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Agora COVID-19 Update

March 2020

 

As we all come to terms with the new realities surrounding us, we would like to update you on the various measures we have taken and are currently undertaking as a group.  All parts of the Agora Group are taking extreme care to ensure the safety of its staff and clients.  Since the spread of the virus pandemic is at different stages in our different locations, the specific steps being taken are as follows.

All colleagues in London, the Netherlands and Mauritius have been working from home since early March.  Other than an occasional visit to the office for picking up packages or sending necessary couriers, none of our offices are open.

AMIL, based in Mumbai, is currently implementing its Business Continuity Plan and mapping out different potential scenarios.  It initially began with a work from home policy a week before the national lockdown was announced by the Government.  Since then, all its offices are closed until further notice.  However, client contact and limited transactions are being maintained over mobile networks and payments are being arranged over mobile platforms as well.  Communication to all stakeholders is also being proactively managed.  Loan disbursements have been suspended as AMIL works out its alternatives.  As a result AMIL expects substantial slowdown in business in the coming weeks and months, and is preparing to keep operations running through mobile channels in a limited manner.  In the meantime, the Reserve Bank of India has announced a number of supportive measures, including the option of moratorium on loans for 3 months, which will be included in the response being finalised by AMIL.

AMZ, in Zambia, is currently finalising its Business Continuity Plan which will be under implementation from 1st April 2020.  The Zambian government has banned public gatherings of more than 50 people, and while this allows AMZ to continue business for now, it expects much more stringent measures to be announced anytime now.  Therefore it is also planning to organise its activities in a manner that will allow for some business continuity using mobile channels once that happens.  Notably, Zambia has only had a handful of confirmed cases, though it is not clear how many people have actually been tested so far.

AMK Cambodia is also similarly implementing work from home policies at the moment, and like Zambia, expects more difficult measures to come into place very soon, as the numbers of confirmed cases are slowly on the rise in Cambodia,  AMK expects to review its contingency plans also in time for roll-out on 1st April.

Like many businesses, this will be a challenging year, and we are thankful to all our partners who have committed their continued support to us and our group companies.  We remain even more determined to ensure that our work will reach more and more under-banked and vulnerable communities once we have seen the current crisis through.

From the management,

Agora Group