Authentic stakeholder engagement is proving to be a crucial part of business strategies as companies navigate new challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic, industry experts explained during a recent webinar hosted by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The webinar, titled Reconnecting with Stakeholders during Covid19 – why it matters and how to get it right?, was organised by Dubai Chamber’s Centre for Responsible Business as part of an event series discussing a wide range of issues related to the sustainability practices of companies dealing with impact of pandemic.

The virtual event was attended by more than 70 participants representing business operating in various economic sectors and fields.

Sharing insights and best practices during the webinar were Prof. Tazeeb S. Rajwani Professor of International Business and Strategy, Surrey Business School, University of Surrey; Mr Hani Radwan, Incubator Manager for Coca Cola Middle East, and Mr Mansour Hajjar, Country Manager for UAE & India at Chalhoub Group.

Recommendations outlined by the speakers include the need for being transparent, consistent and adopt a purpose driven communication to maintain stakeholders commitment, quick action in dealing with a fast changing business landscape, the use of a hybrid digital/physical platforms to engage with stakeholders, data-driven decisions and collaboration with partners and even competitors to find solutions to challenges posed by Covid-19.

The speakers stressed the importance of stakeholder engagement in strengthening trust and reputation and business performance over the long term, while participants were encouraged to remain flexible in their approach to managing stakeholders during times of uncertainty.

Dr. Belaid Rettab, Senior Director, Economic Research and Sustainable Business Development Sector, Dubai Chamber, highlighted the need for businesses to communicate clearly with all types of stakeholders, whether they be customers, business partners, suppliers, distributors, or members of their respective communities.

“Having an effective strategy for communicating with key stakeholders is crucial for maintaining business relations and these aspects have become more important due to the Covid-19 situation which has introduced new challenges and uncertainties,” said Rettab, adding that the webinar offered participants valuable insights on the matter, as well as practical steps they can take to improve communication with stakeholders.

The Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) was established by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2004 to support and promote corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability. The Centre’s objective is to engage the Dubai business community in assuming greater responsibility for the emirate’s social and environmental needs.

The CRB also promotes Dubai as the GCC’s gateway for global commerce by offering its business partners an environment of transparency and rule of law.