How does the K-curve relate to BAM?

A K-shaped recovery is an economic recovery where the performance of different parts of the economy can diverge widely.  This type of recovery is called K-shaped because the path of different parts of the economy when charted together may diverge, resembling the two arms of the Roman letter “K.”

  • Retail
  • Technology and software services
  • Large businesses

  • Small businesses
  • Travel, Food services
  • Entertainment, Hospitality

As the world recovers from the Covid-19 epidemic, it has become evident that certain industries were less effected and/or are recovering more easily and quickly (retail, technology and software, large businesses).  Others which are small, or industries such as travel, foodservices, entertainment, and hospitality were hit harder and may recover more slowly or take more radical pivoting techniques.

What about Business as mission companies?

The lower leg of the K includes smaller businesses which are often in the food, travel, hospitality, and entertainment sectors.  Many have not or may not recover.  Those that have survived have made serious pivots.

Tims Café Bakery is a chain of thirteen restaurants in Southeast Asia.  They pride themselves in excellence in the bakery products, the quality of coffee tastes, and in the service they provide.  After all, the owner and chief executive officer told me that “God is the CEO”. In the early days of COVID-19, he called his top managers from three countries together for a prayer meeting.  God directed them to pivot – toward food services for large industries such as international schools and conferences.  So, they pivoted toward a new revenue source, and they not only survived, but they thrived.

PhotoUp, a photo editing service in the Philippines and IBEC client, had their best month in March 2020, but the worst month in April, one month later. A few months after pivoting to home-work stations, they not only dogged the COVID bullet, but increased more than one hundred employees to a current work force of about 250. CEO Kristian says, “COVID forced us to rethink our systems and innovate. Read about it here.

Certainly, many small businesses did not survive, but those that did often were heard saying they were better off because of the unwanted stress of COVID. By God’s grace and human ingenuity, their downward leg has turned upward.

On the other leg of the K – the upward leg, we see examples of usually larger businesses or those focused on the tech and software industries.

Snowman Labs in Brazil is served by IBEC and IBEC Director Bob Bush states, “They are going through a rapid season of growth.  Danilo shared with me yesterday that they have grown from 50-90 employees.  They are in the process of assessing new markets like the U.S., Western Europe, Portugal, and Japan.  The timing of COVID matched up with their desire to tap into new markets, and they have been on a rapid growth rate over the past 12-18 months.” Click here to learn more. 

Likewise, HM Engineering of Hyderabad, India is an example of a large company which tends to prosper in challenging times.  Founder and CEO Henry Moses is a serial entrepreneur and began manufacturing chemical process equipment but is always ready for new opportunities, diversification, and meeting human need. He has become well-known as a person to meet current changing needs especially items which will improve quality of life – all in the name of Jesus – COVID PPE, Prefab hospital isolation rooms, sewage treatment plants, and bio toilets.  Henry sees his entrepreneurship as serving God and people through creation care.

Larry W. Sharp, BAM Support Specialist, IBEC Ventures

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