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Ramadan

How should your business approach the Ramadan?

Cultural nuance and understanding can provide an opportunity to stand apart in the mobile app industry.

Establishing a mobile presence has become an integral factor for business success in today’s dynamic market. Globally, apps account for over 80 percent of mobile time and with app downloads predicted to grow to well over 250 billion downloads by 2022, it is clear to see where the opportunity lies for marketers to grow and consolidate their user base, particularly in Southeast Asia where 350 million internet users spend more time on mobile than any other market.

To succeed, businesses and independent app developers should go beyond just launching an app and increasing downloads. They need to own its entire life cycle — including user engagement and retention.

One important aspect of engagement is to seize the opportunities that come once in a year. The festive month of Ramadan, in this sense, is perhaps the ticket to making your app stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Nearly 250 million people will be celebrating Ramadan across Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. The potential impact of Ramadan on businesses is, therefore, undeniable.

As we know, consumers and businesses alike are influenced by their surroundings and habits. It’s no surprise that just like Thanksgiving and Black Friday in the United States, or Boxing Day in England, Ramadan makes a serious impact on Southeast Asian businesses.

Over the past decade, this sacred time of fasting and prayer has called for a shift in the digital realm. Users are increasingly turning to their phones for shopping, information or diversion, profoundly impacting how app marketers are approaching their mobile strategies and campaigns around this festive season.

Ramadan this year, will start on the evening of Sunday, 6 May and end on the evening of Tuesday, 5 June. This leaves businesses with a very short window to further plan their marketing activities for this period.

Here are the top three key pointers to ensure that mobile-first businesses reach the right audience with the right messaging this Ramadan season.

  1. Benefiting from the 13th Month Salary Allowance

Businesses should consider allocating more of their Ramadan campaign budget spend to Indonesia, as the largest economy in Southeast Asia has been a top performer over the past few years. Besides the country’s strong economic growth in 2018, smartphone penetration has been steadily on the rise, growing from 24 percent in 2017 to 26 percent in 2018.

The most significant opportunity for businesses comes from a steady increase in the purchasing power of their users in Indonesia during this period.

“Tunjangan Hari Raya” (THR) translated to “Religious Holiday Allowance” is commonly known as the 13th salary, and is usually given two weeks before Eid. This additional “month’s salary” provides app users with the additional boost in buying power, which can in many cases translate into more in-app purchases.

While current data shows that Ramadan observers tend to spend this disposable income on new clothes, gadgets grooming and gifting, perhaps there’s more than can be done outside the typical habits.

With so many transactions taking place over this festive period, marketers who get their messaging right will be able to capitalise on this massive opportunity and direct shoppers and browsers alike to their app.

  1. The Right Message at the Right Time of the Day

To campaign more effectively during Ramadan, businesses should take the opportunity to secure a better understanding of the holiday itself. Appreciating the nuances and traditions of different observances can make all the difference.

Whether it’s rising for pre-dawn Sahur, fasting through the lunch hours or winding down after Buka Puasa (breaking the fast), marketers can learn the times of day in which they should avoid pushing alerts for offers and discounts to their audiences, and which other times would boost app opens and revenues.

A recent report from AppsFlyer indicates that for most app categories, the hours between 3 am to 6 am before Sahur are when festival observers tend to be most active online and make the most app purchases. Other peak periods include lunch hours and evenings, after Buka Puasa.

On the other hand, after observers leave work from 4 pm to 8 pm, apps register fewer opens and purchases, compared to other periods in the year. During these hours, in fact, many consumers are commuting in traffic or preparing for Buka Puasa.

  1. Localisation is More Than Just Translation

Localisation does not only refer to the local user interface but also covers marketing content. Advertisements and articles created in one geography can be interpreted differently in another.

Indonesia and Malaysia have many regional dialects and languages, but more importantly, each country has a unique culture that should be respected and reflected in any marketing strategy. Businesses should then ensure that they take into account the cultural differences at the social, organisational, and individual levels.

For instance, Mudik is the tradition of returning home to celebrate with family and is observed across Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. It is also commonly known as ‘Pulang Kampung’ in Indonesia and ‘Balik Kampung’ in Malaysia and Singapore.

This period sees a substantial rise in travel spending on flight and train tickets, car rentals, and accommodation. Mudik presents an opportunity for marketers to personalise their messages based on their customer profile, which includes information about the user’s hometown and place of work, language, and personal preferences.

In conclusion, businesses should be spending substantial portions of their budgets on Ramadan, when supported by strong data recording purchasing and engagement patterns.

As the opportunity to re-plan marketing campaigns within the four weeks of Ramadan is small, marketing campaigns should be devised in a lean way, by testing and iterating efforts throughout this period.

Furthermore, by taking advantage of specific seasonal occasions, such as Indonesia’s 13 Month’s salary and Pulang Kampung, and targeting users with localised content at specific times of the day, app marketers will be able to tap into unexpected revenue sources and boost user retention.

Source: E27

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Cara Pasti Bisnis F&B Anda Tetap Laris Selama Ramadan

Selama Ramadan, hilangnya bisnis siang hari dapat berdampak signifikan pada pendapatan dan mempengaruhi laba operasi. Tentu saja bisnis makanan dan minuman (Food and Beverage ‘F&B’) akan sepi di siang hari, namun, untuk sebagian besar gerai makanan dan minuman, mereka dapat meningkatkan volume selama waktu berbuka dan Sahur.

Untuk beberapa gerai, menunda layanan mereka dapat bermanfaat. Karena saat bisnis mulai menurun—membatasi atau menghentikan layanan pada siang hari memang dapat menyeimbangkan biaya ‘balance’ hingga batas tertentu. Menghentikan layanan sementara berarti Anda menghemat biaya listrik, gas, dan tenaga kerja.

Namun untuk gerai mandiri atau UMKM, Ramadan memegang berbagai tantangan lainnya. Pemilik restoran/bisnis terkadang harus membuat menu berbuka dan Sahur yang memiliki unsur-unsur makanan khas Timur Tengah, dengan bumbu dan rasa makanan yang ‘kaya’ untuk memenuhi permintaan dan keinginan target konsumen mereka.

Berikut adalah beberapa tips yang dapat membantu bisnis F&B dan perhotelan untuk tetap makmur sepanjang Ramadan.

Siapa Cepat Dia Dapat

Seseorang yang melakukan sesuatu lebih dahulu akan mendapat keuntungan lebih daripada yang terlambat memulai. Begitupun dalam bisnis makanan dan minuman, sangat penting untuk bersiap sekitar tiga bulan sebelum Ramadan dimulai. Restoran harus mengkomunikasikan rencana Ramadan mereka dengan pemasok sejak dini karena kemungkinan besar para pemasok juga berpuasa dan bekerja dengan jam kerja yang berkurang. Dapatkan stok lebih awal dan mengonfirmasi sebelumnya sangat penting untuk kelancaran operasional selama Ramadan. Semua materi pemasaran dan komunikasi juga harus dipersiapkan dengan baik sebelumnya—agar memungkinkan waktu tunggu pemesanan (lead time) yang sehat untuk mempromosikan penawaran Ramadan Anda lebih luas. Segera setelah rencana Ramadan sudah dikonfirmasi, penting untuk mengirim rincian penawaran Ramadan ke kontak perusahaan dan bisnis utama Anda.

Bermain Aman atau Bereksperimen?

Beberapa gerai kini menawarkan prasmanan (buffet) tradisional dengan banyak pilihan yang menampilkan bahan-bahan segar dan berbagai hidangan serta hiburan yang brilian sehingga ada banyak tekanan pada para manajer untuk memastikan penawaran mereka akan lebih menonjol dari pesaing. Bagian penting dari memutuskan apa yang ditawarkan dalam penawaran Ramadan di gerai bergantung pada demografi yang ditargetkan.

Meskipun penting untuk memperkenalkan menu baru dan relevan, penting juga bahwa gerai tetap setia pada identitasnya bahkan ketika beradaptasi dengan persyaratan dan bulan Ramadan. Selalu bermain sesuai dengan kekuatan, keunggulan Anda dan jangan mencoba untuk menjadi ‘segalanya’ bagi ‘semua orang’. Lihatlah menu Anda saat ini dan pada opsi paling populer, berilah sedikit kejutan atau sentuhan baru.

Adaptasi

Pembatasan dan persyaratan yang berbeda selama Ramadan berarti perubahan signifikan. Ketika datang ke pemasok, pesanan bar seperti makanan atau minuman yang mengandung alkohol tentu menerima pukulan yang besar—dengan jam buka terbatas dan adanya inspeksi mendadak dari pemerintah juga membuat beberapa gerai memilih untuk tutup beroperasi sementara. Karena tidak semua orang menjalankan puasa, maka memastikan masyarakat menghormati unsur pengorbanan Ramadan daripada melarang mereka untuk tidak makan adalah adaptasi yang baik. Tempat makan yang terbuka mudah diidentifikasi, karenanya mereka akan memiliki tirai yang ditarik atau barikade untuk menghentikan orang melihat ke dalam atau menyamarkan aktivitas makan dan minum di dalam gerai/restoran.

Adapun masalah lain yang harus diadaptasi oleh gerai adalah pemborosan makanan. Meningkatnya permintaan dan impuls pembelian makanan juga membuat tingginya pemborosan makanan. Tawarkan konsumen untuk membungkus makanannya yang tidak habis ataupun adakan kegiatan tanggung jawab sosial berbagi makanan kepada yang kurang beruntung. Anda juga dapat melakukan pengomposan yang berpotensi mengalihkan hingga 150 kg limbah makanan per rumah tangga per tahun dari otoritas pengumpulan lokal.

Kemasan Hadiah/Parsel

Ramadan adalah bulan yang sangat tepat untuk bersilaturahim di antara komunitas Muslim. Keluarga dan teman-teman bertemu untuk Iftar ‘berbuka puasa’ bersama dan saling mengundang ke rumah masing-masing. Jika sebuah gerai dapat menyesuaikan hidangan penutup yang cocok untuk dibawa pergi dan dihadiahkan, atau seperti menawarkan pembungkusan dengan kemasan parsel, ini dapat menjadi peluang yang menguntungkan. Perlu diingat bahwa setiap orang terus berlomba untuk mencari ide hadiah baru yang dapat dibawa ke sebuah pertemuan/reuni.

Operasi

Memanfaatkan periode yang lebih tenang ini dengan memberikan dispensasi libur kepada staf pada bulan Ramadan. Karena jam kerja yang lebih pendek, sehingga jika memungkinkan dapat dikelola oleh staf tunggal dengan waktu kerja bergantian. Pastikan bisnis F&B Anda berlisensi untuk pengiriman, terbuka baik untuk pengiriman, layanan pesan antar dengan sistem daring &/ melalui aplikasi ataupun dapat dibawa pulang selama waktu puasa terutama saat sahur dan berbuka puasa.

Nielsen, perusahaan riset pasar, memperkirakan bahwa perusahaan makanan dan minuman di Indonesia—negara Muslim terpadat di dunia, memuat sebanyak 45 persen dari penjualan tahunan mereka selama periode tiga bulan; sebelum, saat dan sesudah Ramadan.

Bisnis selama Ramadan tidak lagi sepi dan melambat. Pada 2018, bisnis selama Ramadan adalah mengubah waktu operasi, kreatif dan beradaptasi.

Artikel ini diterjemahkan dan disunting oleh FMB Partner dengan sumber oleh Hotelier Middle East, Gulfnews, Nielsen.

Read the English version of the article here: How to ensure your F&B outlet thrives during Ramadan.

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How to saving cash ahead of Eid al-Fitr

Ramadan awash with deals, but you still need to do your homework before whipping out your wallet

Over the course of the holy month of Ramadan, we’ve been working hard to educate consumers on the best deals that have come up throughout the month. From cars and banking products to two-for-one deals and shopping sales, the holy month is awash with opportunities to save money on big purchases.

And with that in mind, I thought it’d be useful to use this week’s column to consolidate all of that knowledge in a single place, so that you can get the information you need on how to save ahead of Eid. After all, there’s still a week left of Ramadan, and, what’s more, many of the deals described below may still apply after Eid, too. Read on for a top money-saving tips during Ramadan.

Ramadan Shopping in Indonesia

Cars

We’ll start with the obvious one. Ramadan can be the best month in which to buy a car. And this year, with new car sales relatively sluggish, dealers have gone all-out to get prospective buyers in showrooms. Pick any car from any brand, and you can be sure there’s a deal on for it. Or if you’re open to any car, as long as you get a good deal, my advice would be to look out for offers where the dealer fronts up part or all of the down payment (with no strings attached), or for deals that offer zero per cent finance on new cars.

Insurance

Once you’ve got your new wheels, you’ll naturally need them insured. Happily, there are good deals going for insurance this month too. Have a look for deals from specific insurers – and even comparison websites – some of which may be offering additional coverage for the same price throughout the holy month.

Houses

If you’re looking to buy property, we’ve been told by real estate experts that now is a great time to do so. With a raft of new builds near completion, there’s now a lot of supply, meaning prices are looking good from the consumer’s point of view. And in Ramadan, developers have offered a whole load of incentives to sign on the dotted line, with offers ranging from helpful finance packages to a free car with every purchase. Do note that you won’t be able to buy a property between now and Eid (purchasing property is a time-intensive and painstaking process), but you should still be able to get the ball rolling under the terms set out in these Ramadan offers.

Banking products

Banks have really ramped up their Ramadan promotions this year, with several offering great incentives for signing up to one product or another. Credit cards are big news this year; the best offers come from air miles credit cards, many of which will give you thousands of bonus miles for signing up during the month. Otherwise, simply shop around for a regular card that meets your needs, and you may find a little bonus is on the cards simply for having applied at the right time.

Shopping

You may actually want to wait until Eid for this one (several malls have huge sales planned for the long Eid weekend), but you’re sure to find plenty of shopping deals if you head to a mall during the rest of Ramadan. Again, the big purchases seem to offer the best deals; all of the main furniture stores have items on sale, meaning that, if you’re looking to replace that ageing couch, now could be the best time to do it.

 

 

This article is originally posted and written by Jon Richards.

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A checklist for brands to do during Ramadan

Ramadan is a significant month for brands to communicate to their target audience, in a way which would not be hard selling but where they give back to the community. On social media, we see several campaigns which revolve around the Month.

In order to do this, brands need to understand and respect the culture of the region. On social media, timing the posting of content is crucial to capture attention. Especially for food brands, marketers should be sensitive to the fact that people are fasting and schedule their social media content accordingly.

Here are a few tips on how brands to market themselves during Ramadan:

Bloggers

Invite food and lifestyle bloggers for Iftar tasting sessions, so they can blog about the best places to have Iftar and Suhoor during this month. With several F&B concepts having a customised menu for Ramadan, it’s crucial to make your brand stand out.

Social media ads

People need to be made aware of offers during the month and the best way to catch their attention would be through targeted social media ads using geo-location and demographics.

Video Content

Create customised video content to show the USP of your brand and what they have to offer during this month. Ensure the content does not engage in hard selling and you are giving back to the community.

Corporate social responsibility

Ramadan is when you bring people together. Brands must respect that and contribute to the community, and especially the needy.

Retail outlets

Showcase their latest collection during Ramadan to utilise the upturn in buying. Use features like Facebook Live to showcase what you have to offer.

Make the most of togetherness in real time

Encourage your audience to bring their friends and family together, be it for a family gathering or an Iftar. Brands organise a lot of meeting ups during the month.

Deploy omnichannel marketing

Ensure you connect with your audience on several platforms with a combination of online and offline!

Night markets,

are a huge trend. Brands should look out to participate in these.

Prayers in a mosque by kyrsos on flickr.

Prayers in a mosque by kyrsos on flickr.

During Ramadhan spending usually surpasses cash payment ability. People start to think about using credit card services. A survey from showed a 60 percent increase in credit card payments during the season and a 20 percent increase in credit card promotion, as told by Google Indonesia e-commerce head Henky Prihatna.

The newest data from Google on consumer behavior during Ramadhan shows that data searches on topics related to the biggest celebration in the country increased up to 28 percent and spending increased up to 30 percent. Sales fashion was the largest product category with a sales increase of 180 percent, followed by home appliances with 100 percent and cellular phones with 80 percent.

The travel industry often makes the most of this month. The latest Google data based on analysis of travel behaviour last year shows that searching for flights and hotels rises significantly.

 

Source: Jakpost and Gulfnews

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Top tips for selling during Ramadan

Businesses can launch offers, plan ahead to make the quiet season pay.

Muslims buy food to break fast.

Muslims buy food to break fast.

Planning ahead, brainstorming ideas, staging discount sales and networking – these are just some of the ways in which businesses can ensure the Ramadan slowdown has a minimal impact on their bottom lines.

The Islamic Holy Month is expected to start on the evening of May 26 and ends on June 24.

Business activity typically slows during the month and many companies anticipate a decline in performance as deals become few and far between.

However, sales expert Spencer Lodge, founder of online sales university Makeithappen.com, claims Ramadan need not be the stagnant business period many fear it to be.

In an advice note, Lodge says that, on the contrary, businesses should treat the seasonal lull as an opportunity for creative thinking, and prepare for it in advance.

His tips include:

Plan for a year in advance if you are in a position to do so,drawing out expected peaks and troughs and working out why slow periods happen. If you know when your low season is and are communicating with on average 500 prospects in high season, you need to rethink – doubling your prospects while you can in high season to compensate for the coming low season.

Put on sales offers during slow periods. The reason retailers put on sales over months like January is that, after Christmas, everyone has spent their money, making the first month of the year a a low period. So what do retailers do? They put on massive discounts and incentives to lure customers back through their doors. We all want a bargain, he writes. Retail is just an example; this is applicable whatever product or a service your company offers.

Increase networking to build new contacts. Some of your competition will be away in low season, believing the hype of it being the best time to holiday. This gives you a massive opportunity. With your competition out of the game you have free reign, he writes. The majority of people still go to work over the summer, so while it may be ‘low’ season, it’s not ‘no’ season. There are always times when fewer people spend, but don’t believe public sentiment, people are still around over the summer and they have more time to meet. So get making appointments.

 

Source: Arabian Business

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Four online shopping tips for Ramadan

With Ramadan fast approaching, shoppers may start to look for new clothes, accessories or other necessities to use during Idul Fitri. If conventional shopping feels like a hassle, online shopping could prove to be a less burdensome alternative.

However, although online shopping may sound more simple and convenient, there are several things that you should note in order to secure better deals, as compiled by tempo.co.

Online-shopping-in-Middle-East-Increases-during-Ramadan-

Make a shopping list

Make separate lists for the things you need and the things you want. This will help you to estimate the amount of money to spend, as well as to help you shop within your budget.

Check for promotions

Online retailers may offer various promotions to its customers, such as 0 percent interest installment plans or rewards for purchases of certain products. Always check for promotions before making a purchase. To avoid scamming or phishing, browse on the official website of an e-commerce retailer.

Online stores tend to offer special promotions during certain days or events. Keep an eye out on these dates and plan your purchases around them.

Know the quality

Before buying any products, do a little research about the seller or the e-commerce platform. Do not be easily tempted by cheap prices.

Be active on social media

E-commerce businesses tend to make announcements through social media platforms, such as Facebook, LINE and Instagram, so staying active on social media is always a good idea.

 

Source: Jakpost

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President Jokowi’s Bicycle Giveaway

Ramadan can be seen as a bit of a reset, almost a way to become a better person for the rest of our year. We spend more time with family and our communities, and try our best to not speak poorly of others or lie, and we increase our charitable efforts, just like our President Jokowi, whose right now hosting bicycle giveaway. Have you join them?

Jokowi hosts bicycle giveaway on Facebook

The President’s giveaway is open to all Jokowi’s Facebook page fans. (President Joko Widodo’s YouTube)

After becoming the latest vlogger (video blogger) in town, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has gone one step further in the digital world by hosting a giveaway on Facebook.

The giveaway, which is slated to run until June 16, requires participants to upload a two-minute video on YouTube, sharing their unique family traditions during Ramadhan or Idul Fitri.

“Do you want to get a bicycle from me? Share your unique family tradition during Ramadhan or Idul Fitri,” says Jokowi on his official Facebook page.

The participants are also required to mention their names and location in the video and add the hashtag #TradisiRamadhan on the YouTube site.

After uploading the video, the YouTube link has to be shared on the Facebook post about the contest complete with the hashtag.

The giveaway is open to all Jokowi’s Facebook page fans. There are 10 bicycle for the 10 most creative videos.

Source: President Jokowi’s Facebook Fanpage and JakPost

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7 Top Tips for Social Influencers in Ramadan

Influencer marketing is a relatively simple but incredibly effective form of marketing that focuses upon specific key individuals rather than the target market as a whole. But who is an influencer?

7 top tips for social influencers in Ramadan

According to The Word of Mouth Marketing Association Handbook, social media influencers can significantly shape the customer’s purchasing decision and has a greater than average reach or impact in a relevant marketplace.

High potential

The potential of social media influencers is more important now than ever, with mobile technology playing a key role in consumers’ decisions across the MENA region, according to new research by Facebook.

Ryan Holmes, author of The 4 Billion Dollar Tweet, says: “For company leaders, not understanding social media now represents a serious business liability. Being able to personally leverage platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter is a foundational leadership skill. The question is no longer if leaders can afford to be on social, but whether they can afford not to.”

Facebook data shows that conversations about Ramadan started early this year and are expected to last for nine weeks on Facebook among the UAE’s 8.4 million monthly active users.

7 tips for Ramadan

Here are some tips for influencers to maximise interactions with people during Ramadan:

1. Facebook is where decisions are made: Whether it’s travel transactions and late-night shopping or discussing the challenges of Ramadan fasting and health and fitness, Facebook is where people come to make decisions or seek advice. As well as reaching a broad audience, consider the tools and solutions that can drive specific actions. And think about the peak time to engage your audience.

2. Inspire on Instagram: The creative nature of Instagram makes it the perfect place to inspire. Compared to Facebook, Instagram sees a higher concentration of conversations around Iftar, desserts and recipe ideas, as well as fashion, cars and home. While Facebook shows Ramadan as it is; Instagram shows the Ramadan that could be.

3. Trailer Your TV Show on Facebook: With more 100m hours of video watched every day, Facebook has become a powerful mobile video platform. And our research shows that video ads on Facebook act as a ‘trailer’ for TV, increasing brand metrics like recall and awareness. With conversations about Ramadan TV beginning at the end of April, it’s crucial that broadcasters tap into this audience to trailer their TV premieres. And thanks to our Reach & Frequency pricing, you won’t pay any more to reach your audience during Ramadan than any other time of the year.

4. Tell Stories with Instagram: More than 150 million Instagrammers use Instagram Stories daily. And people are highly engaged with businesses. In fact, one-third of the most viewed stories are from businesses. Stories are a great way to capture people’s attention and imagination, and it’s now possible to place sponsored content in the Stories section of Instagram’s homepage.

5. Make it Meaningful: In a mobile world, we have more opportunities than ever to reach people. But there has never been more competition for our attention. Today, relevance is key when it comes to cutting through the noise. That means taking advantage of Facebook’s people-based targeting tools, as well as developing creative that reflects people’s real interests. Start by using our Audience Insights API to find out more about who your customers really are.

6. People Love Local: When it comes to buying food or clothes, most people have a limit on how far they’ll travel to a store. With Facebook’s Local Awareness ads, all businesses can target people within a certain radius of their store, which means your ads will only reach the people who are most likely to take action.

7. Don’t Just Go Big – Go Global: Just a few years ago, most businesses were limited to serving customers on the same street, neighbourhood or region. But with more than 1bn people on Facebook connected to a business in another country36, it’s now possible for any business to reach people in a new country. With International Lookalike Audience it’s even possible to target people on Facebook in a new country who share similar characteristics to your current customer base, making it easier than ever to find low-cost leads.

 

Source: Ameinfo

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Boosting Productivity And Improving Workers’ Well-Being In Ramadan

While previous studies often failed to find a justification for the declining productivity rates during Ramadan, there is no denying the fact that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) market is usually hit by a decrease in the workflow within the summer months.

In GCC countries like the UAE, no less than 85 percent of the population are expats, who usually tend to travel back home at one point during the summer months. In recent years, Ramadan arrived in the heart of the summer season and working hours are reduced to six per day, as the rising weather temperatures makes it harder for fasting Muslims to remain fully-focused during the holy month.

Many working expats opt to fulfill their annual leaves during Ramadan, which will be followed by a two-day Eid Al Fitr holiday and businesses are expected to witness major stalemates during these periods.

Nonetheless, Ramadan can be a blessing in disguise for workers, who can be prepared enough so as to avoid delaying their scheduled plans. Summer and Ramadan can be a time to reevaluate their performances and fill the gaps.

Using the extra time at hand, entrepreneurs can similarly get the opportunity to catch up with ideas and projects that were pending in the mayhem of the usual daily commitments throughout the year.

The Ramadan season can also be a time to customize their ideas and initiatives according to the event, with retailers targeting specific promotions that are suited for the holy month.

Ramadan is always a time for family and friends’ gatherings, whether it is over iftar and suhour meals, or social activities, many meetings and businesses can be integrated within the friendly social frame.

Ramadan Kareem

A study issued by Oxford Strategic Consulting stresses that Ramadan can boost both productivity and well-being.

Citing human resources experts, the study notes that shorter work hours do not necessarily translate to decreased productivity.

“The Japanese, for example, consistently reduced working hours since the early 1970s but their productivity continued to rise over this period. The UK was forced to work a 3-day week due to a miners’ strike in the 1970s; however, experts were baffled to find that production fell by only 6%. Most studies indicate with significant fall-off in productivity after 8 hours of working, and the majority of productivity tends to occur between the 2nd and 6th hours of work.

“Office workers were found to be especially susceptible to deterioration in performance after 6 useful hours of work per day, compared with 8 hours for more manual jobs,” a release on the study read.”

Additionally, Shorter work weeks can increase staff happiness and engagement in the long term.

“The Swedish government implemented a 30-hour work week for select employees during a two-year study and found that staff was happier, less stressed and enjoyed work more – the only downside being that the scheme proved too expensive for participating employers. Given the religious and cultural significance of Ramadan for MENA countries, prevailing work norms during the holy month are unlikely to change because of fiscal concerns.

“The shorter work weeks during Ramadan, then, reflect an opportunity for employers to nurture more productive staff by focusing on employee engagement and team commitment in the month’s less urgent and informal environment.

The study added that greater control over workloads and schedules can boost well-being.

A study by the Birmingham Business School found that employees with more autonomy experienced greater overall well-being and job satisfaction. Thus, employers should use Ramadan to encourage employees to work more hours when and where they will feel comfortable.

“Flexibility is key: team building exercises, meetings and brainstorming workshops can take place around iftar and other social events, while less essential tasks can be done remotely from home. Breaking the monotony of routine helps formulate new ideas within an organization and also build stronger bonds between employees.”

Ramadan does not have to be an unproductive period for GCC businesses. Instead, business leaders can derive value from the Islamic holy month by focusing on improving well-being, increasing engagement and embracing flexibility within the organization, the release concluded.

 

Source: Forbes Middle East

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