Service provider records decline in sales at airport outlets

Vodafone Fiji’s regional chief executive offi cer Pradeep Lal speaks at the Fiji Chamber of Commerce and Industry “Business response to coronavirus” forum held at the Grand Pacifi c Hotel, Suva yesterday. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

ONE of the country’s largest mobile telecommunications service providers has recorded a drop in its roaming services revenue as a result of the drop in the number of tourists to Fiji.

Vodafone Fiji regional chief executive officer Pradeep Lal yesterday said although they had not noticed any significant drop in their inward remittances through the M-PAiSA platform, they had noticed drop in sales at their airport shops.

Mr Lal said drop in tourism arrivals meant less visitors were buying mobile phones and other accessories which had led to the decrease in revenue.

“It’s early to give numbers but I can say that until very recently the numbers were quite OK but in the past one week or so the numbers have dropped quite significantly,” he said.

According to Mr Lal with the global outbreak of COVID-19 Vodafone, as a business, was taking necessary measures to ensure that none of its staff members were affected and did not get stranded in any one place.

“We have put short-term measures in place but if this continues for long term then we need to review this continuously.

“It’s such a dynamic area with changes happening on a daily basis and as a business you can’t have a plan today and expect to use that same plan in the long term.

“As I said earlier more businesses such as small and medium enterprises are really affected so we are working with them on a case by case basis because it’s important and at this point in time it’s equally important to ensure that each business is able to support each other.”

Mr Lal said there was a need for businesses to work together and tackle the issue. “We need to have short, medium and long-term solutions so that the businesses are sustainable because if there are no businesses there’s no business for us actually.

“So what’s important at this point in time is how do we work together to make sure we support each other in these difficult times

In terms of stocks Mr Lal said Vodafone had ample stock with consignments for their regional projects such as Papua New Guinea were on time with no major disruptions on the project.

For its Fiji operations Vodafone is working very closely with the business community to ensure operations and services are disrupted on the minimal.

Mr Lal was at the Fiji Chamber of Commerce and Industry “Business response to coronavirus” forum held at the Grand Pacific Hotel, Suva yesterday.

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