These 18 Polish Companies Survive The COVID-19 Storm Better Than Others

15th December 2020 |
10 min read
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For many polish companies COVID-19 pandemic proves to be the toughest challenge they have ever had to face, but on the other hand some were able to survive the storm better than others. Numerous organizations quickly responded to the challenges created by the new reality and were able to help others as well.

It was a pleasure to look at our clients who navigated through the coronavirus crisis, responded quickly to huge challenges and started to thrive in the new reality.

We have decided to look at the Polish market and gathered even more examples of how Polish companies adapted to this new situation and minimized its adverse impact by taking advantage of the arising opportunities.

PZU Insurance Group & Ministry of Health

Digital products & telemedicine

The life band is a hand electronic device that measures heartbeat, sats (oxygen saturation in the blood), and temperature. It analyzes results and instantly alarms (by the sound and message on a screen of a computer) the medical staff when vital signs drop to the critical level.

Sector: Healthcare

Since when: Concept still in the development phase

Purpose: To help cure COVID-19 patients.

For whom: For patients infected with the novel coronavirus.

Actions taken: PZU Insurance Group, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, will send over 1,000 life bands to hospitals across Poland.

Free Now

Customer’s safety

The screen service guarantees a ride with a protective curtain and compliant with safety regulations.

Sector: Transportation

Since when: May 19, 2020

Purpose: To increase safety during the ride.

For whom: For every Free Now employee and customer.

Actions taken:

  • In March 2020, the Free Now platform has equipped over 3,000 drivers (80% of their current workforce) with transparent curtains limiting contact with the passenger and protecting both the driver and their passengers.
  • In the Free Now app, you can choose an option “Lite  + Screen”, thanks to which you can order a ride with a transparent curtain in a vehicle.
  • Free Now has established additional safety regulations for passengers and drivers, i.a. disinfection and airing a car after each ride.

Qarson

Customer’s safety

The ozonation service and safety regulations for each rented car.

Sector: Motor industry

Purpose: To increase safety and lower the risk of infection during the use of a Qarson car.

For whom: For Qarson customers who purchase a subscription for a car.

Actions taken:

  • Each car is ozonated before it’s rented.
  • The possibility to book a car online, without the need to go outside.
  • Contact with other people is minimized until the vehicle is picked up, Qarson consultants communicate with customers by email or phone.

LOT Polish Airlines

Diversification of services

LOT adapted passenger planes for the needs of cargo transportation.

Sector: Transportation

Since when: April 2020

Purpose: To transport protective equipment (masks, close helmets, overalls) from China to Poland, as a part of the #CargoForPoland action.

For whom: Indirectly for everyone who wants to buy the protective equipment.

Actions taken: Removal of seats in passenger planes in order to enlarge the space available for the light and oversized cargoes transportation.

Polska Bezgotówkowa (Cashless Poland)

Increased importance of CX

Articles, materials, and online training for entrepreneurs concentrated on business operations during the pandemic.

Sector: Finances

Purpose: To support entrepreneurs in activities that allow them to adjust their businesses to the pandemic situation.

For whom: For every interested entrepreneur.

Actions taken:

  • Articles: There has been made a series of articles supporting entrepreneurs of various niches and sectors, explaining how they can adjust their businesses to the current situation.
  • Webinars: Pieces of training available live with videos supporting entrepreneurs in their activities.
  • Posters: There are templates of posters available on the website, informing about new working hours of a shop or service point, with current safety procedures. There are also posters for closed brick-and-mortar points, which are now operating remotely.

ING

Wave of digitization

This banking company encourages their customers to go online and increase the range of the already existing brick-and-mortar store.

Sector: Finances

Since when: May 18, 2020

Purpose: To ensure the continuity of the store’s activity during the lowered customers’ mobility.

For whom: For every store owner.

Actions taken:

  •  For new customers who would like to digitize their current business, the bank offers a dedicated payment gate “imoje” for 0 PLN for three9 months and full support in launching an online store up to five days.
  • For customers who already run an e-commerce business but don’t use “imoje” – 0 PLN for this payment gate for three months.
  • Buy now and pay in 21 days. It’s the new option for customers to postpone payments in time, while the store owner instantly gets the money.
  • Introduction of the payment terminal for contactless payments for 0 PLN for 14 months or six months with no monthly fee.

Nest Bank

Wave of digitization

Every company that runs a trade-related business and owns a Nest Bank account and a VISA credit card can easily build a website in the Sotebuy and offer their products and services online.

Sector: Finances

Since when: April 16, 2020

Purpose: To support entrepreneurs and their businesses during the pandemic and assist in digitizing their companies.

For whom: For Nest Bank customers, owning the VISA card and running a trade-related business.

Actions taken:

  • The Nest Bank customers can, even without the IT knowledge, build their own website and online store, using intuitive website builder–Sotebuy.
  • The service is free for the first two months. After that period, each customer can easily cancel or continue using it and pay an annual or monthly fee (with a 20% discount).

Polish Agency for Enterprise Development with the Ministry of Development

was: Customer, will be: Partner

They’ve created a series of video conferences for entrepreneurs.

Sector: Government

Since when: May 26, 2020

Purpose: To inform entrepreneurs about the possibilities related to the situation of the current pandemic and answer their questions.

For whom: Open for every entrepreneur.

Actions taken:

  • Series of video conferences with the interactive way to ask questions.
  • Information campaign about solutions and financial instruments available in the anti-crisis shield, both self-governed and financial.
  • Education about changes in the public procurement act, designed to prevent pandemic’s effects, and the introduction of the new public procurement act, effective from 2021, which should boost the economy.
  • Preparation of materials for various sectors discussed during the series of webinars.

BookTarg

Wave of digitization

The online book fair.

Sector: Books

When: May 21-24, 2020

Purpose: To digitize the annual book fair to the remote version with the consideration of the book sector needs during the pandemic.

For whom: For everyone.

Actions taken:

  • Over 40 meetings with interesting people from the book world.
  • Discounts for books on the Empik website.
  • The “E-book for free” action. People who subscribe to the BookTarg.pl newsletter will get (until May 24, 2020) the possibility to read (and sometimes listen as well) books in the Legimi app for free.
  • The “Support for Culture” action. As a part of this initiative, special auctions take place. Obtained money is transferred to the Literary Union, which helps authors in poor financial conditions caused by the pandemic. Moreover, the BookTarg organizers – Allegro, Legimi, and LubimyCzytać.pl – decided to support the Wisława Szymborska Foundation with the 50,000 PLN for their aid activity.
  • The theme of the BookTarg Conference is lectures and discussion panels related to the situation in the book market at the time of the pandemic. The librarians, writers, and lecturers will take part in special webinars on the subject.

Empik

New CSR circumstances

A series of actions supporting all readers for free in the times of the pandemic.

Sector: Books

Since when: March 17, 2020

Purpose: To diversify the time spent at home during the epidemics.

For whom: For everyone.

Actions taken:

  • Empik offers the free, two-month period of the benefits package, as a part of their flag service called Empik Premium.
  • Empik offers over 11,000 audiobooks and ebooks for free in their Empik Go app.
  • Courier and paczkomat (self-service parcel pickup station) delivery for free.
  • Special offers for board games, books, movies, sporting equipment, and other products in their online store.
  • Empik organizes online meetings with authors and invites kids for online science workshops.

Biedronka X Glovo

Diversification of the customer service channels

The possibility to order Biedronka’s products directly to home thanks to the Glovo application.

Sector: Groceries

Since when: April 9, 2020

Purpose: To curb leaving the house during the pandemic and ensure free access to groceries.

For whom: Everyone who downloads the Glovo app.

Actions taken:

  • Introduction of the option to order Biedronka’s products with delivery in over 100 stores in 10 cities across Poland.
  • Payments directly via the Glovo app.
  • The possibility to choose from over 1,000 available products.
  • Keeping the brick-and-mortar prices and all of the discounts.

Żabka

Diversification of the customer service channels

The possibility to purchase products via the Żappka app, and pick up and payment in store.

Sector: Groceries

Since when: April 2020

Purpose: To curb the time spent in store during the pandemic.

For whom: For every customer using the Żappka app.

Actions taken:

  • Adjustment of the possibility to order products through the application, both for Android and iOS.
  • Shortly, Żabka plans to offer payments directly via the app, which will shorten the store’s time even more.

BNP Paribas X Booksy

Wave of digitization

The possibility to book a meeting with the consultant via the Booksy app.

Sector: Finances

Since when: May 20, 2020

Purpose: To increase safety by curbing the time spent in a bank and simplifying the communication. 

For whom: For every customer, both current and future.

Actions taken:

  • The possibility to book a meeting, indicating the bank’s branch, date, and conversation topic.
  • The app is made for Android and iOS.

Lotto

Wave of digitization

The platform with ideas for boredom and related contests.

Sector: Gambling

Since when: March 25, 2020

Purpose: To diversify the time spent at home during the pandemic.

For whom: For everyone.

Actions taken:

  • Contests of various ideas for boredom: By posting your picture or video under the competition post with the proper hashtag. Prizes are vouchers that can be used to purchase products in Decathlon, Empik, and Allegro.
  • A collection of ideas to spend some quality time with children.
  • Movies posted by actors, sportspeople, and people of culture showing how they spend time at home.

Allegro

New CSR circumstances

The support package for sellers, worth over 16 million PLN.

Sector: E-commerce

Since when: April 1, 2020

Purpose: To support current sellers and new companies affected by the COVID-related restrictions that want to start selling their products online with no commission.

For whom: For buyers and sellers.

Actions taken:

  • Small and medium-sized sellers can pay for the Allegro services later. The payment period for SMEs has been extended from 14 to 60 days.
  • Three months for free for new Polish sellers, regardless of the scale of business.
  • Easy to get loans and 3% cashback.
  • Easy access to loans with cashback up to 4,500 PLN for sellers running a sole proprietorship company.
  • The previously announced toll increase has been suspended what allows sellers to save 8,5 million PLN.

Allegro x MyBenefit

Attractive forms of employment

Employee vouchers to be used on Allegro to buy products necessary during the pandemic.

Sector: E-commerce

Since when: April 2020

Purpose: To ensure that employees can utilize benefits useful during the pandemic: protective equipment and products supporting physical and mental health.

For whom: For people working at companies cooperating with MyBenefit.

Actions taken:

  • New benefits available at Kafeteria in the form of vouchers available in three different categories.
  • Books, CDs, games, and musical instruments available.
  • Accessories and sporting equipment available.
  • Protective equipment like masks and hand sanitizers available.
  • Employees have the opportunity to purchase other products available on Allegro, i.a. from the Media Markt offer.

InPost

Wave of digitization

  1. New, attractive prices for consignment and receiving parcels in the same paczkomat (self-service parcel pickup station).

Sector: Courier services

Since when: April 30, 2020

Purpose: To simplify sending and receiving parcels with no direct contact, for instance, during the personal collection.

For whom: For business entities having contracts with InPost (the paczkomat operator).

Actions taken:

  • Price reduction for the consignment and receiving service in the same paczkomat.
  • Since May 8, for retail and business clients, weekend consignments are in the business day shipping price.

2. Possibility to open a paczkomat remotely.

Sector: Courier services

Since when: February 10, 2020

Purpose: To curb the contact and the number of people using the paczkomat panel to get their parcels.

For whom: For the addressees of the parcels sent to a paczkomat.

Actions taken:

  • Possibility to open a paczkomat box using the InPost mobile app.
  • Localization verification improvement. A customer can open a box remotely only when they’re at least 10 meters from the paczkomat.
  • The IT system controlling the location of each parcel (row and column number).

3. Vouchers for shopping and free online music access for people picking a parcel within 2h after the delivery.

Sector: Courier services

Since when: May 14, 2020

Purpose: To release the paczkomat box as quickly as possible.

For whom: For the addressees of the parcels sent to a paczkomat.

Actions taken:

InPost has organized a contest where every participant who picks the parcel up within 2h after the notification and registers its number on a website, receives a voucher for 50 PLN to be used in the eObuwie online store and free access to the Tidal app for 90 days.

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Karolina Korgul
Karolina Korgul
Research Analyst
Karolina helps research, analyze, and identify data to address the needs and challenges that Innovatika faces. She loves combining analytical data science tools with creative design thinking approach. She built her experience while working on projects in finance, retail, education and cloud solutions.

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