By Style Reporter
Businessman, commodity broker and Wezhaz Executive Cars CEO Exevia “Wezhaz” Maoneke has called on businesses to embrace e-commerce in the face of catastrophes like the novel coronavirus, which has wrecked world economies and drastically reduced physical business transactions.
Various countries have enforced national lockdowns of up to three weeks with neighbouring South Africa extending its lockdown by a further two weeks as the Covid-19 pandemic takes its toll. Both the informal sector and industry have suffered from the lockdown with economic analysts forecasting massive staff layoffs and company closures.
Maoneke, who is celebrated for his support to local arts as well as various other sponsorship packages to national arts-related programmes like awards ceremonies through his Wezhaz Sports Bar and Wezhaz Executive Cars brands, said doing business the traditional way would be catastrophic in view of ongoing trends.
“The world is changing and global catastrophes in the mould of Covid-19 point to a new shift that may necessitate a complete overhaul of how businesses operate,” Maoneke said.
“In view of such sad but obtaining realities, businesses must embrace e-commerce so that we are able to transact and do business electronically even without direct physical interaction and engagement. It’s a difficult situation and we will have to either adapt or fold altogether.”
Most Zimbabweans have been resisting e-commerce with the average citizen, especially informal traders, preferring one-on-one engagement and physical money exchange as compared to electronic payments.
“I know Zimbabweans traditionally prefer one-on-one engagements and direct exchange of hard cash, but that won’t sustain for long given global trends and how the world economy is changing,” he said.
“The global pandemics we continue to witness mean we may have to adjust and start relying on online interaction with our clients and shipping or transporting our products to them.
“Global brands like Chinese billionaire Jack Ma’s Alibaba have demonstrated that e-commerce is the way to go and the sooner we awaken to this reality the better,” he said.
In the face of this reality, Maoneke said it was important for brands to start embracing new technology and building trusted brands that gain lasting market confidence.
“This global reality, as demonstrated through the national lockdown we are experiencing, means business will suffer and brands must start embracing new technology.
“We must start embracing new technology and the digital way of marketing and sustaining our brands. Even amidst this lockdown, we must stay relevant and I am happy to say as a brand we have engaged a professional brand development and management company to embrace that side of business and we hope to unveil new technology that helps us sell online beyond the current digital marketing drive.”
Maoneke’s Wezhaz Holdings brand, which incorporates the Wezhaz Executive Cars brand, Wezhaz Sports Bar as well as the commodity broking arm, has continued to gain traction through market-tested innovation. The car sales side of his vast business empire has been in existence for over 10 years and boasts of some of the latest collection of cars.