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CEO Brief on BIRGER.’s Plan to Navigate Out of the Crisis

The Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) crisis is very different from others, which we have witnessed due to the speed at which events have unfolded. First of all, national borders have been closed without notice; and then lockdowns imposed for our safety, have brought economic activities to a near halt. These measures have put many industries in difficult financial positions with some companies already in receivership, and many others to potentially follow, which will entail job losses.

 

Following on Covid-19 crisis, Governments priority is to focus on their respective national economies where they have already taken number of measures. BIRGER. as a responsible employer cannot wait and expect local governments to address our own issues.

 

With challenging times ahead of us, I wish to bring some clarity as to how BIRGER. is planning to navigate its way out of this crisis with its two main objectives: To safeguard the health, safety and employment of its employees; and To sustain its activities in the long term.

 

BIRGER. has already taken some proactive steps towards this crisis. Our Solidarity Plan is already effective with measures suspending allowances such as traveling, standby, and overtime as well as requesting employees to take their local leaves when they are not working from home. It is probable that more solidarity measures will have to be adopted in the forthcoming weeks due to the current uncertain economic environment.

 

BIRGER. must maintain its focus on its strategic direction with the drive to develop its regional business in the 9 territories it operates in, around its 3 Core Services. Developing our activities in these regional countries will make our company more resilient and robust whilst facing the current and future crisis. We expect the business environment to be more challenging in the short to medium term, whereby it will cost more money to do business and growth will be dampened. Hence, having an adverse impact on our profits.

 

Since this crisis is a turning point, as to how we leave and do business, the needs and expectations of our customers will also change. The executive team with all heads of our Business Units have started a strategic process to envision how our business will evolve due to the current and future context.

 

It is too soon to predict for how long the lockdown and curfew will be maintained. BIRGER. shall take a very prudent approach before resuming work at our regional offices. Work resumption will be subject to appropriate social distancing measures, hygiene measures respected by all employees and the necessity for each employee to report to work instead of working from home. The executive team and your respective heads of Business Units shall inform you accordingly.

 

As a closing remark, I would like to inform you that last week I took the decision to fly out of Madagascar for France, where I had been for nearly three weeks, on a plane scheduled by the French Government to uplift stranded people in Madagascar. I am today safe, secure and in good health in Paris.

 

May I wish all of you a Happy Easter. Please stay safe, secure and in good health with your families.

 

JACQUES HAREL

Chief Executive Officer

BIRGER.

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