Now that we are firmly in level 3 lockdown, the conversations will centre on resuming operations and economic activity safely. Companies have to think about the health and safety of their employees, as well as social responsibility; like being BBBEE compliant. The COVID-19 pandemic will birth new businesses and ways of doing things that prioritise social distancing and safety. Take this protective equipment business, PPE COVID-19, for instance; they are a BBBEE compliant e-commerce company that renders an essential service that helps businesses comply with Coronavirus health and safety guidelines.
Personal protective equipment supplier, PPE COVID-19, came to be when three Cape Town-based tech companies collaborated to supply businesses and individuals with protective equipment to combat the Coronavirus spread. The company provides hand sanitisers, branded face masks, various thermometers and more health and safety equipment that targets the screening and prevention of COVID-19 in businesses.
How is your business navigating the COVID-19 pandemic?
I think most business owners and entrepreneurs will tell you that the last few months have been rough. As an Essential Services company, we were issued permits and operated throughout levels five and four of the lockdown which has had its benefits but also, a few risks and challenges. Unfortunately, this is not the case for all businesses as some predominantly rely on foot traffic and daily cash flow for their business to operate. My business partner, Chae Francis and I are often on the road and as a result have had to take the necessary extra precautions to stay healthy, protect ourselves and others, and do our bit to #flattenthecurve
What is your WFH setup?
Currently, I work from our Melkbos offices about four times a week, and it is business as usual. We have, however, put specific health and safety measures into place. These include:
- Checking our temperature before and after we enter the office with the industry-leading UT300H temperature scanner ;
- Sanitising our hands and shoes regularly with our 70% alcohol-based lemon-scented hand sanitiser which contains glycerine so, it doesn’t try out your skin;
- Wiping down our desk space with our alcohol swabs;
- Boosting our immune system with immune-boosting supplements and healthy eating;
- And of course, wearing our very own AERO masks which has a replaceable KN95 filter and carbon activated filters on top of the valve which allows for two-way protection as opposed to other valved masks on the market. To top things off after 30 days you can replace your KN95 filter as opposed to throwing your entire thing away after 30 days.
What is PPE COVID-19?
With our background in tech and branding, Chae Francis, who is the founder of www.blu-connect.co.za, and I saw a gap in the market when it comes to doing honest and effective business in the PPE sector. Many companies have an inefficient or no digital presence at all and take 3 to 5 working days to reply to a simple mail inquiry.
At www.ppecovid19.co.za, we aim to fill that gap by providing an end-to-end solution for businesses and individuals looking to procure PPE related products at a competitive rate. Our e-commerce website lists a wide range of products which includes DAHUA thermal recognition cameras, walkthrough temperature scanners, our popular sanitiser range and of course our top-selling double valve N95 AERO masks. The website is easy to navigate and provides secure end-to-end encrypted payment options through our trusted payment partner, Yoco. Business owners, entrepreneurs and consumers can purchase our PPE products anywhere and at any time.
How are you marketing PPE COVID-19?
Over the years, both www.blu-connect.co.za and www.mybruapp.com have built up an existing clientele; the natural starting point was to help our current clients to not only be safety compliant but also protect their staff and customers. Additionally, they have the peace of mind of purchasing from a reputable company without needing to break the bank during these challenging times.
Take us through the PPE COVID-19 setup process from inception.
We set www.ppecovid19.co.za up over three days. Our background in the tech industry includes vast experience in executing concept ideation, branding, UX & UI design, and web development. Our tech knowledge allowed us to move quickly and effectively while not needing to spend too much time on A/B testing. I enjoyed the experience because it took me back to the initial days of running a startup.
What are your plans for Mybru App and PPE COVID-19?
As the South African government-enforced lockdown levels, many of our MyBru clients in the restaurant and retail industry were forced to keep their doors closed or operate at low capacity. Therefore we made an executive decision to pause all activity on @mybruapp until such time that restrictions get lifted, and customers can freely enjoy the restaurant and retail experience as intended. I hope that this day comes sooner rather than later as the restaurant and retail industry employs thousands of people who provide for their families, not to mention the vital role the restaurant and retail industry plays in South Africa’s economy.
Covid-19 has forced us to look at our business model and adapt to what many are calling the #newnormal. With that said, we at @mybruapp have been working behind the scenes on expanding our retail capabilities. #mybruRetail will act as an online store and allow customers to shop for the best retail products at their convenience. Customers can expect the same realtime data they have become accustomed to with @mybruapp, and will now be able to purchase trending products such as the AERO masks range and vouchers directly through our secure e-commerce site. The team and I are excited to see this project come to life in the weeks to come so, keep an eye out on our social media pages @mybruapp / @ppecovid19.co.za.
What are some of the lessons you have taken from the COVID-19 pandemic?
For a long time, we have been encouraging businesses and clients to begin their digital transformation, and this pandemic has shown the importance of brands having an authentic and affective digital presence where customers can engage and transact in a safe online environment. I think it’s a crucial time that has caused brands to recognise that they need to be agile in their approach and provide a value-based product/service that helps customers.
One thing I have not taken for granted during these trying times is the amazing people I work with. I think it’s important to take a step back and check in with your family and friends, clients and colleagues to find out how they are doing mentally, physically and emotionally. And why not show them some love, get them an AERO mask?