Missouri Partnership CEO, Subash Alias, recently sat down with Bitbean as part of their series on “How Business Leaders Plan to Rebuild in The Post-COVID Economy.”
Q: Obviously, we can’t know for certain what the post-COVID economy will look like. But we can of course try our best to be prepared. We can reasonably assume that the post-COVID economy will be a trying time for many people across the globe. Yet at the same time the post-COVID growth can be a time of opportunity. Can you share a few of the opportunities that you anticipate in the post-COVID economy?
A: When the pandemic first took hold of the world, nobody knew what to expect. While there were warnings, the pandemic hit hard and fast. I recall having conversations with people in other fields where the outlook was abysmal.
Thankfully, we had some good fortune. Almost two weeks to the day after a national emergency was declared, we received a phone call from representatives with Chewy.com who were evaluating Missouri for an e-commerce operation with the potential to create 1,600 jobs.
What we saw playing out before us back then was the acceleration of the e-commerce trend due to COVID-19. Being in the center of the United States, we were well-positioned to help the nation get back on its feet by getting goods to consumers throughout the country. We eventually landed Chewy.com in the Kansas City suburb of Belton, Missouri. It was the first of many such operations that we have located and expect to locate in the state.
Q: Considering the potential challenges and opportunities in the post-COVID economy, what do you personally plan to do to rebuild and grow your business or organization in the Post-COVID Economy?
A: Over the past few years, Missouri and several other states and cities have scrambled to assemble teams, resources, and offerings in response to many highly publicized site selection projects. For example, Amazon scoured the nation and selected the Washington, D.C., area for its famed Amazon HQ2. Tesla needed a new manufacturing location for its Cybertruck and chose Austin, Texas. And the United States Department of Agriculture evaluated the entire country for two new divisional headquarters operations and chose Kansas City, Missouri.
Opportunities like these don’t come around that often. And when they do, they come with little warning. It takes time to prepare and execute an effective strategy. With the realities of COVID-19, we suspect that vaccine, therapeutic, or related supply chain industry opportunities will be forthcoming. We are trying to be as prepared as possible for the next business attraction project tied to COVID-19 or another pandemic. That means assembling the right teams, gathering the necessary information, and developing the most strategic tactics in advance.
Check out the full interview with our CEO here.