We talked to Muhammed Lubowa of All in Trade Limited about renewable energy supply and installation, and he had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Muhammed Lubowa: My family and I are fine, Despite the challenges of copying up with adverse effects of COVID 19, such; managing COVID-19 related stress such as; Children missing school, copying up with SOPs, and Keeping off the social networks among others.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined All in Trade Limited.
Muhammed Lubowa: I am the CEO of All in Trade Limited, am a public administrator by training with a master degree in public administration and management, and business development and growth expertise. I started this organization in 2008 as a small organization providing services in renewable energy supply and installation, employing an average of 3 staff. But 12 years down the road, AIT has grown into a relatively medium organization employing directly 11 staff and indirectly 33 people…….
How does All in Trade Limited innovate?
Muhammed Lubowa: Initially, AIT has been implementing ideas directly through the technical manager, but we currently developed a five-year strategic plan, whereby we shall have a full-fledged R&D department. This department will be in charge of innovation and training through the innovation hub. The hub will be generating ideas and feed them to the organization for implementation and vice versa…
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Muhammed Lubowa: Given that CORONA 19 pandemic comes with economic shocks; such as job loss, market distortion, and lockdown of the entire economy, this greatly affected my potential clients by disorganizing their respective cash flows. As a result, their purchasing powers dropped, which negatively affected my business finances since clients cash flows were greatly affected.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Muhammed Lubowa: AIT puts people first before profits as a value and dramatically values its human resource; therefore, we did not make difficult choices regarding human resources during the COVID-19 pandemics. We chose to manage the crisis using crisis management strategy. Some of the key lessons we learnt were; All staff members should form a saving association, and this association to be managed and recognized by AIT. This association can come in handy and troubleshoot financial difficulty during any economic shocks such as COVID 19, and We also learnt that staff should not exhaust their leave days, some of the days can come in handy in case of a crisis like COVID outbreak, the organization can offset those leave days in compensating organization time in addition to the time that will be given to staff during a pandemic
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Muhammed Lubowa: Our CRM evolves by properly managing interactions with our existing clients and our previous clients and potential clients. Our past clients keep referring to us new customers, and the way we handle and relate with the referred clients helps us get future potential clients. The tools we use are explicitly keeping clients database, including feedbacks and troubleshooting.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Muhammed Lubowa: No, we did not get any government grants; however, we responded and applied to PSFU call for Covid relief funding, and we are still waiting for their response on our application.
Your final thoughts?
Muhammed Lubowa: No amount of storm should keep your business down, keep innovating and keep afloat.