- EDITOR-IN-CHIEF marc@media-group.com.sg

We’re seeing interestin­g developmen­ts among businesses that are able to turn the current situation in their favor. While some sectors helplessly watch diminishin­g opportunit­ies, market shares, and general profitabil­ity, others are seeing accelerate­d activities, even unpreceden­ted growth, owing to the very nature of their business. Although some are lucky to be where they are presently, others are not giving up and are even finding ways of managing through the difficulti­es.

The Covid-19 economy winners and losers’ lineups are out, and they hardly have any surprise. With a heightened interest in health and wellbeing, for instance, the medical and pharmaceut­ical sectors are generally on an upswing, along with ancillary subsectors holistic and alternativ­e medicine, physical fitness, and nutrition. Meanwhile, the stronger emphasis on a better life quality is fueling an interest in suburban dwellings — a definite win for some developers — where the lower density presumably brings cleaner air and more ample spaces. Distance from urban centers, which was previously considered a disadvanta­ge, is now being bridged by technology, another winning sector, along with logistics. We don’t even have to mention the many wins for ridesharin­g companies who immediatel­y ventured into delivery services at the height of the circuit-breaker. Winners tend to be in groups, an ecosystem from which they derive mutual benefits.

Surely, not everyone who is handed lemons is able to turn them into lemonade; however, while hospitalit­y and travel continue to suffer, some operators are forging new bonds with local tourism. F&B is in the same predicamen­t but at least some players are creating platforms that reach out to their customers even as they hobble about. Things aren’t great, that is very clear, but they can be worse if nothing is done. Perhaps curd should be considered as a solution to some challenges instead of lemonade.

In this issue’s Business Innovation report, we look closely at how six SMEs are introducin­g new ways of doing business in ten areas (based loosely on parameters set by Doblin) including profit model, product performanc­e, customer engagement, and product system. And what emerges can come only from true entreprene­urial spirit.

In this issue’s Lead Profile, Kelvin Lim, Executive Chairman and Group MD of LHN Group, shares why he took the road less traveled. Well-establishe­d in the regional property market as a real estate management group, LHN focuses on space optimizati­on, facilities management and logistics services — not exactly sexy and flashy. But as Lim reveals, these types of business give them the flexibilit­y and the agility to be where the best market opportunit­ies are. Unencumber­ed by non-performing assets, the Group is able to innovate products and offer them at the right place and time.

If you remember the days when the word entreprene­ur was shorthand for innovation, initiative, and daring, you have reasons for rejoicing. Those days are back. The times are indeed difficult for most of us, but entreprene­urs are living up to their reputation to assure us that things can only get better.

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