Source: TODAY © Mediacorp Pte Ltd.



From difficulty in meeting clients overseas to promoting their brands to grappling with waning consumer demand, Singaporean firms had their work cut out for them as Covid-19 spread mayhem around the world.

Construction management software firm Novade Solutions had already expanded to 18 countries before the pandemic. But when Covid-19 struck, it initially struggled to expand further due to the inability to physically meet clients. 

The firm develops cloud and mobile applications for construction industries to use on work sites, in order to streamline work processes and enhance safety measures, for example. This traditionally requires the company’s personnel to spend time at the construction sites before its product could be used there. 

Mr Denis Branthonne, founder and chief executive officer of Novade, said that prior to Covid-19, he and his staff had spent a lot of time with overseas clients at their construction sites to explain how the software worked. 

“A significant part of our time (was spent on) face-to-face engagement,” he said. “The pandemic for us was a shock… in any country we could not meet any of the clients and we could not travel and meet our (overseas) teams.” 

Thus, projects in countries that they were just starting to expand into, such as Vietnam, Ivory Coast, and Ghana, were all delayed or have remained in limbo.