Tech Companies Covid-19
25 March 2020
Tech companies debate ideas to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic

Challenges, strategies and opportunities related to the challenges that technological companies face in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic were at the center of the online debate, promoted by ScaleUp Porto. The session, conducted by renowned city entrepreneurs, is available in full here.

The ScaleUp Porto municipal initiative, dedicated to boosting the city's entrepreneurial ecosystem, promoted a discussion session aimed at professionals from technology-based companies, this time in a webinar format.

Under the theme "Trying to maintain normality and performance", the session was attended by Rui Marques, CEO of 7Graus, Sofia Matos, responsible for Human Resources and Culture at Infraspeak, and Luís Neves, president of the Porto Tech Hub Association.

For an hour, guests discussed the challenges, but also strategies they have in place to overcome this critical time and were available to answer all questions from the public, who watched the session broadcast online.

Responding to the anxiety and uncertainty felt by employees, while maintaining the possible activity in organizations, is the main concern expressed by companies at this time. Worries that extend to sales, constant connection with customers and maintenance of operations.

According to Rui Marques, the "moment of uncertainty" gives, on the other hand, "an excellent opportunity for the e-commerce sector", which has been registering an exponential increase in the number of sales. "The challenge is to maintain the quality of the service provided during the peak of consumers' influx. We have been experiencing a kind of Black Friday with no end in sight", says the founder of 7Graus, a company that is developing a simpler business support solution who can benefit from take-away or home deliveries services.

At Infraspeak, Sofia Matos says that the times are changing: "We have tried to keep our operation active, without redundancies, and with the same quality of service provided to the customer. This has been our greatest criterion. We would like, however, that the Government would announce measures for all companies that are adjusting and keeping their businesses running. That would be a relevant measure for all of us: entrepreneurs, suppliers and customers".

Luís Neves, responsible for Porto Tech Hub, which aggregates 26 technological companies, underlines the firm response that is being given by startups and technological companies in Porto, having highlighted the rapid adaptation to working remotely. With regard to the economic impact that the current situation may have in Portugal, Luís Neves calls for "serious measures" now and not in the next quarter.

"The measures announced may seem positive, at first, but, in truth, there is not one that will help us solve the problem we face. When we talk about access to credit, we talk about debt, at a time when we already have companies with lack of liquidity. It is important that there is European coordination in solving this serious problem, but in Portugal the situation will have to be solved by us and according to our rules", he concludes.

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