How some businesses have reinvented themselves to survive



Published May 5, 2020


DURBAN - The easing of the strict lockdown by the government and allowing some industries to reopen after five weeks of restrictions, is a welcome relief to many businesses which have been heavily impacted by the coronavirus.

Some small businesses have managed to reinvent themselves and are thriving amid the chaos.

High-end fashion brand, Dr Pachanga specialising in vegan leather handbags and African wax fabrics for men’s and women’s clothing got sidelined by the lockdown as they are not an essential service. The brand however changed their production line to manufacture cloth face masks instead.

“With the announcement of the lockdown we had eight staff, we just invested in two more stores, we couldn’t sit back and afford to pay staff. We had to find a way. We have seen people wear a lot of masks in Asia, we looked at the research, and how Asia tried to minimise the impact, and everyone wears masks, even now still. We gathered information from doctors. Our masks are not medically qualified, but they will help people avoid touching their face or coughing on someone, there is a barrier,” said the company’s Ansie van der Mescht.

On-demand alcohol delivery app Quench has collaborated with Woolworths SA to provide same-day delivery of groceries to customers in major centres across SA.Quench co-founder and MD Liam McCreedy said after the start-up re-engineered its app from an alcohol to a grocery delivery service, it has seen a significant spike in downloads and new active users.

Thabo Leshoeli, of Ads Like This, a Johannesburg-based company that specialises in corporate gifts, realised during the lockdown that for them to survive they had to reinvent themselves. The company currently manufactures branded face masks.

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