Besides affecting the health of people, the current coronavirus pandemic has impacted the global economy. The economic slowdown took a toll on the small business start-ups and the big-shots of various industries. The challenges have increased in the food business too. The food supply chain faced many obstructions and new rules after the lockdown. Juan Peña, a Northeastern University graduate, talks about the complications that he has faced in the business world following the spread of COVID-19.
Juan Peña, who graduated from Northeastern in 2014, represented the university in the Northeastern’s Global Leadership Summit in Mumbai, India. The worldwide lockdown had stranded Peña in India. It led Peña to arrange a satellite office in a small town there to improvise his working method. It was to ensure that his family business in Venezuela continues the manufacturing and distribution of the food products. He tried to provide food to the people in utmost need. He also mentioned his concern about the people of Venezuela. Peña remarked “It’s a different world,” as he faces the mounting challenges in the food supply chain around the globe.
Juan Peña manages the finances of his family business. It manufactures, processes, and distributes food staples such as rice, beans, sugar, and milk. He claims that he has prepared himself to face any unpredictable obstruction in the business world after the pandemic. The suppliers demanded advance payments. They had to shift their sources based on global market fluctuations. The company faced problems in importing Guyanese rice and Canadian lentils. Also, the irregular supply of gasoline and shifting in prices have created a great issue in his supply chain.
A profitable period was witnessed when the COVID-19 had its first breakout as many people were stocking up essential goods. Although, the prolonged lockdown has led to stagnation in the world of business. However, Peña minutely tracks the profits in his business as he expects a possibility of growth in the future. He observes the highs and lows in the supplies. Nevertheless, Peña suspects a delay in the recovery of economic stability around the globe.