact in people’s lives. “Keeping our eyes on our true north and our long-term strategy has allowed us to move forward in a focused and priority-driven way,” he adds.
If you need consulting engineering services for your next project or you’re interested in partnering with us on a venture engineering initiative, please get in touch with Adriaan Grobler on firstname.lastname@example.org today.
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