Is Your Business Geographically Vulnerable?

Do you know where in the world your business is vulnerable? 

Globalisation is the process by which businesses or other organizations develop international influence or start operating on an international scale.  It has been a fact of life for decades, and whilst it does have detractors, it has in many cases been of significant benefit to businesses. 

Coronavirus has compelled us to view globalisation in a new light – where in the world might we be vulnerable? 

There are numerous sources of statistics about the distribution of COVID-19, the one on the left here is from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (an EU Agency), as at 10 June 2020

The point for any globalised business, large or small, is to work out:  

  • Where in the world do we have any presence; customers and markets, supply chain, satellite offices, partners?

  • Has COVID-19 changed the situation in any of these locations? 

  • How do those changes impact on our business? 

  • Is there anything we can do to help the community in these troubled locations? 

  • What do we need to do in order to ensure that our business survives and continues? 

Case Study – Mumbai 


Robin Uthappa of Mumbia Indians Batting.jpg

Mumbai is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra, although 20/20 cricket followers will know it better as the home of the Mumbai Indians, the most successful team in the Indian Premier League.

With a population nudging 20 million, it is the second most populous city in India after Delhi, and the seventh most populous in the world. It has the highest number of millionaires and billionaires among all cities in India, and is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Elephanta Caves, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, and the city’s distinctive ensemble of Victorian and Art Deco buildings.  It is also the financial, commercial and entertainment capital of India, a world top 10 centre of commerce which accounts for 6.16% of India’s GDP, 25% of industrial output, 70% of the country’s maritime trade and 70% of capital transactions. (Wikipedia)  

Coronavirus testing in Mumbai.jpg

Unfortunately, recent news reports (Guardian Article 29 May 2020) also reveal that Mumbai is a Coronavirus hotspot, with 59,546 cases, and 1,695 deaths in the state, and the vast majority of those in Mumbai itself.  In the Sion hospital emergency ward there are reportedly two people to a bed. Patients, many with coronavirus symptoms and strapped two to a single oxygen tank, were photographed lying almost on top of each other, top-to-toe on shared stretchers or just lying on the floor, in footage shared on social media in India this week.  The city’s already strained healthcare system is now under significant stress, with state hospitals such as Sion, overcrowded in normal times, now operating in excess of safe capacity. With many frontline doctors and nurses contracting the virus, it is also leading to a critical shortage of medical staff.

India ranks 4th in the world for new COVID-19 cases recorded each day, having thus far only managed to slow down the spread instead of flattening the curve.  With lockdown due to be loosened at the end of this week there are fears that infection rates will spike, for which the hospitals are not prepared. India has had 158,000 reported cases so far, and many doctors fear that worse is to come.  June will bring the monsoon, and with it the outbreaks of dengue fever, malaria and leptospirosis, which already annually strain hospital capacity.  It is perhaps this combination of COVID-19 and the monsoon diseases, which no other country has yet faced, which is of greatest concern. 

So what? 

If your business has any presence in Mumbai, firstly, and as always, thoughts and prayers go out to those who are suffering, and who have already lost family members and friends. 

But secondly, and again as always, the business continuity angle needs to be considered.  If your organisation has links, people, satellite offices, supply chains or customers in Mumbai, it is critical to consider the possibility that the city might soon experience the inability to deal with any non-COVID medical condition, plus insufficient capacity to deal with rising COVID cases themselves.   

And the answer is to plan, quickly and in detail;  

  • Is there anything that your organisation can do to help those in the city? 

  • What do you need to do in order to ensure that your business survives the situation in Mumbai? 

  • If so, how to do it?

  • What will be your trigger to execute these moves? 

And to be fully practically and psychologically prepared to execute these moves if the situation deteriorates. 


Toby - Head and Shoulders Image.jpg


Senior Consultant,

Sector Lead: Academia & Heritage

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