By Ahmad Ramahi
Innovation is at the core of survival in a world of constant change. The ability and courage to take initiative and stand out define the businesses that excel in the market. One need only glance at the current global struggle against COVID-19 to see how fear and uncertainty can paralyze progression. But simultaneously, the pandemic has expanded possibilities and allowed the seizing of new opportunities for those who do not wish to stand by idly while a crisis occurs.
WeDeliver has never failed to fight the constant struggles that start-ups face in the Palestinian market, mainly because the occupation imposes on Palestinians limitless restrictions that exist as physical infringements and psychological caps on our potential to succeed. But as an early-stage start-up, WeDeliver realized that this situation would last for some time and that taking immediate action could help it not only to survive but even scale and grow.
Whereas all businesses faced significant obstacles and economic pressures during this pandemic, small companies and start-ups were particularly affected. But the crisis caused by lockdown also offered the opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of running a business. Thus, as COVID-19 caused significant economic shocks in all markets, it became crucial for WeDeliver to deploy its well-established business resilience and teamwork to tackle the problems brought on by the pandemic. We seized the available resources and turned them into the best possible opportunity. During these challenging times, WeDeliver has successfully expanded its work scope in both the Palestinian and Saudi Arabian markets. Our team tripled the number of employees to respond to every opportunity, adopting the slogan “Every Delivery Matters.”
Social-distancing restrictions and health- and economy-driven shifts due to COVID-19 were expected to shutter small businesses and entrepreneurial ventures. However, WeDeliver not only seized expanding markets, the company introduced and enhanced new business lines to support the market and fill demand as much as possible by providing new delivery services, such as delivering groceries, expanding its operations to nine new cities across Palestine and Saudi Arabia since the beginning of the pandemic.
Being a start-up, WeDeliver sees the opportunity in every risk. Taking fast action and adapting to the situation are important not only from a business perspective but also in providing support to our customers and community during the pandemic. Most shops were closed due to the lockdown, so selling online was the rescue that required reliable logistics, which we provided. Moreover, WeDeliver employs 600+ freelancer captains (company drivers), many of whom depend on us as their primary source of income, so we had to keep the business running to sustain their earnings. This responsibility required huge operations, including issuing special permits to captains and making arrangements with local authorities on a daily basis.
As the barriers against WeDeliver grew, our determination grew even more. We immediately took action, especially concerning the safety and security procedures that came along with COVID-19. This included retraining the captains. Moreover, the onboarding process to train captains shifted from an in-person model to virtual sessions. After having completed these sessions, our captains can now handle all types of delivery while ensuring thorough compliance with COVID-19 safety procedures. They are also equipped with high-end technology to deploy real-time tracking for WeDeliver’s customers.
We hope that this situation will end soon! Even though our business has experienced growth during these times, we prefer to run it in a stable, healthy environment.